Every fall, Bryan and I used to trek across the mountains to acquire a couple of crates of freshly picked Wenatchee-area apples. We didn’t save any money getting them that way, it was just a really beautiful trip.
This year, I started a new tradition, making that same expedition with my extended family – mom, Mary, Cheri and Ben this time around.
We headed across Snoqualmie pass, then up through beautiful rural Blewett pass toward Leavenworth.
We stopped at my favorite Prey’s fruit barn for apples and pears – 40 pounds each for me, I make lots of apple and pear butter. They always have amazing varieties of both – giant Sekai-Ichi, super sweet Ambrosia and crispy Winter Banana apples, and Flemish Beauty, Stark Rimson and Speckles pears.
Then on into Leavenworth. Ben noted that Wikipedia lists Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest as the second most popular in the world, behind only Munich. I’d believe it, it was a madhouse. The highway was a parking lot and the town was wall to wall people. There were hundreds of patient festival-goers in line at every food venue, festival music floating overhead, and lederhosen- and dirndl-clad herrs and frauleins everywhere.
Since we are not beer (or is that bier?) drinkers, we had to be satisfied with a long, long wait for a beer brat and potato salad and wandering the various crowded shops.
We gave up fighting the crowds after a while and headed home on Highway 2, Stevens Pass. The fall color was glorious in the late afternoon sun; it was a beautiful day.
Autumn is my favorite season – I’m thankful I got to celebrate it outdoors today with some of my favorite people. Tomorrow I’ll be making apple butter and preserving a bit of the season for the rest of the year.