Leslie and I made the 2 hour drive from Yakima to Leavenworth a couple Saturdays ago for a family reunion. Our children were unable to attend the reunion with us this year, so we decided that we would at least take our 2 young grandsons (both are one and a half years old) with us.
We were only able to stay in Leavenworth for a few hours, with more than half that time spent enjoying dessert and visiting with our extended family in a banquet room at the Enzian Hotel. That left very little time to see the town and wander through the vast array of Bavarian shops that Leavenworth is known for.
We’ve been in Leavenworth at least once a year for as long as I can remember, and have visited the shops there every time. Skipping them this one time wouldn’t destroy the trip for us. Besides, we didn’t think the babies would be real content strolling through stores that are packed with pretty little gift items that they aren’t allowed to touch.
No, instead we decided to spend our spare minutes on the other side of Leavenworth. The side behind the town and down by the Wenatchee river. The side that I have only on rare occasions ventured into.
Leavenworth has a couple nice little nature parks with neat walking paths through them. The pathway criss-crosses the Wenatchee river over bridges to get from one park to the other.
Our walk took us through Waterfront Park, across a bridge to Blackbird Island, and across another bridge to Enchantment Park.
Our primary focus was on keeping the boys entertained while we hurriedly completed the walk through the nature trail, so we didn’t take time to fully enjoy the surroundings. I understand that Waterfront park is a popular bird-watching paradise and it is common to spot an osprey or a bald eagle there. We saw neither.
On Blackbird Island, we stopped to let the boys throw some rocks in the river. You have to let the boys be boys, you know. I’m sure this was one of the highlights of their day with Nana and Papa. The younger one gave us a bit of a surprise, as you’ll notice in the following video.
About this time, I received a phone call from my dad, who was with some family members at Krystall’s restaurant. They were sitting down for lunch and wanted us to join them. That led to a hurried walk through Enchantment Park without really noticing anything about it. Through research, I learned that they have a playground, baseball field, soccer field, and trails for hiking and biking.
It’s quite an asset for Leavenworth to have this nice little sanctuary so close, yet isolated from the busy traffic and tourism of downtown Leavenworth. Though the town was packed, as it always seems to be, the parks were quiet and peaceful with a limited number of people. It seems to me it’s a nice little getaway.