Even though it was grey and drizzly, Stevens Pass was gorgeous with fall color. Every avalanche canyon, every meadow, was on fire with scarlet and gold. The mountains above us were dusted with new snow, and at the top of the pass we stopped and wandered around in the crisp, cold air.
Why did we stop? Well, we took the dogs with us. All three. And Zach had a cold. So, near the top of the pass, he decided to take some Dayquil cold medicine – and white and hyper Panda decided to jump on him while he was doing it. Instant sticky creamsicle dog! We rinsed her as best we could with water bottles and Kleenex, but she remained a little sticky until we got her home and in the bath.
Anyway, we made it over the pass, through Leavenworth which was traffic-jammed with some sort of fall festival, and on to the orchards & fruit stands. We stopped at one of the first ones we saw, and it was a great pick. They had cases and pallets and bags and crates of apples, of every variety, and some we hadn’t even heard of!
- Winter Banana (crisp and Jolly Rancher sour)
- Tsugurai (sweet & mellow)
- Spartan (a late season firm, tart cooking apple)
- Sekai Ichi (huge, crisp, sweet-tart eating apple)
- Honey Crisp (sweet, apple-cider juicy)
All were excellent. We picked out a case of the Sekai Ichi, we’d never heard of them before and they were excellent! They are too big for our apple corer/slicer though. I added a bag of Macintoshes for cooking, and a few Honey Crisp and Winter Banana for eating. We topped off our cart with a blue hubbard squash (yum!), fresh cider and caramel apples all around.
The fruit stand had a beautiful little park-like setting, and we wandered around and admired the orderly rows of apple trees, branches bent under their fruit, marching up the hills in every direction.
We turned around, got a hamburger in Leavenworth, and headed home. It was a long drive, but worth it for the sights and the ultra-fresh apples.
Note: photos were taken by Zach, photography club member extraordinaire!