Of the five surviving brothers of Barb, three now live in Washington State: Dan, George, and Hugh. We spent an enjoyable time visiting them and seeing some of the beautiful area. Knowing that we intended to be in the area for some time, we had, three weeks earlier, arranged for the cracked left pane of the RV’s windshield to be replaced in Wenatchee. Alas, the replacement windshield was delayed and had not yet arrived when we did. No matter, the brothers and their families were attentive hosts, and that part of the world is gorgeous. Early in our visit we took a side trip northward along the Columbia River to Chelan, where we visited the Fielding Hills Winery before continuing on to Manson for lunch. When we returned to Wenatchee, we joined the pool party/cook out in progress at the home of Dan and Candy (they also own a home in Leavenworth), already attended by the extended families of all three brothers. George and Hugh have separate businesses in construction; Dan & Candy together own an Italian restaurant in Wenatchee and another in Leavenworth perhaps more well know: Visconti’s. I say only half jokingly that Dan must have some kind of hormone problem: in addition to the two aforementioned restaurants Dan and Candy also have two additional eateries in Wenatchee in the Pybus Public Market — a Gelato and Crepe shop called ICE, and a Pizzeria called FIRE. They also have several additional businesses in Leavenworth: a cheese and sausage shop, an open-air sausage “garten” a gelato shop, and, believe it or not, down in the basement of Visconti’s, a facility for making their own sausages, called CURED. See what I mean about hormones?
George and Hugh seem similarly afflicted: among other things they have each been buying homes and then renovating them for resale. When we arrived in Wenatchee, George was just in the process of moving into his impressive new home which he almost entirely built by himself.
George’s new home, by the way, is on property adjacent to the beautiful Ohme Gardens. From the Garden’s page on the internet:
In 1929 Herman Ohme purchased 40 acres of land for an orchard. Included was a craggy, dry, desolate, rock-strewn bluff with a breathtaking view of the Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River valley. Herman and his new bride, Ruth, began dressing up the bluff for the their own enjoyment.
Small evergreens were transplanted from the nearby Cascade Mountains, native stone was hauled to form paths and borders, desert sage gave way to low-growing ground cover, and pools took shape adjacent to massive natural rock formations. It was hard work, done mostly by hand, and truly a labor of love. In the beginning, sustaining the Gardens meant hauling water in five gallon buckets from the river valley below, but eventually the Ohmes constructed an elaborate irrigation system that pumped water to the site.
Initially intended as a private family retreat, the interest of friends and community members prompted the Ohmes to open the Gardens to the public. The Ohmes continued to perfect the Gardens for 42 years, until 1971 when Herman died at the age of 80. The couple’s son Gordon and his family then assumed responsibility for the Gardens, and in 1991 Washington State Parks and Recreation purchased the Gardens and surrounding property. The Gardens are currently owned and managed by Chelan County.
We had an enjoyable time in Wenatchee. Dinner several times at the Wenatchee restaurant, visits to George and his wife Anne and their daughters at their new home, and visits to Hugh and his S.O. Patty at their isolated home on the edge of town up high enough to give a commanding view of the orchards below. We also visited Hugh’s most recent renovation, located just two doors down from Dan and Candy’s home. And the extended families all attended the July Fourth fireworks display on the waterfront in the Walla Walla Point Park, which we accessed by parking at the restaurant and then walking to the venue.
The uncertainty concerning delivery of the RV window pane restricted our ability to commit to extended time in either of the two near-by RV parks, consequently we were forced to make last-minute reservations that were hindered by unavailability. So we found ourselves bouncing back and forth between the Wenatchee Confluence RV park and the Wenatchee County Park. But both had their charms; Barb was happy to get some fit-bit steps while I focused on bird photography.
We took the RV up the scenic highway to Leavenworth, where we parked in Dan’s yard. The town was packed with visitors there to enjoy the Bavarian theme that permeates the entire village. Dan’s Sausage Garten was packed; understandably so: the various x-wurst sandwiches, potentially garnished with any of approximately one thousand different mustards, and accompanied by German-style potato salad and locally-brewed cold beer, were delicious.
The Wenatchee River borders Leavenworth to the east; about half of that boundary is given over to a lovely park offering shaded walks along the river, which, on the day of our traversal, was filled with inner-tube floaters (featherless bipods) and ducks (feathered bipods.)
All told, we had a great time visiting warm and friendly people in some lovely parts of Washington. We’ll be back.
Here are some of the birds seen during this time frame.