Overlooking the Columbia River Near Vantage, WA

Trueda’s Story:

We had hot fudge sundaes for dinner. Really. Just hot fudge sundaes for a late dinner tonight. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Of course we were both exhausted and not thinking straight, but so what?

Last night we stayed at the Apple Country B&B in Wenatchee and breakfast this morning was delicious. The innkeeper and cook Angie, originally from England, served up a full English breakfast with eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, tomatoes, mushroom, strawberries and cantaloupe, fresh local apples and pears, fresh bread, apple cake, oatmeal and sautéed apple slices. There was coffee for Michael and good English tea for me. We waddled from the table even though we hadn’t sampled all that was offered.

An after-breakfast visit to the Ohme Gardens gave us some much needed exercise. I could have happily spent all day there. Built on top of a barren ridge by a husband and wife beginning in 1929, this naturalistic alpine style garden is like being in a fairy tale with hidden waterfalls, fireplace chimneys and picnic lodges around every corner. The photo I’m posting today is from there. I especially enjoyed the more secluded areas but there were also excellent vistas of the confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia rivers.


The Ohmes owned 40 acres of land, 5 of which they worked as an apple orchard. When the bank wouldn’t give the Ohmes a loan to build a house during the Great Depression, they decided to start work on their backyard instead. On evenings and weekends they worked by hand hauling rocks, dirt and plants to just the spots they thought they ought to go. They built a place for campfires and a pond in which to teach their boys to swim. They built a small three sided picnic shelter with a fireplace and furnished it with a log table and chairs cut from logs. After about 10 years people started coming by to see what they had built. To reduce the number of visitors they started charging 25 cents admission but instead more people came. Over time their non-professional naturalized garden was recognized by national and international gardening organizations. Today it is owned and run by the local county parks district as a self supporting attraction. I thought it was well worth the entrance fee.

Most of our day was spent on the road. I’m glad the rest of our trip should have shorter drives as today‘s was too long. We passed a lot of stunning scenery but by mid afternoon we were too tired to really appreciate most of it.

By about 11am Michael needed food. If he doesn’t eat every few hours he gets more tired and can start to become cranky. This isn’t unusual with FTD. One common early symptom of FTD is overeating and always wanting food, particularly carbohydrates. We packed plenty of snacks but he needed something with protein and we didn’t have anything that would sufficiently satisfy that need. We spent the next hour looking for someplace for lunch. I don’t know if we just didn’t drive down the right streets or what, but all we found were closed restaurants or one or two very questionable places. Eventually we found a General Store with half filled shelves and came away with a Lunch-ables for Michael and a Kind nut bar for me.

Too tired to write anymore; off to bed.

(Finished next morning after some sleep)

Lessons re-learned: Shorter days are better for both of us. Focus on food availability, pick up a bag of nuts to have more protein options in car with us. Make sure to do fun stuff in the morning when our energy levels are highest. Remember memories are made of all the stuff – not just the highlights. Later on we’ll chuckle when we remember the General Store and other food options of the day.


Michael’s Story:

angies-apple-country-bnbLet me tell you about Angie. Angie is a lovely, somewhat older Englishwoman. She and her husband own and operate Apple Country, a bed-and-breakfast in Wenatchee. The six rooms are small, but adequate. The private bathroom was so small that I bumped my head against the wall in front of me when I sat on the toilet. The best part was the breakfast; it was a solid English breakfast: Eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes; all done to perfection. The apple coffee cake was really good. We took some with us when we left.

Several other people were there as well, which made for pleasant conversation over breakfast. Angie says that she has a number of more-or-less regular patrons, who have gotten to know each other over the years. She has, in effect, created a serendipitous community comprised largely of business travelers who prefer a real breakfast with real conversation in in a real home over an impersonal continental breakfast at a hotel. Angie even packs lunches for them if they wish.

Sadly, Angie and her husband may not be able to keep the business. They came to the States from England a number of years ago on an investment visa. Though they have created a successful business, US Immigration has decided not to renew their visa. All their appeals have been turned down. So they may have to sell this business that they created, and move back to England. She is philosophical about it: “We’ll move on and find something else.” It seems to me that they are exactly the kind of people we want to immigrate to the US. Apparently the bureaucracy doesn’t agree. There is a small “for sale” in their front yard. I left feeling a little sad.

Tonight we are in one of those generic chain motels in Baker City, Oregon. The room is bigger and I don’t bump my head on the wall in the bathroom, but I liked Angie’s place better.

I wish you well, Angie, in whatever adventures lie ahead for you and your family.