Oh friends. . .that last 48 hours have been so full I’m not even sure where to start. We left our home in Olympia on Tuesday, June 16 around noon. The house officially closed with the county just a couple hours later while we were heading over the mountains – it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to that home – it’s been such a place of memories for us. But we’re closing that door and opening the next one with anticipation.
We took our sweet time driving up to Lake Wenatchee State park getting here around 5 p.m. We have a nice pull-thru spot in the North campground. We got parked, leveled, unhitched and settled just in time to make an easy dinner. The park is so quiet – not many campers at all. Although the spots are close together there is so much greenery it feels secluded and we look out onto a field of trees being on the outside of a loop.
After being in the car for so long the kids were ready to run! We hiked (ran) down to the lake to get a feel for the area. The scenery is gorgeous.
The old trees make this beach a wonderland for kiddos – so much to climb and explore!
Lots of big rocks, great for climbing and the kids had fun throwing rocks into the lake.
Wahoo! We’re finally here.
As a mom, I love seeing the awe and excitement as my kids explore a new place. Birds, rocks, trees, water, bugs – they see things we can’t, appreciate things we don’t, and they bring an energy to the exploration that only kids can.
For example, my daughter spotted this heart in the side of a tree I’d walked by three times. There is beauty in so many forms – everywhere you look – as long as you’re really looking. 🙂
We headed back after our evening hike and fell into bed after the first day of our adventure. As tired as I was – I couldn’t sleep. I lay in bed so grateful to have arrived safely. As brave as I’d like to think I am – I was nervous about driving over the mountain pass pulling our HOME, worried about the winding roads leading up to Lake Wenatchee, worried what our campsite would be like and getting settled and set up. It is all new territory for me and I just kept putting on my “be brave” hat all day. I’m so glad I did.
Day two we woke up and were ready to explore! I spent the early morning working and posting deals – but around noon we headed down to the lake. It was about 80 degrees with a breeze – perfect! The water was still took cold to swim in, but the kids jumped in, splashed around, played in the sand and had a great time.
The water has a gorgeous color to it and the landscape surrounding the lake is picture perfect. It felt like we had the whole place to ourselves!
Lots of trees for natural shade along the shore – lots of logs for sitting. It’s a great place to set up a spot and watch the kids play.
Most of the beach is rocky but there is some great sand right at the edge of the water. Lots of fun rocks to be found – all different colors and sizes.
We left from the lake and drove the 20 miles into Leavenworth. We had heard South was a good restaurant in town, but they were closed so we ended up at Fresh Burger – which had great reviews on Yelp and was on the same street. They get their beef from right over the mountains and use as many local ingredients as they can. The kids meals are just $5.50 and probably big enough for an adult. The signature burgers are amazing (see the menu here – it’s hard to pick!) – we were really pleased. We sat out on the patio with awesome views and shade from the afternoon sun. It was delightful on so many levels! In hindsight – we might have tried a bavarian pretzel or sausage – since it’s what the city is known for – but our kids were clamoring for burgers. It ended up being the right choice at the time and we’d definitely go back!
After eating we walked through downtown Leavenworth – what a beautiful downtown. So much to see. We did some window shopping – so many fun shops to look through!
I had downloaded the Geocaching app on my phone and although we had never geocached before – we opened it up and ended up finding our very first geocache in downtown Leavenworth. We just followed the map on the phone until we found it – my kids were HOOKED after finding the first one. How fun, how easy – and it’s FREE entertainment!
This geocache was just a simple log book – so both the kids signed their names. Such a simple pleasure brought so much joy and excitement to our afternoon. After a scoop of ice cream and a stop at Safeway to buy groceries for the week, we headed back to camp.
The kids had so much fun finding the first geocache in Leavenworth that when we got back to camp I promised to take them to find the one we’d seen on the app near our campsite. It was about a 1 mile hike/walk from our spot. A little trickier to find then the one in Leavenworth – this geocache is part of the Washington State Geocache tour – a celebration of 100 years of Washington state parks. In a large ammo box it was full of treasures. We left treasures behind and each kid picked out something – Liam picked a golf ball and Hadley some toy binoculars. How fun!
About 10 minutes into our walk back to our camp site I asked where our plastic water bottle was. My son had been the last to have it – taking a drink at the geocache spot. He thought I had grabbed it. I hadn’t. This meant trekking back to the geocache spot to retrieve our water bottle – a GREAT lesson for my kids in not leaving behind debris or garbage. Although left completely unintentionally, I don’t think either of my kids will forget something like that again. 🙂 We grabbed our empty plastic water bottle and headed back to camp.
After a very full day – we all took hot showers using the campground showers. Although our trailer has a shower – it’s small and then we fill up our grey water tank faster – so we’ll probably opt for campground showers when we can. At 50 cents for 3 minutes – it didn’t cost much and we were refreshed and cleaned up after a lot of sweating and adventure.
We had a light dinner (turkey/avocado sandwiches) and played travel Sequence (Amazon: Travel Sequence) before bed. We had never played Sequence before – but I found a travel version of the game in downtown Leavenworth today and picked it up. What a fun, fun game. Easy for the kids to understand but still interesting enough for the adults.
We all fell into bed after what was a fun-filled day. Not everyday will be this full of adventure – we just hit the ground running. Today we’re taking it easy and sticking close to home. Tomorrow we head to our next campsite, Sun Lakes State park.
More later. Until then, get out of the fast lane and enjoy the view. #TakeThatExit
Checking out the Leavenworth map and recalling the places we’d visited earlier in the day.
Have you been to State Wenatchee Lake State Park? Have you visited Leavenworth? Share your favorite places, hikes, activities or restaurants!
I love following your family and this adventure is even more exciting. Congratulations on a great first stop!
on your way to Wenatchee you should stop at Smallwood Harvest. Fresh fruit and a petting zoo.
Enjoy your adventures!
What a fun read! Love getting to “share” in your adventure. Sequence is a family favorite here. You are right. It is fun because kids can play with adults. While I don’t live in as small a place as you I have lived in smaller places and I like getting travel sized games because they are much easier to store. I will have to check out your link to the travel size sequence game. Looking forward to the next installment of your adventure.
Wow. I literally got choked up reading this. What an exciting adventure – I’m definitely a little jealous 🙂 I’m so glad I came across this site at the beginning of your journey (Through MSM) so I can follow your entire year.
Washington State looks just gorgeous! Great pictures and cute kiddos – I’m looking forward to your next post!
I love reading about your adventures!!! How exciting for all of you. I’m looking forward to your next posting!!!!
What a gorgeous place!! I really want to go there now! Can’t wait to read about your next stop. Safe travels!!
Off to a great start! Leavenworth is nice, and have always enjoyed tubing the Icicle River, eating rooftop at Gustavs (is it still called that?) and mini golf at the Enzian Inn Course. Sun Lakes State Park is one of our favorites. Some tips? Watch out for the swimmer’s itch. I think it’s worst at the shoreline. One summer we had about six kids affected lol. Don’t leave your awning out and unattended, the wind can be wicked. Watch for raccoons, they will approach your site even while you are in it if you have food out in the evening. Make note if they have a campfire ban. You don’t want to plan on cooking anything on it and find out they are banned (that happened to us). I don’t know how you could arrange it but if you could kayak that lake, it is so perfect! The light show at the dam is always fun.
PS, if you are still in Washington come July 1st, a Budget shut-down could close all the state parks so hopefully you have a back-up plan.
Just preparing to go go full time & wanting to start something exactly like this. Only I didn’t expect anything so perfect. Love your format & your story. Congrats. And see Ya on the road!!!
Hi Dawn – Best of luck to you as you prepare to full-time. 🙂 See you on the road!
We came out of the mountains on Tuesday and drove right by Lake Wenatchee State Park and also looked at South to eat on Tuesday. Funny we didn’t connect. We are now at Sleeping Lady Resort in Leavenworth with is a sustainable resort for families with organic food, pools and lots of amazing art work. Have a great trip.
Kevin – Too funny! We probably crossed paths and didn’t realize it. Have a wonderful stay at the Sleeping Lady Resort!
What a fun adventure! That lake and state park looks beautiful! I love the heart your daughter spotted in the tree bark. Kids are amazing at what they see that we don’t! My kids have little kid friendly digital cameras and I love seeing their perspective on things!
Heidi – We have an old point and shoot digital camera I need to remember to give to the kids on walks/hikes. Would be fun to see the walk through their eyes – great idea!
I love that you’re including geocaching in your journeys. I think that will add a consistent (free!) family friendly activity that will get you all moving & out of the camper. Fun! Fun
Thanks, Carrie! I’m so glad we gave it a try – it was intimidating at first, but once we did our first one, we were hooked! Just found another MICRO geocache today near Dry Falls state park (Washington). So much fun! 🙂
I’m so glad I found you (through MSM). I’m living vicariously through you. 🙂 We love geocaching! We find so many new places and out of the way places that we would never know about otherwise.
Hi Mona! So glad you found us, too! Crystal from Money Saving Mom is amazing – isn’t she?!? So glad you’re hear and – yes, geocaching is so much fun! Can’t wait to geocache across the country.
De'Etta @Choosing Joy says
This is a beautiful campground. Thanks for taking us along. We are so looking forward to moving into our trailer……military retiree in a few months.
So true, it is amazing seeing life through the eyes of a child! We go to Leavenworth at least once a year it is so much fun, you must float the river if you’re still there.
-stopping by from http://www.lovetabitha.com