Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wenatchee - a walk by the Columbia River

A few years ago , the Apple Capitol Recreation Loop Trail was opened. It follows both sides of the Columbia River and is about 10 miles long. Instead of going back to Lydia's house on the eastern side of the river by car, I decided to walk back along the trail.

I headed north along the river, across the bridge at the top and then back down the eastern side. Lydia's house is near the green golf course at the lower right.

I headed off over the pedestrian bridge to the river.

Brew pub near the tracks.

Tracks to Seattle.

Looking back to the city area.

An old shunting diesel engine.

The river came into view.

The Columbia River is 1243 miles long and drains the north west corner of the US. There are many dams along its route and the river flows quite slowly.

The Wenatchee Riverfront Railway is a 10" gauge miniature railway.

I started heading north along the path beside the railway. Oddly enough, despite searching for about five minutes, I can't find any photos of a train on the tracks.

A dry weather garden.

I suspect this is place where water is taken from the river. Since the climate is so dry, the green grass you will see in this blog is all irrigated.

A pontoon for rowers.

Rowing shed where the hulls are stored.

A sad story.

I knelt down and touched the water and managed not to fall in.

Back on the path.

Presumably the irrigation pipes are buried.

The contrast between the green grass and the brown hills in the background is striking.

Spiffy volleyball court.

Other play sets as well as tennis courts and other sporting facilities. I suspect this is a good place to grow up in as a child.

Interesting sculpture with the story below.

It's very pleasant strolling along beside the river. Here I was approaching a wet-land area just outside the main flow of the river.

There is one section where you walk along an uninteresting street.

The 'Confluence' is where the Wenatchee River enters the Columbia.

Bird viewpoint.

This is what it would look like without the irrigation.

Bicycle and pedestrian bridge over the Wenatchee River.

Where the Wenatchee River enters the Columbia.

Rail bridge over the Wenatchee.

I was passed by quite a few people on bicycles. It is a ten mile loop and relatively flat so quite easy for a bike ride. Most of the riders were very courteous and would either ring a bell or say 'on your left' as they approached from the rear.

I met a few other walkers along the way closer to the city but virtually none in this area and on the eastern side.

Camp ground.

The left side of the path is not irrigated.

One of the huge apple packing plants. This is only a small part of it.

Some geese.

The path was lined with these lamps, all of which were turned on which seemed to be wasteful.

Restrooms that were not open on weekdays.

The highway bridge over the Columbia came into view.

I went round the bend at top speed without even slowing down.

This train line continues north up to the Canadian border. Here is a link to an interactive map of all the train lines in the USA.

A train made an appearance to show that the line is still used.

I started to walk across the Columbia.

Looking back south at the path where I had walked.

Looking north at the Columbia.

Arid looking hills.

The eastern edge of the river is lined with trees.

The city in the distance.

Without the irrigation it is a different world on the east bank.

Oddly enough I began to prefer the wilder look of the east bank to the manicured greenery of the west bank.

Looking back at the road bridge.

There are mile markers to let you know your progress. I had downloaded an official map but its mile markers were not the same as these markers so it was a bit confusing.

The city in the distance.

Every few miles on the eastern side there is an area where you can park your car and get access to the path.

Fancy house with vineyard.

It looks like the grapes have been harvested.

Apple orchard.

I noticed that the fruit was being picked. To my surprise I saw that they were using tripod ladders just the same as I used fifty years ago when I picked pears in Victoria. Now that is a job that I was happy to do just once. Especially in over 100 degree heat.

The eastern bank is much higher than the western bank. I suspect flooding occurred on the western bank before the dams were built. 

Where the Wenatchee River enters the Columbia on the other side.

I slowed down. Usually I walk about 3 mph.

This all looked so lush with the green grass and willow trees.

Eventually I arrived at the spot here I would leave the trail to return to the house. There are occasional benches along the way but I just kept walking. I reckon that if I sit down I will stiffen up.

Walking up the hill beside the road in the hot sun was not a joy. Fortunately I had been able to refill my water bottle a few times so I was not thirsty.

I had hoped to have a pleasant stroll beside the golf course but they were installing new pipes and the road was dug up with heavy equipment everywhere.

Still, it was a wonderful long walk which I really needed after  the days in the train. I tracked my walk and I did about eleven miles.

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