Well, the kids ditched me before getting out to the tent. More specifically, Alissa put them down closer to their normal bedtime while I baked GF chocolate chip cookies. (Use the recipe for Nestle’s Tollhouse. Substitute GF chocolate chips and change the flour to Pamela’s GF baking mix and you won’t know the difference.) Anyway, I woke up Harry to ask if he still wanted to sleep in the tent. His answer was definitively negative. Through all this, Annie never moved. So we ended up applying the addage about never waking a sleeping baby. Still, I decided to not let a prepared tent go to waste, so I decided to sleep out myself. Without anyone to compete for space with, I was able to hog all the blankets and make a nice little nest. I slept quite well until waking up at 5 to answer nature’s call. I slipped out of the tent, closed it up, and checked on everyone. Alissa was bunking in with Harry. Annie hadn’t moved, so I bunked in with her and slept for another three hours. Not bad!
We’re here today, celebrating the retirement of both Alissa’s parents and her mother’s birthday (July 4). To give the melting kids a break, we drove into Wenatchee for lunch and grocery shopping. By the time we got back, they were asleep, so we decided that I’d drop Alissa off and take the kids for a drive. I decided to drive up through Plain. The road is a turnoff at the east end of Leavenworth. It leads up along a beautiful winding road along the train tracks. It’s lined by pine forests, low alpine meadows and picturesque homes, farms and ranches before climbing up and over a pine-topped ridge. It was a beautiful day with the warm sun flashing through the trees, alternately bathing the roadway in sunshine and plunging it into shadow. A few puffy white clouds gave definition to the bright blue sky, and my mixed CD provided a spirit-lifting soundtrack.
The road descends pretty sharply from the ridgeline into plain. It’s a good road, but it’s been a while since it’s been repaved, adding to the enjoyment of the drive. The descent, a winding one, reminded me of the Angeles Crest Highway and the Rim of the World Highway in Southern California. Growing up, these roads defined mountain driving for me, as opposed to the passes through the Cascades that I frequently travel.
So, in high spirits, I made the descent into plain. Since conditions were so ideal, I had some fun and drove a little more aggressively than usual. It was nothing dangerous, just more direct attacks on the curves to stay closer to the fall line and keep my speed up. As I reached the bottom valley floor, I heard Annie’s voice from the back seat.
“Whee! Daddy, this is fun!”
The valley floor was dotted with several well kept homes, farms, still green from the spring, and a few picturesque businesses. It seems pleasantly separate from the fast-paced urban/suburban life I lead.
By the time we reached Highway 2, Harry was awake and we made the familiar journey through Tumwater Canyon along the snow-fed Wenatchee River, through the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth and into the orchards of the Cashmere Valley and back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.