Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ohme Gardens

On our recent trip to Leavenworth, Washington, we made a stop at Ohme Gardens. We've driven by for many years always saying that we'd have to go some day. Unfortunately I think we went on one of the hottest days of all time, or so it felt.

It was about 11:30 am when we got there so decided to have our packed lunch first. I had read reviews saying to wear good shoes because the walkways are made of rock and many levels of ups and downs are throughout the park.

The mere thoughts of the Gardens were started in 1929 when a couple from Germany bought the 40 acres and envisioned their homeland in the barren hillside. It really only began as a family retreat but friends and community members suggested they open it to the public. The family ran the Gardens for 42 years until Mr. Ohme died at the age of 80 in 1971. His son ran it for 20 years and then it was sold to the Washington State Parks and Recreation but is now owned by Chelan county.

typical walkway

There are many pools and what they call waterfalls. I would call them trickles, but they're still pretty. There are also many stone benches along the way to sit and rest. It was so darn hot that we took advantage of that a lot.

There was a map we could follow and trails were marked either 'easy' or 'hard'. Since it was so hot, we took the easy way out. The view was still pretty of Wenatchee and the Columbia river below.

There were several vista points and you never knew where you were going to end up with all the twists of and turns of the paths.

We stopped to rest our weary hot bones and a nice couple offered to take our picture. If no one is around, one of us is usually left out.

I'm glad we went but I just don't think we really were able to take advantage of the whole beautiful park. I bet it has many different looks throughout the year. I doubt that we'll ever go back; we've got a whole lot more to do on our bucket list.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Palouse Falls

Last weekend we had great weather and took a 2 hour drive to the famous Palouse Falls, which seems to appear out of nowhere. The falls is on the Palouse River, upstream from the confluence with the Snake. If you look it up on Google Earth, it's really amazing to see this 200 feet falls. At first all you see is solid brown but as you zoom in closer and closer it will appear as a big hole in the earth. When we got out of our car I could hear it and just a short walk to the edge gave us this magnificent view. For years it was called Aput Aput which means falling water. In 1951 it was changed to commemorate the Palouse Indians.

We walked around the upper edge so we could get several vantage points. I felt bad for my daughter because she packed her camera and tripod and forgot her memory card at home. This is very frustrating for a photographer. So I had to make up for it. These are a few of the basalt spires that form the canyon. It's amazing to think that this area was once covered in water. Four years ago a young man actually took his kayak over the falls and lived to tell about it. It can easily be found on YouTube.

After the falls, the water calmly flows away

I was especially intrigued by what they call Castle Rock, a fascinating set of spires that sits just left of the falls. This is a view from the distance.

And this is a close up. As we walked around to the other side I could see it from above. Sure wouldn't want to fall on it!

This is a place I've wanted to go to for a long time and it ranks up there with one of the most impressive things I've ever seen. In every photo, we noticed the trails way down below and just couldn't figure out how people got down there. We would like to go back someday, without our dog, so we can try our hand at getting a closer look. Maybe.