After our successful trip to Dash Point, we decided to squeeze in another trip. This time we wanted to head east a little bit in hopes of chasing down the last remnants of summer like weather, something that has mostly left western Washington already. Now that the kids are a little older they can handle a slightly longer car ride so we opted for Lake Wenatchee.
The state park is actually divided into two different sections, separated by about a mile and the Wenatchee River. The south loop offers tent camping sites, a designated swimming area, playground and general coolness. The north loop offers utility sites and no advertized coolness. Of course we chose the north loop. Attempting to learn from our Dash Point experience, we bough a "dogbone" which coverts a 30 amp plug to a standard plug. Not to fooled again, I also talked to a co-worker to has a motorhome and mentioned that some sites use a 50 amp plug which is different still from the 30 amp plug. So we bought a 50 to 30 dogbone as well. We were covered. When we arrived the first thing I did was open the electrical box and found...that this box offered a 50 amp plug, a 30 amp plug and two standard plugs. Sweet. Well the good news is that I'll be able to use my machine and we'll be able to use pretty much any utility site the state has to offer in the future.
We found an unforeseen beauty in going camping during the first week of September; this is the first week of school for just about everyone - the campground was nearly deserted. We had the place to ourselves. We didn't need to tell the kids to be quite, we could create our own shortcuts to the bathroom through other sites and generally treat the place like our own personal playground.
Central Washington is still quite warm at this time of year, each day we were there hitting in the mid 80's. Awesome. The Wenatchee River, and by extension Lake Wenatchee, is glacier feed. So you pretty much need 80+ degree weather before stepping foot into these waters. The shores of the lake are shallow enough to actually get a little warm which is all the better.
The terrain in in central Washington is such a contrast to what we are used to seeing, the forest density is much less and the color palette is a bit more monochrome as well. Our site was on the outside of the loop so the back of the site opened to a small hill. Finn and Jade found this to be the perfect exploring spot. Quickly finding their perfect walking sticks and climbing away. We were able to keep our eye on them the whole time so from a parenting perspective it was the perfect site. There was actually a fairly decent playground in the north loop within eyesight was well.
We found a trail down to the lake on this un-cool north loop that was like winning the lottery. This trail led to a small playground, a bathroom and open beach area. Since there weren't many people in the north loop we had the beach to ourselves both times we went there. Spending several hours playing in and around the water. The lake stays shallow for quite a distance so it was great for the kids because they could walk out and really play. Finn perched himself on a rock and then started yelling. Jade and Ainsley were oblivious. After what seemed like hours of yelling and remaining motionless I made my way out to the rock. Despite getting nice and toasty warm in the sun this water still struck me a cold once I got deep enough (i.e. as the water came close to my waist, nudge nudge). Once I got out there Finn explained to me that there was something scary in the water. I looked to where he was pointed and discovered...a shadow from a fellow rock. Hanging my head I made my way back to shore to detail the horrors of the lake to Christy.
We took a small day trip into Leavenworth. Ainsley quickly grew quite fond of the area and asked if we could move. Jade followed suit, proving again that the younger sister older sister bond knows no boundries. Finn like it too, but that was because we started the day with ice cream cones for the kids. We hiked down to the river front and found a great place to play. The girls collected the best looking rocks they could find and Finn found sticks to throw. Christy and I just watched staying somewhere between lifeguard on duty and dotting parents. Ainsley remembered to bring purse and absolutely had to find a gift shop to lighten her load. Christy found a pen that smelled like pizza for Finn and one that smelled like ice cream for Jade. Finn took a whiff and declare "it doesn't smell like pizza, it smells gross". He was right, there is a faint hint of oregano, but that's it. Jade loves hers. Go figure.
This trip provide a much more level tent surface for us and the fire wood created yet another perfect environment for marshmallows and smoking sticks. This time Jade joined in the smoking stick fun, but she doesn't add the same sound effects that Finn does.
Ainsley brought her rubiks cube. She is getting very good at solving one side, even to the point of being able to nearly solve one side without looking. It won't be long before she is able to solve the whole thing.
Give the great weather and the great accommodations we've already started looking forward to next Septembers trip. Of course there will be ice cream in Leavenworth.