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How Do You Like Them Apples?

A day at the apple orchard


Washington may be considered the Apple Capital of the World, but it is the small town of Wenatchee in Eastern Washington that truly steals the apple harvest show. Just two and a half hours outside of Seattle, Wenatchee is an ideal road trip getaway, especially during the months of September and October when apple harvesting is at its peak and dozens of orchards hold harvest festivals to lure us city slickers onto the farm. With orchard tours, apple cider pressing, barbeques, and pumpkin patches galore families will find Wenatchee the ideal kid friendly retreat.

Dan and I made a day trip to Wenatchee on a whim (as we often do), it was late morning on a Saturday and with our fruit stocks dwindling, we thought, hey, why not? We set out ready to restock with freshly picked apples right from the orchard and enjoy a day of colorful fall foliage as we travelled east.

The drive was spectacular as we drove through the mountain passes towards Eastern Washington. Gradually the greenish yellow foliage progressed into vibrant oranges, reds, purples, and yellows. It was like watching the season change in fast forward. Atop the mountain pass the peaks in the distance were freshly coated in a dusting of snow and the air around us was a crisp 40 degrees.

As we steadily dropped in elevation into the arid, desert like Eastern side of the state, the landscape changed into one of rolling hills with minimal vegetation. The plants that can withstand Eastern Washington’s dry, hot summers are sparse, but in the fall their colors change into a spectacular rainbow associated with frosty nights and cool, clear days.

When we arrived in Wenatchee our destination was Orondo Cider Works, the choice was made primarily off a Lonely Planet guide book recommendation, but when we arrived, we couldn’t have picked a better day. Cider Works was in full throttle, with a Harvest Festival, apple bin tractor rides, and fruit tastings all under way. We quickly settled into a routine of lounging in the sun listening to the live music, sampling the local bounty, and stopping for a few photos here and there.


We of course had to participate in the apple bin tractor ride. We found it quite humorous that we were the only couple not accompanied by small children (apparently most 25 year olds have other ideas of fun), but we still had a good laugh as be bumped along the orchard paths in our wooden apple bin. The highlight was when the tractor driver stopped for questions and a small child piped up, “Can you show us how fast this thing can go?”



Following our bumpy ride we headed straight for the hard apple cider tastings, we were hoping for a stiff drink, but the hard ciders were sweet and bubbly and did nothing to promote a good buzz. Instead we found ourselves sampling the variety of homemade jams, cheeses, and salsas. The greatest taste test was of course the apples themselves. From tiny sour crab apples to the bulging and unnaturally large sweet Jonagolds, we had our fill and then some. In the end we stocked up on our tried and true favorite – Honey Crisp. Absolutely the most satisfying apple in existence, the Honey Crisp is sweet and juicy and perfectly crunchy. I have yet to meet an apple that trumps the Honey Crisp.


As our stomachs began to resemble the bulging Jonagolds we thought it best to finish our tour of Wenatchee and begin the winding drive home. Well, not before sampling the pumpkin doughnuts and milkshakes of course…

Posted by Jennylynn 06:30 Archived in USA Tagged food

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