After a morning bike ride in Butte and a full work day followed by a night of driving west, we finally arrived to Coeur d’ Alene after midnight.  Our night’s sleep was too short and we promptly began the search for caffeine the next morning.  We discovered the fabulous Java on Sherman – our new favorite coffee shop.  With good food, Stumptown coffee and a great atmosphere, it was clear why it stayed packed with both locals and tourists all day.

After a productive day, we took a walk around Coeur d’Alene, which was in full swing with the summer season.  Everyone strolled around with ice cream in their bathing suits and it looked and felt just like a beach town.  We realized that we always stop at this vacation destination on our way to somewhere else.  Next time we’ll have to stay awhile.

 

Downtown Lake Views

 

Pirates of Coeur D’Alene

 

Glad to be here

 

Go Hydroplane Racing

 

The Lake is full of action

 

But today was not to be the day to stay, so we climbed back into Frank and kept driving.  4 hours later, we arrived at Leavenworth, WA.

Built in 1892, Leavenworth was a traditional bustling timber railroad town.  When the railroad relocated to nearby Wenatchee in the 1920’s, Leavenworth’s economy suffered severely.

In 1962, the city planners came up with a plan to revitalize the community and transformed the entire downtown into a Bavarian village.   Their plan succeeded and now the “Leavenworthians” channel Bavaria  from the tips of their Tyroleans to the toes of their Lederhosen.

 

Leavenworth WA – a taste of Bavaria in the Cascades

 

All buildings in Leavenworth are required to follow code.   Here there are no golden arches at McDonalds and no mermaid at Starbucks.  Mullioned windows and gabled roofs are required and the effect is surreal.  Combine this with some of the most enjoyable people we’d met to date and we were thoroughly charmed.  Our 8 hour stay turned into two days as we explored more of this unique place.

 

Mainstreet Leavenworth

 

Skiing and Mountain Climbing in surrounding hills lend to the town’s vibrant, active persona

 

And of course, just like in Germany, the beer is world class

 

The Sausage Garten – please eat safely

 

Typical Leavenworth Decoration

 

Flowers light up the town

 

From our quiche at Good Mood Food to appetizers at the Sausage Garten and burgers on the deck of Gustav’s, we enjoyed every gastronomic minute.   But by Thursday, we knew our Bavarian days were numbered and it was time to finish our trip towards Seattle.  We hit the road one last time and got to Seattle in time to meet up with Andy and sleep our first night his 42 foot Catalina named Journey.  This would be the first night of our amazing month and a half on the water.   It was good to be aboard!