Another Washington Wonder: A Bavarian town, just 2 hours from Seattle.
The whole "traveling is about the journey, not the destination" is a tired cliche, usually used by people who don't travel that much. Transportation isn't fun, it's cramped and stuffy and usually filled with other people. But on this rare occasion, the journey Lia and I took was actually more enchanting than our final destination.
Granted, the final destination was a touch underwhelming. We were headed to Leavenworth, a small Bavarian-themed town in the Washington mountains. I must confess, I didn't realize quite how tacky it was going to be before we went. It had been modeled to look like a Bavarian village strictly for tourism purposes, rather than what I assumed, which was that there was a small but curiously proud German community in the Washington mountains.
I think my version was more fun.
As it turned out, the town was really adherent to the theme, with even the national chains doing their best to look like Ye Olde versions of themselves. Starbucks, 76 gas station, and Subway — McDonald's didn't really try that hard though. Rather than fitting in though, they kind of just made the whole place look like Far Far Away in Shrek.
It was also Octoberfest in Leavenworth, which is one of the things it's most known for, given its Bavarian theme. And I must admit, if I liked beer, the idea of driving into the mountains on a chilly fall day to drink steins and eat sausages with some friends did sound quite nice.
As it were, we were day tripping, and driving a lot, and I don't like beer. So we were sober, wandering around a tacky town filled with a lot of drunk white people in halfhearted attempts at lederhosen-themed getups.
We went down to the river though, and that was very idyllic.
No, the best part of this trip was the journey. Because we got to see the fall colors in Washington on fully saturated blast.
The drive to Leavenworth was a stunning wind through the mountains. We'd devised a loop, which took us through stunning foliage, past numerous beautiful rivers and streams, and back down past ski resorts. Washington is pretty good about putting viewpoints off its roads too, so you can stop safely to see whatever wonderful display of nature you happen to be driving past.
Of course, even with these I still can't do it very safely, as I see the thing I want to gawk at too late, and pull off the highway quite sharply, making Lia brace. Never hurt us yet though!
I loved the leaf-peeping, but I think Lia would probably say the best part of the day was the roadside fast food shack we stopped at for lunch.
Zeke's is fairly well known, but reasonably quite given its remote location, and I'd read online it had the best onion rings in the state, according to the Seattle Times. Well, either the Seattle Times has terrible judgement in onion rings, or Zeke's has gone downhill, because they were awful. Even as two people who are not onion ring connoisseurs, we knew they were poor.
The rest of the food was decent enough, but why was it Lia's favorite bit, I feel you wondering? Well, you should've expected: there was a cat.
It was a very old cat too, 13 years old according to the sign, and it ate an entire pot of mayonnaise from some family fussing it while we were eating, so I'm not sure how much older it can possibly live to.
We're off on a remote adventure this weekend, to Lake Quinault, in Olympic National Forest. There's only wifi in the public areas of the lodge we're staying at, none in the rooms! *faints*
It's going to be beautiful and rainy and so picturesque. The trip is a belated joint birthday present for Dad and I from Dad, and apparently there's a massive fireplace. We're all going to get so cosy.
I'll report back, provided I don't melt my face in the enormous fire. Ta rah for now.