Traveling Solo: Leavenworth and Plain, Washington

img_20161112_111247404_lucidEach fall and winter I tend to fly solo while my husband is off hunting deer, migratory birds or– as of late– bear and cougar. He grew up hunting with his dad, brother, uncles and friends and has continue to travel to meet them to hunt as long as we’ve been together (all 12+ years!).

While I’m not a hunter, I do benefit from his labors and enjoy eating just about everything he brings home. Our freezer is always stocked full of fresh venison, duck or whatever other fowl is in season.

When we moved to Washington, he had to learn about all new animals, seasons, regulations, and more. I was concerned that he wouldn’t get to go as much as he did when we lived in Ohio and that he would be unhappy.

Thankfully I learned that one of my coworkers and her husband are avid hunters and own a cabin and property in Leavenworth! We’ve become good friends, and they were kind enough to invite Brian to join them during hunting season.

Everyone kept inviting me to come along for their weekend and week-long hunting trips, but I couldn’t see taking time off of work to go sit in the cabin and wait for them to return each day. I miss Brian when he’s away, but I lived on my own during college and then for three years in my post-graduate days so I’m pretty good at entertaining myself. Plus, the cat would be lonely if we were both away! :)

We finally worked out a compromise and I agreed to come over for part of one of the weekends. That way we could all go our separate ways during the day and then return in the late afternoon to have dinner together and hang out in the evening.

We drove over Friday after work and spent the night in our friend’s bungalow. In the morning, my friend, her husband and Brian headed for the hills, and I headed for Leavenworth.

We’ve been to Leavenworth a couple of times– once in the spring when we were driving out to Washington and once in the winter to see the German Christmas market.

I was excited to experience it in the fall and arrived early in the morning before anyone was awake so I seemingly had the town to myself. The fog was still lifting up over the buildings and Cascade Mountains– it was beautiful. I did a little bit of shopping and when a light rain started, I popped into one of the beer gardens to hide beneath an umbrella and savor a soft hot pretzel.

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As I finished my snack, the clouds parted, the sun came out and blue sky started peeking through. I continued walking the streets, checking out the occasional shop. Some of the streets south of the main drive had really interesting buildings so I took my time and took some pictures.

It was lunch time and the weather had improved so of course people were crawling out of the woodwork. I was suddenly very tired and overwhelmed by all of the people so I went back to my car and took a quick cat nap in the back seat.

I was completely refreshed after about an hour and set out for the local park.

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The park was busy with every type of individual imaginable– families, couples, people walking their dogs, and more. I was one of the few solo explorers but felt completely safe. It was beautiful outside, and I absolutely loved all of the fall colors.

I walked over a bridge to a wooded area, taking one trail along the river and then another back through the trees. It was peaceful and relaxing, but the sun was starting to head toward the hills so I thought I should head back to my car so I could make my way back to the cabin.

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On my way I had to make a quick stop in the nearby town of Plain. We were there once before with my friend, and I wanted to go back to the Plain Hardware to pick up a house-warming gift for her.

I still hadn’t heard from Brian so I decided I had a little more time to kill. I drove over to Plain Cellars to check out their tasting room, and ended up loving it. It was very unassuming, it seemed like everyone there knew one another, and the girl helped me with a simple tasting since I was by myself and wanted to be able to safely hit the road as soon as I heard from my spouse.

I tried a couple of their reds and absolutely loved the Just Plain Red and the Eclipse. Shortly after I arrived a small party of people celebrating a local gentleman’s birthday started arriving, and Brian called to let me know they were heading back to the cabin. Perfect timing!

Each visit to Leavenworth has been a little different, but I can assure you it’s nice year round, and it’s fun whether you’re traveling with friends and family or if you’re traveling solo. And if Leavenworth doesn’t have enough to entertain you, nearby Plain offers a few more fun activities to keep you occupied. Add them both to your list!

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