July 9th, 2004

Dancing Thru

Random trip trivia

I am realizing that writing up a full report is unrealistic, given my current Load o' Stuff. So here are some random bits.
Wolfhaven, International, southeast of Olympia, is a neat place. Wolf sanctuary and also breeding program for the reintroduction of wolves. You can "visit" the rescue wolves and those retired from breeding projects. The reintroduction wolves are not available, as wolves who are too friendly with humans end up as dead wolves. The Arizona red wolves were down to 28 individuals, and had started mating with coyotes, by the time the last were collected and put into the captive breeding project. They have Saturday night "howl-ins" in the summer, where you can enjoy music and camp with (and howl with) the wolves.

Rhodie's Barbecue, at the foot of Snoqualomie Pass has the best Tennessee-style pulled pork barbecue I've had in *years.* Which is amusing, since it's stuck in back of a gas station minimart. This was good for two stops.

Leavenworth, Washington is charming. Great food, though the sheer number of specialty shops made my brain hurt. (I just never got the shopping gene.) Topper's Bakery, on the back street of town, is a fantastic European-style bakery that has the best cream horns I've had since England. Great (cheap!) breakfasts, too. Great food all over town. Great music all over town.

The annual International Accordion festival was also going on. Great music. I still can't figure out why accordions are the butt of so many jokes. Association with the 1950's? (Hey, Betty Page was from the '50's, too!) But accordions are so much more than a lot of people credit, and these folks were so GOOD.

The Aplets/Cotlets plant (I can't call it a "factory," though they do) is pretty much a mom-and-pop operation. They make the candy in a plant not much bigger than an average house. (Heck, there are a couple houses on my street that are *much* bigger!) Blew me away, because these fruit goodies are *everywhere.* Most of it is hand labor, too. I took the "factory tour" and have a whole new respect for my favorite candy. (I'm a sucker for food/drink processing tours, anyway.) If I lived near there, I'd be in serious trouble, since the gift shop sells "irregulars" in bulk bags.

Rural Washington state, particularily touristed areas, must be ground 0 for the Red Hat Society. I saw women in purple and red *everywhere,* usually in clumps. Shops selling red hats and purple clothing are all over. Some have entire boutiques given over to it, including jewelery of women in red hats. I started feeling distinctly uncomfortable that a sizable part of the wardrobe I had with me was purple, and decided to wear more green and khaki. (Since I've been back, I've been wearing green and khaki *with* my purples, to show my individuality.)

Bavarian Cellars, in Leavenworth, has some of the best ice wine I've had. Of course, this being *my* vacation, I ended up with a case of wine in the car, before I was done.
  • Current Music
    Accordion music