On the west side of Stevens Pass there is a hidden gem of a waterfall. We’ve stopped there many times to stretch our legs but never at this time of year, after a major snow melt. This rather ordinary but pretty cascade becomes a spectacular torrent of water crashing down multi-tiered waterfalls, culminating when the falls slam into a granite wall – making an abrupt 90-degree turn to the right before joining the Tye River.
Stevens Pass Highway
On the return home we stopped in Leavenworth, a cute little town in a stunning location, you feel like you are in the Alps. There is a beautiful river walk behind town, the trail winds along the river, through quiet forests with little beach areas for a cool dip in the river but on this day we were forced off the river by a blizzard of cottonwood!
We still wanted to walk so we strolled through town, much quieter than it was on Sunday when we drove through. After our walk we had a really good lunch at Pavs Bistro, one of our favorite little places in town. It was always our “go-to” place for crepes after skiing. They have expanded their menu to include salads and a few signature dishes but have not skimped on quality, still a favorite.
With Memorial Day behind us and the kids not yet out of school it was the perfect time for a visit to Lake Chelan, a summer haven for kids, and adults, with all forms of water sport, hiking, wine tasting, good restaurants and guaranteed sunshine, the hills are still green and the weather warm.
Friends had just moved into their new home above Lake Chelan so we headed east for some fun in the sun and a visit with former neighbors.
Flowers along the river walk
We had dinner at Sorrento’s Ristorante in the Tsillan Winery where one of our friends is lucky enough to work. The winery and grounds are beautiful and dinner was delicious, a must stop if ever in Chelan.
One more night on the road and this one in a hotel overlooking the Columbia River and listening to a chorus of sea lions who had taken over the floating docks of the fishing marina.
No room at the inn
It wasn’t long before the sun was out again hip hip hooray!
Longing for a walk we stopped at Heceta Head and walked up to the lighthouse and on up a trail behind the lighthouse for a better look at the light and for a drop dead gorgeous coastal panorama. It is a beautiful day!
Trail to the beach
Heceta Head Lighthouse
Heceta Head Lighthouse Keepers House
Next stop was Cape Perpetua where we hiked down to some tide pools, not much activity there other than the crashing waves; we continued along the coastal trail. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous day!
Rain, Rain, Rain, more rain, we are done with rain and have decided to turn back north and work our way home, hoping for a few sun breaks along the way. This has been a very wet trip and we’ve decided to cut out losses and head north toward home. We drove in the rain until Bandon when the sun came out; we stopped for lunch at the Creamery and then walked through town soaking up the sunshine before continuing on to Florence.
We had a fabulous meal in Florence at the Waterfront Depot, a small restaurant on the riverfront, starting with crab stuffed mushrooms, filled with sweet Dungeness crab on a creamy dill sauce, delicious! George ordered a Dungeness crab Caesar salad that was piled high with crab and I had crab encrusted halibut on a bed of chili cream sauce, the best halibut I’ve ever had. As if that wasn’t rich enough we had dessert, a slice of tres leches cake. We waddled back to our hotel and collapsed.
Rain is forecast all day, a good time to do laundry so after a leisurely Easter Brunch in the van we headed into Brookings to look for a Laundromat and found a nice one, clean, plenty of machines and not too busy. It became quickly obvious that we don’t frequent Laundromats, first we couldn’t figure out how to get the washer door open – a woman came to our rescue and yanked it open saying you have to pull really hard. A bit embarrassed we loaded our clothes, were able to find the change machine and soap on our own and hit all the right buttons to get it going then sat down to read while the clothes washed.
When it came time to dry there were many choices and admittedly I don’t have an advanced degree in machine operation so managed fumbled through with the assistance of another nice local who took pity on the poor city girl. I loaded the clothes into one of the upper dryers but the money in the slot for the lower dryer, that’s when she came to my assistance, pointing out the arrows – head smack! Clothes moved to the right dryer I selected the temperature and pushed the only button I saw but the dryer wouldn’t start so I pushed it again, nothing. I checked to make sure I had deposited the correct amount of money, I had. So I continued to push the same button with the same result, nothing. Once again the woman came to my assistance and showed me the well-labeled “start” button I had somehow totally missed and said something nice like “it’s hard to see” . . . bless you my friend. Who knew laundry was so complicated.
It was all too much for me and by the time we finished it was 3:30 p.m. and we were hungry. I googled restaurants in Brookings and found two that sounded good and near by. The first one was closed for a private party but the other was right next door and it was open. We were welcomed, and seated near the window, it was small and there was only one other couple in the restaurant and a young boy sitting at the bar, the owner’s son.
The owner/chef was very nice and had a wonderful, sophisticated menu; we were both sorry that we weren’t hungry enough for a full dinner. We ordered two appetizers, a mushroom crostini topped with a mushroom ragout and herbed ricotta and a drizzle of pesto that was absolutely delicious and a grilled chili lime shrimp appetizer equally delicious.
The chef kept checking on us to see how we were doing and how we liked each dish – we liked his food very much and only wished there was a restaurant this good near home. The appetizers were quite satisfying but we split a Cobb salad that was also very tasty with a light balsamic dressing. The waitress talked us into a house made crème brûlée, the best I have ever had and we left with full bellies and no regrets! This is a really fantastic little restaurant in a small coastal town, totally unexpected; the food is big city 5-star quality. Our hats are off to the young owner/chef and his wife, Rob and Kylie Krebs. Stop by if you ever travel through Brookings, you will not be disappointed.