Friday, July 20, 2012

Little Switzerland

Yesterday we left Bay View State park on the Puget's Sound's Padilla Bay and drove 145 miles up the west side of the Cascade Mountains and slightly down the east side to the town of Leavenworth, Washington.  

Leavenworth was a mining town in the 1860’s, then became a railway center with 7 sets of tracks.  Then there was a lumber boom;  Leavenworth had the state's second largest sawmill and thousands of trees were floated down the Wenatchee River.  Then the railroad moved it’s headquarters, the harvestable trees were gone, and the depression hit.  
The economy was slow in Leavenworth for years.  In the 1950s,  a restaurant and motel owner looked at the Alpine setting and remodeled in a Bavarian theme.  Others followed.  In 1965, a town committee called LIFE( Leavenworth Improvement For Everyone) officially agreed to “go Alpine.” 
Today Leavenworth has 20 Swiss-themed festivals a year in a downtown that looks like what I image a small Swiss village resemble.  I’ve never seen so many hanging baskets of petunias in one place. 

Yesterday we took a car tour and a walk by the river.  Today we plan to walk around town, but as I write we are waiting out a rain and hail storm.

Our spot at the Icicle River Campground, about four miles from downtown Leavenworth.  Jim was a little disappointed we couldn't back into the spot (the hook ups would have been on the wrong side) because he likes to have the view from our big back windows.  But it's still nice.
The campground office follows the local Alpine theme.
The view from the bank of the Wenatchee River, where we took a walk.

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