I appreciate this week’s challenge topic, because I have been prompted in more ways than one to be grateful for all the treasures that make life in our America wonderful. It would be so easy to wallow in misery at all the country’s problems, but we definitely need to step back and appreciate what we have.
One treasure that we recently had the pleasure of visiting, is Washington’s Bavarian Village of Leavenworth, in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Government restrictions brought on by the CCP Virus pandemic in 2020 prevented Leavenworth from putting on its weekly festivals for nearly two years, and severely curtailed tourist traffic at a town which has tourism as its primary industry. So when we went to the International Accordion Celebration last month, it brought us great joy, as usual. Its setting just east of Tumwater Canyon is spectacular, as shown by this photo of a building surrounded by mountains.
The main street of town is lined with buildings decorated to look like a Bavarian village. You know it’s all kitsch, but we love it anyway.
And then, I captured a treasure within a treasure.
All the well-behaved kids, on the bench outside the new gourmet ice cream shop. The line was long in front of that shop all week.
Even the road up to Leavenworth is a treasure, as it wends its way through Cascade Mountain passes, and along the Skykomish (west of the mountains) and Wenatchee (east of the mountains) rivers. It’s hard not to stop at every pullout to take pictures!
Just this week, I discovered a new treasure, right in my hometown of Everett, Washington. For years, the north end of the Everett waterfront on Puget Sound was populated with rundown buildings, and one or two existing marine businesses. In the past few years, after the Kimberly-Clark paper mill was emptied and torn down, the city and the port have been engaging in a complete revitalization of the area, and I had missed it completely! So when I went down there this past week, I was pleasantly surprised with what I found. There are two big new apartment buildings, a hotel, a big marina, and multiple restaurants now. The public areas are still under construction, but the marina and waterfront are open.
This fisherman statue commemorates the former main use of the waterfront on Port Gardner Bay. Today few commercial fisheries operate out of Everett.
The marina looked especially inviting on a calm day. But just a short walk down the pier, I found something that I don’t think celebrates serenity.
Whew! Take a look at those two massive outboard motors! I’ll bet that boat is fast, and loud, when in the water. There are a couple of yacht brokers on the waterfront, and that boat is very expensive at about $200,000.
Further down, there’s a walking path next to the channel.
If you look to the west, you can see the boat channel, and Jetty Island. There is a small foot-ferry that takes people over to Jetty Island in the summer, and I’ll bet it will be very busy this year after having been closed for the past two years.
Then, on a windier day, many people were flying kites on the island.
Of course, our real treasure at home is our black cat, Kikyo. She gives us untold hours of pleasure.