Leavenworth, WA Snowshoeing (Day 1)

I took a break from my normal after work and weekend routine of home repairs and searching for a date. I have to note that I never thought finding a date through the online dating sites was this hard of work. 

It’s definitely different than the older days when you met someone face to face strike up a conversation and go from there. With online dating, you have to first get them to respond, which has been my toughest challenge. I guess my inexperience with eflirting is showing. Is there an online flirting for dummies book?

My routine over the last seven weeks is just that “a routine ” and no longer fun. I need to find a way to fill me up. Some people get refilled by hanging out with other people. I get refueled by being out in nature. 

So I took advantage of  the long three day weekend over the Martin Luther King holiday and headed to Leavenworth WA, which is about 5 hours away. The plan was to do some snowshoeing. 

Per my research, the MLK weekend just happened to align with Leavenworth’s ice festival, which is filled with various family oriented activities as well as the not so fierce competition for ice carving and snow sculpture. 

In preparation for my trip, I had to buy some gear so I stopped off at my local REI store and dropped $400 on new winter weather garb. You’re probably thinking, “Don’t you already have the winter outerwear?” 

Well I did…You see I went through a physical transformation and lost about 80lbs and so my old outerwear would have double (maybe triple) breasted me. 

Back to my story…

 On Friday afternoon, I packed up my truck (Betsy) with my new outerwear [jacket and pants], boots, gloves, camelback, and change of clothes for my three day adventure and headed out.

My oldest son doesn’t approve of my solo hikes so this trip he and his girlfriend are coming with. I get to their place (Des Moines,WA) in a few hours and we made last minute adjustments for the following day’s snowshoeing trek. 

Saturday morning arrives and we get dressed and headed for our destination after stopping to buy and eat breakfast sandwiches, supply of water, and of course coffee. In order to get to Leavenworth, we had to cross Mt. Baker. So we checked the WADOT road conditions after purchasing our supplies and it looked like the best route was I-90. So off we went…

About an hour into our trip, we slowed to a complete stop on the chosen freeway. We checked the conditions again and the weather became too severe that they closed the mountain pass on our freeway. Determined, we all pulled out our iPhones and looked for an alternate route. What would we do today without our smartphones?

 Another hour passed with no forward movement. We were literally parked along side other vehicles – which is my worst traffic situation. I hate sitting in traffic and not moving. In that hour, we moved about 500 feet. 

While waiting for the traffic to move, we decided on the first alternate route and also selected the backup plan, just in case this next option was also closed. 

Finally there was a break and I gingerly edged into the exit lane and found freedom from the traffic snarl. I quickly found the alternate route and not more than a mile into it, we immediately found this option lined with smaller cars not equipped for traversing the snowy roads. So we again waited – ugh!!

 I watched as several cars turned around, got stuck, moved a few feet, and got stuck again. It was quite comical as they tried to maneuver through the other stuck cars littered along the side of this two lane mountain road without chains on their tires. 

I was ranting to my passengers, “It baffles me that people go out on these road conditions without proper tires and or chains. I have a 4×4 pickup truck and I also have chains just in case.” My son sarcastically replied, “Thank God other people are not like you.” We all laughed. 

We decided to use our third option. But we couldn’t just yet as we needed to wait for the cars in front of us to do their slip and slide u-turn (more like a 10 point turn). 

Finally, it was our turn. I put Betsy in four wheel drive and easily turned her around and maneuvered her through the snow and slush. As always she made it through without any problems. 

By the time we backtracked to our 3rd option, it was about 1PM. So our initial snowshoeing plan was not feasible for that day as it’ll be dark by the time we arrive at the snowshoe rental place. That’s when we all vowed, “We’re buying snowshoes for next season!” 

We decided to continue on anyway and partake of the night festivities in Leavenworth. But first we had to get through the snow covered mountain pass…

#snowshoeing #leavenworthwashington, #bratwurstandsauerkraut #bratwurst #sauerkraut #germancuisine #refuel #naturesbeauty

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