Jennifer and I had been plotting this trip for a while, but weather and work kept getting in the way. This time I had a span of four days off and a better weather window to work from. The goal was to head to the dryer east side of the Cascades, and spend a night in the van. OK, not tent camping, but a start. We considered tent camping, but since we'd be in the van anyway, why bring a tent?
First thing we learned was that Mirabelle needs breaks from the two hour car trip. She slept a bit on the way over, but perhaps awoke from pressure in her ears as we cleared Steven's Pass. We made a few stops on the way over to comfort her and opted to stop in Leavenworth to walk around and give her a nap.
We did touristy things for a bit and then hung out by the Wenatchee River where she got her feet wet and played in the sand. We had dinner in town before setting out to our destination of Glacier View Campground in Wenatchee National Forest.
The Glacier View Campground is a great car camping destination if you are going to be kayaking on Lake Wenatchee. However, it is not well suited to our purpose of just parking the van and camping in it. Most sites have a walk in, so many do not have good platforms to park and camp. We did a lap before opting on site 18 where we got ready for the night.
Camping went well and we all slept in the pop top through the night. I had pillow issues which left me with a stiff neck/back the next day, but Mirabelle appeared refreshed when we awoke the next morning. We intended to hike up to Hidden Lake, but typical of mid summer in the Cascades, the mosquitoes were biting. Since we didn't wish to bundle her up too much, and we wouldn't dream of putting deet on Mirabelle, we turned back and figured we could find a less biting option near Leavenworth.
Mirabelle fell asleep in the car ride and we drove up Icicle Creek hoping for a place to hike. When she awoke we tried to hike up the Snow Creek Trail a bit, but that proved too sunny, even with her hat and sunglasses. We once again went back into town to Riverfront Park. We hiked a bit there before stopping at the same locale on the river to have her play in the sand and eddy.
Overall I think this trip went well. We'll perhaps try our first tent outing this summer as well. We may also return to Leavenworth in the autumn when the sun is not so strong but it is drier than the west side. When we got home MIrabelle was a little flush and we thought she had gotten a sun burn. It dissipated, and we were relieved that we were not bad parents.