Because there were several active wildfires along Route 20, the northern corridor of Washington, we traveled east on Route 2 which runs through the center of the state. Leavenworth is located roughly in the center of the state of Washington, about 177 miles east of Seattle. It is a Bavarian-styled village with Alpine-style buildings with restaurants serving German beer. It is also the home of The Nutcracker Museum, which displays thousands of nutcrackers – some hundreds of years old. It was founded in 1995 by George and Arlene Wagner. Who knew there was a nutcracker museum? I certainly didn’t. Yet, I was somewhat of a collector when my daughter was involved with Ballet Arts Company and the annual production of “The Nutcracker Ballet.”
We stayed at Icicle RV which was a five minute drive into town and located on the Wenatchee River. I forgot to take a picture of our campsite, but we had access to the water.
At The Nutcracker Museum, all patrons can enter the building to browse the gift shop, but there is a $10 charge to go through the museum itself. I have never seen so many nutcrackers in one place! They were stacked on shelves behind a clear, glass shield. Some had signs that read, “Do Not Photograph”, due to their ancient beginnings dating back to Roman times. There are over 7,000 nutcrackers shown in many different woods and metals, ivory and man-made materials. The icon of the museum is Karl, a six-foot beer drinking Bavarian, carved by Karl Rappl of Oberammergau. Here are a few of my favorites.
On our last full day, we took a 4.31 mile-morning hike on Snow Creek Trail in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. It was my first “real” hike since my ankle injury. Equipped with hiking poles, it felt great to be back at it again.
That afternoon, we floated on the banks of the Wenatchee River on rented river tubes. The water was chilly but the air was warm. It was a relaxing two hours with little rapids, if any. We did see a family of raccoons nestling under the brush on the waters edge, but our phones/cameras were in the car.
Next stop, Idaho.