Monday, March 14, 2016

The Three Pass Expedition

Leavenworth, Lit Up Like a Christmas Tree for Lent
Leavenworth, how is it that I've never walked your ah-maz-ing streets before? That is what I might have found myself asking this weekend, were I in the habit of addressing towns in such a manner. It was, truly, one of the finest minibreaks of my experience, although it turns out that Leavenworth is not the best destination for the Lentan vegetarian. (Travel tip: the sweet potato enchilada plate at South is excellent--and will leave you with lunch later as well.)

Scott's new hat with some Shakespearean additions
In short,  it was a fine time, if sadly bereft of owls and snowshoeing. We did some shopping (Scott bought yet another hat; that man is now obsessed),  and some walking by the river in all weathers, and some gawking at the stars (who knew they were so bright?). The Shakespeare Suite at the Innsbrucker Inn was considerably nicer than it appeared on the website although the kitchen facilities consisted of a refrigerator, a microwave, and a coffee maker. We bought an electric tea kettle in town, and improvised a shaker, having oddly opted not to pack one. In addition to being the Three Pass Expedition, this was also the "Mary Attempts Not to Overpack" Trip. You have no idea how pleased I was with myself when I found that I had worn absolutely every stitch of clothing I'd brought with me.
Atmospheric Wenatchee River in the gloaming
On arrival, it was a little rainy and definitely foggy. Saturday was overcast but not actively raining and, at the Wentachee Confluence State Park, we actually saw sunshine and blue sky for a bit -- until it started raining again. On Sunday, we woke to snow which only got heavier as the day progressed. Saturday night was the starry night and it was truly gobsmacking; we walked as far as we could on the dark dark dark island in the Leavenworth Waterfront Park, hoping not to surprise the bobcat or the bears that various signs warned about. It strikes me that I am a serious liability for my employers: it is inevitable that my lack of preparation and laissez-faire attitude about the outdoors is going to lead to an unpleasant--and unpleasantly graphic--demise one of these days.
The Minimalist Packer on a snowy hike on our last day

But that day was not yesterday--nor either of the previous days neither. No, we survived snow and rain and drunks wandering around the streets of Leavenworth: "Where's the car?" "Dude, they totally towed your car!" "Dang! Where's the bar we just came out of?" "Dude! your car is totally towed." We wondered at today's youth that becomes so incapacitated before ten on a Saturday night but then found that the two bars we meant to visit had both already closed for the night; maybe today's youth is just more familiar with Leavenworth's crazy-early-last call.

On the drive over we traveled across Snoqualmie and Blewett. Scott opted for Steven's Pass on the way home, theorizing that it would mean less time in the mountains where it was snowing, rather. It wasn't pretty though nothing like so bad as the rain and wind as we approached Kirkland/Bellevue. Now that was downright nasty.

Coming up: The NEW life bird and doing my stretch in Leavenworth


  1. Kudos on the perfect packing! I can so appreciate that! I worked for an airline long ago and learned to pack the minimal amount--if a measly employee's bags got lost (sorry, _delayed_, never lost ;)), the airline wouldn't go out of the way to find them as they would for a paying customer. So we never checked bags and always packed light. I would get so upset with myself if I had even an unworn pair of socks at the end of a trip. It took me a long time to learn to overpack like a normal person, but I think I pass as normal now.

  2. I'm so glad that there's someone who understands exactly how I feel about that last pair of socks! Unfortunately, I still tend to add a lot to my luggage once I arrive at my destination. (See above reference to buying a tea kettle--plus books, tea cups, tea, whiskey . . . )

  3. I assume you found the amazing chocolate shop in town? I spent a lot of money there once.

    You look very warm!

    1. Looks are deceiving. If "the amazing chocolate shop" is Le Chocolatier in the back of a store then the answer is a definite yes. They gave so many samples that my desire for chocolate was momentarily satisfied . . . but that didn't stop me from walking out with a lighter wallet and some adorable chocs.

    2. Yup, that's the amazing chocolate shop all right!

      Can't wait to hear about your new Life bird.