Friday, September 27, 2013

Plans Unraveled

We had planned for The Enchantments.  We were meeting some friends Wednesday night to car camp and then we'd spend four days and three nights in an area of National Forest land that is so coveted, you have to win a permit in an annual lottery.  A friend, DR, had been planning it for us since May or so. I'd been the only one of the group to win a permit, for September 26-29. That would cover up to eight people.

But things started unraveling on Tuesday.  The forecast wasn't looking good, but it wasn't yet horrible either.  A bit of rain, cooler temps than we were hoping. We sent a flurry of emails around to confirm last minute details.

Wednesday morning DR pulled out sick.  He'd been fighting strep and it rebounded with a vengeance.  four days hiking in the wet and cold wouldn't help.  The forecast at the start of Wednesday was alright for Thursday and Friday - 20% chance of rain at night, highs of 47 or so and sun during the day, with Saturday and Sunday looking worse at 50% chance of rain during the day. We figured we could just cut the trip short.

The about 2pm on Wednesday the forecast updated.  It was 50% chance of rain all day Friday and 60-70% chance of rain/snow both Saturday and Sunday.  The high temperature for all four days was 42.


25 and I were skeptical Wednesday morning and our resolve gave out by those updated forecasts. We both like hiking and camping but four days of cold, wet mud didn't seem like fun. Cold you can plan for.  Wet is a whole other beast.

In what has become typical style, 25 and I made the most of it.  We decided to keep Thursday and Friday off work. We would drive over the pass and spend Wednesday night in Cashmere, a tiny town in fruit orchards. Then spend Thursday strolling around, going to a distillery I had a Groupon for tasting and tour, lunching in Leavenworth, the German themed town that will shortly be inundated for Oktoberfest, and then come home.

Or not.

Snoqualmie pass through the mountains was closed when we tried to drive over it on Wednesday. A detour would mean we wouldn't get in to Cashmere until ten. We took that as a sign that we should pack it in for the night.

Attempt number two at making the most of it!  Thursday morning we woke up, headed out and make it to Leavenworth.  Lunch of brats and beer at Gustav's was good.  I have an Oktoberfest beer that was mildly disappointing.  The brats for only $7.50 were a deal and it wasn't too packed. The town was busy but not overloaded.

We then made it to Cashmere where we went to It's 5 o'clock Somewhere Distillery where the owner gave us a tour and imparted knowledge. It was interesting to see the still and facility.  We also tried pear and cherry brandies, grappa, rhubarb liqueur, moonshine (corn whiskey) and gin.  A bottle of the rhubarb made it home with us as well as two cool glasses.  We also went to The Cider Mill for samples of three types of hard cider and several non-alcoholic ciders as well. We ended up, surprisingly, with a non alcoholic bottle or the original apple cider from there.

A stop at Milepost 111 Brewery was disappointing as it wasn't a brewery, but a brew pub.  That said, we each enjoyed a beer and nachos on happy hour, the whole lot setting us back a mere $9.81. The nachos were excellent.

A short drive back to Leavenworth to walk around and hit Icicle Brewing.  They have only a cold kitchen but the meat & cheese plate was stellar.  We had a six beer sampler with an additional taster of Apres Fresh, their fresh hopped beer. The tasting room is beautiful with a view into the brewing area and lot of lovely wood. I would definitely recommend a visit.  The only beer I found disappointing was their Priebe Porter, but was happily surprised by the IPA and Helles Lager.

It was a long drive back.  25 did all the driving.  I like riding with him because I always feel safe.  I even dozed a bit on the drive back.  It was cold and dark at 10:30 when we got home, our home.  It still feels neat to say since he's more or less officially living here.

Today we are cleaning house, moving him in, taking care of the To Do list. We'll pack more of his things up and move them here,  we have a Do Nothing day planned before the weekend is out.  25 was looking a bit burnt out as we've been going full tilt lately; work all week then completely full weekends. I'm grateful to have a day to give him as a reprieve.  It wasn't the weekend we'd planned but I think we're both enjoying it nonetheless. One more addition to the list of why 25 is wonderful: his ability to flex with the situation and make it into a fantastic opportunity, not a stressful issue.

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