It was early in the day when we arrived and rather than go directly to the campsite we detoured to the Ohme Gardens. We’ve seen the sign to the gardens for years as we passed through Wenatchee heading north to Lake Chelan or the Methow Valley but have never stopped and I was always curious to find out what Ohme Gardens was all about, today is the day.
On a high bluff over the Columbia River Herman Ohme and his bride Ruth purchased forty acres of land for an orchard in the 1920’s. The tract included a craggy, dry, desolate, rock-strewn bluff with a breathtaking view of the snow-capped Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River valley. The Ohmes dreamed of alpine meadows, shimmering pools and shady evergreen pathways. They set their minds on achieving that dream and thus began a 42-year labor of love.
Stone paths, all placed by hand, lead through the gardens, around boulders, up and down hillsides carpeted with flowers to quiet sylvan pools amid tall fir trees transplanted with care by the Ohmes. It is beautiful, peaceful place to spend the afternoon, we will be back.
After that lovely diversion we checked into the campground and waited until the coolness of evening to take our ride along the 10-mile long Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail. From the campground the trail runs along the Columbia River, crossing the Wenatchee River where it joins the Columbia and on the west side passing through four riverfront parks while the east side is wilder, running along the bluffs, through the Porter’s Pond Nature Area, crossing ravines on tight hairpin turns and short 6% grades.
Neither one of us had much energy so we stuck to the west side this time, it was just too hot to ride but for more on the trail and photos from our last visit check out our April 13, 2014 entry on the Apple Capital Loop Trail.