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Thursday July 28- Cashmere and Wantachee.

I worked on my next article for about 2 hours, then we went to Cashmere and Wantachee. We had found that if we turn right out of the RV park, it was a shorter drive to Leavenworth and Rt. 2. This takes us through the town of Plains, which has a small variety store, RV storage and a hardware store. The mph on the road out of town is 50. Strange, as it is very curvy and goes over a mountain. Glad that we had not come to the Thousand Trails from that direction, as the GPS might have sent us over this route. It is okay, in the car, at 30 mph, but we are very glad that we did not do this route in the motor home.

Our first stop was this little store on Rt. 2 east of Leavenworth,  which turned out to be much larger and nicer than expected. We thought it was going to be a tourist trap, but it turned out to be a nice store selling quality items. We bought two great looking chocolate chip cookies in the bakery right in the entrance. Then we wandered into what we thought was the main part of the store. One side held kitchen items, but right next to them was Honeywood wines. Had to pick up 3 bottles of them!

There were a lot of ‘tastings’ of jams, jellies, mustards, popcorn, flavored honey, barbecue sauces, and marinades. The store was much larger than it appeared, with lots of different rooms. They sold several beers, but Bob did not want any of them right now. It took us about an hour to cruise through the store. We left $58 poorer, but with some great stuff!

We continued east to the town of Cashmere.

The GPS listed several restaurants, and we chose ‘Rise and Shine’. Turned out that was just a Bakery. So we bought some sourdough bread. I asked the clerk which restaurants she suggested, so she sent us to ‘ The Best Bite” No wonder, they use her breads! We snagged a table outside, and ate our sandwiches. Bob had a Cuban and I had a Ruben. One thing I really like about the northwest is that most restaurants offer the option of ordering smaller items. In this case, they noted that the smaller sandwich had less bread and meat. Sounded good to me! If what I received was the smaller version, I would have hated to buy the larger one! I ate only at ½, and took the rest with me. We also split an order of the best sweet potato fries we have ever had!

With our tummies full, we continued on to the Cotlet/Aplet factory store.

You have probably had one of these candies and never knew what they were. We had seen signs for ‘Cots’, and were curious as to what a ‘Cot’ was; turns out it is an apricot candy, that the locals call ‘Cots’; here is one cut in half. 

The next factory tour was not for another 25 minutes, so we sampled a few of the candies, then bought some orange/walnut ones and left. This is what a Cotlet looks like. The inside is a fruit, kind of jelly, but thicker than a jelly, then covered with powdered sugar. They are very good!

We continued south through town to the Cashmere Cider Mill and their tasting room. We declined the tour, as we have toured cider mills in Vermont. They offered free tastings of  5 of their 10 ciders. We started with a plain cider. They bottle their ciders in wine bottles. An entire bottle of their plain cider is 90 calories! The plain cider was a combination of Granny Smith and some yellow apples. It was okay, but not great. All of the ciders, except their heritage cider use the plain cider as their base. The second cider was the cherry cider using the plain cider with local cherry juice added. I liked this one a lot! The third cider was the lavender cider. There was another couple present. The man and Bob refused the lavender. I tried it, so the other lady decided to try it. I would not buy it, but it was better than I expected. In fact, it was much better than any of the other lavender flavored items we had tried back at the Lavender Festival in Sequim.

The next cider was the blackberry. Bob really liked this cider. The final cider was the heritage cider. It was made from a combination of 6 different ‘heritage’ apples. Heritage fruits (and vegetables) are usually from plants or trees that are over 100 years old. They have not been genetically engineered, meaning that they are still the original variety. In this case, the apples are not the pretty ‘apple’ shaped fruits that we see in the grocery store. They may be odd shapes and are much smaller. They also tend to have more flavor. This cider was good, but the price was almost double the price of the other ciders, so we passed. We purchased a bottle of the cherry and the blackberry.

Then we were off to Wenatchee, to Walmart and Albertsons. They did not have a ‘Super Walmart’, but they were in the process of converting the store to a Super Walmart. We were able to purchase many of the items on our grocery list. One thing that we have found in our travels is that milk is more expensive at Walmart than at the grocery stores! A ½ gallon of 1% milk at this Walmart was $1.98. At Albertsons, the same milk was $1.58. We have found this type difference everywhere we have traveled, and we think this is because the grocery stores use the milk as their cost leader, and Walmart doesn’t.  We continued on to Albertsons where we found fresh,  sock-eye salmon filets, 5 oz, for $2 each. We bought 2 and grilled them for dinner.

On the way back to the Thousand Trails, we stopped for ice cream at ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’s’.

We had seen the sign that they had 24 flavors of soft ice cream. The restaurant had a 50’s theme. Bob ordered a small blackberry and I ordered a small German Chocolate Cake. As you can see, small is relative.

I can’t imagine how big the large is! They were excellent. The gal took vanilla ice cream, added flavor, churned the ice cream in a cup, the put a cover over it, and ran it through a machine that made it come out into the cone.

On the way back, we returned via the long way, through the town of Leavenworth. By now, it was after 4 PM, so their weekly Farmers Market was in full swing. We stopped and looked, but even the cherries were expensive. Yesterday we bought 2 lbs. of Rainiers, the large ones, for $2.50 a lb. Today, at this market, they were $4.99 per lb. Still cheaper than in Maryland!

We continued our drive back to the campground, stopping for the road construction, and stopping at a stand to pick up firewood for $3.99 a bunch. Usually, the least we can find it for is $4.99.  We grilled the excellent salmon and had a campfire. We did not last long at the campfire, as the weather had gotten warmer, and the mosquitoes were out in force. Even the dogs did not want to stay out; they wanted back into the motor home and let us know it!







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