by Kalie Wertz
Having lived by the blue span of the Pacific
my whole life, moving to the Wenatchee Valley has been my boldest
undertaking to date. “So what will you do out there?” friends
asked me, bewildered that I would willingly move inland. “I'm
seeking adventure,” I replied with false confidence.
Approaching Wenatchee for the first
time along the Columbia River, the desire to start this 'living it
up' process made me antsy to jump out of the car and hike the river
into town. Once here, I was lucky to discover that my AmeriCorps
housemates felt the same way about the year ahead. And so our
AmeriCorps Bucket List was born. With its creation came the
realization that we only have 40 weekends in our service contract to
finish a list that has been growing daily.
Photo: Rock climbing! That one belongs on the Bucket List.
Because I happen to be the newest staff
member at WenatcheeOutdoors, it seemed appropriate to share an
abridged version, listing a few of the backyard outdoor excursions that
local residents are likely to take for granted but open up a wealth
of excitement for newbies such as myself. While the world has its Seven
Wonders, I have found that Wenatchee Valley one-ups that list with
eight mystical wonders that are must-dos for anyone living in or
visiting the area. As both a new AmeriCorps member and new
member of the Wenatchee community, I came with the goal to 'live it
up' this year – at least to the extent that is possible on my
meager monthly stipend.
Hike Saddle Rock. Best
views of the city? Sign me up!
Ski Mission Ridge.
–Skis and snowboards are foreign objects when you come from the
land of surfboards.
Snowshoe Squilchuck Park. Really? There are shoes designed for walking over snow?
Climb Castle Rock. With 25 different routes ascending all sides, I have to get up
at least one.
Walk, Ride, or Skip Apple
Capital Loop Trail. Wish my hometown had a trail like this at its doorstep. I'm going to enjoy this one while I can.
Camp at Lake Chelan. Coming from the land of smog and chlorinated water, I must wake up to the smell of evergreens and wade in the country's purest water.
Canoe the Columbia. I've only just arrived and already a weekend of drifting and relaxing on the calm Columbia sounds idyllic.
- Raft Wenatchee
River Whitewater. This one terrifies me the most, but this year is all about stepping outside my comfort zone.
Eight happens to be my lucky number,
making me confident that these local destinations will not
only expose me to adventures I've been so craving, but to experiences
impossible to sample had I never left the big blue.
Editor's Note: We're excited to have Kalie working with us at WenatcheeOutdoors over the year ahead. She's a good writer and a quick study on the technology we use to run the website. She may not know it yet, but we'll be forcing a lot more outdoor adventure upon her than those things on her bucket list. That's not a bad list ... for her first month here.