Since I am new in the Leavenworth area I am anxious to find the local, not too strenuous trails. My boss recommended the nature trails behind the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. I was not disappointed, but couldn't go the whole way quite yet because of snow on parts of the trail.
I needed to walk all the way through the Fish Hatchery, shown in the blue rectangle, to get to the trail, shown in red. I crossed a bridge over Icicle Creek and found myself in a beautiful, partially forested area.
The open meadow near the trail gave me this lovely view of the snow covered mountains surrounding Leavenworth. I have yet to learn the names of each peak, all part of the Cascade Range dividing eastern Washington from western Washington.
To my delight I found these sign posts along the trail. Each one had an amusing painting of a bear, the name of each one along with a brief description. This one said:
"I could be a black bear asleep in the shade,
with a belly full of berries in a rain forest glade."
The sign on the left was presented as a riddle "Who Am I?" with paw prints and clues as to what animal it could be. The answer was to be given on the next sign up the trail a ways. The sign on the right revealed the animal described on the last sign. So intriguing! I guessed them all correctly and wished I could have proceeded further on through the snow to see them all.
The little poem for the bear cubs on the sign below said:
"If I were a bear cub, I'd take naps beneath a willow
on a blanket of tundra with a wildflower pillow."
These two wooden structures on the bank of Icicle Creek looked like the very old fishing platforms constructed by the Native Americans. They would stand on them and cast out for fish. I can't imagine that these are authentic platforms because of all the construction and rock moving done in the area, but maybe someone put them up as a reminder of how the local salmon were caught in the 'old days'.
The Hatchery is still closed right now, but as soon as it opens in the spring and one can see the salmon, I intend to take the tour. I will be doing another blog about that!
I found this beautiful stained glass mosaic on the wall of one of the buildings. It commemorates the yearly Salmon Festival in Leavenworth. So...I am waiting for the rest of the trail to be revealed perhaps in a couple of weeks, as the snow continues to melt, so I can traverse the entire area. What fun I have to look forward to!