Grandpa Jack owns property near Leavenworth, a unique town in the Cascade Mountains.
Last week Julian, Dad and I adventured up into the hills that make up the eastern section of the property. We left our lodge in Plain and took the 15 mile Chumstick Highway to reach the rugged and beautiful hills.
Along the way, Dad told us about how his father had grown up in Plain during his senior year and that this property was special to him.
Since the location is in a key location close to Leavenworth – a town based on Bavarian architecture and well known as a tourist attraction – Grandpa Jack has a grand idea to build a lodge for people to stay in.
Many times he also told me about the vast number of trees located on the hills of his property, trees that would produce good lumber if they were logged. Although Grandpa’s logging days are over, he still has a love of felling timber.
After hearing so much about the property, Julian and I were excited to see it in the light of day. Upon arriving at the property we followed a road that crossed Chumstick Creek by means of a concrete bridge. This bridge, Dad told us, was the result of lots of effort and resources that Grandpa had poured into it.
We waded through low bushes, and climbed up a relatively gentle slope until we reached a clearing. Quiet blanketed the trees until a train passed by, hooting its horn past the stretch of trees between us and the highway.
Moving out of the heat of the sun, we entered the trees. Although it was cooler in the shade, the uphill grade increased fivefold. Instead of climbing straight up the sandy and unsteady hillside, we followed deer paths carved into the hills. I filmed the entire climb up, although much of the time I was scrambling to stay balanced.
Dad and Julian kept climbing uphill, and buoyed on by their unflagging enthusiasm, I climbed as well.
It seemed as if we would never reach the top, as reaching each peak only revealed a new peak to climb. Nearing the top of one of the peaks, I complained that if we keep on going, we would eventually climb to the peak of a mountain. Thankfully, we reached a rather flat area, and decided that this was high enough.
Overall, we hiked around a mile as the crow flies, and probably gained some hundreds of feet of elevation. Here’s a little video of our view from the top.
The length of the hike was less important, however, than the accomplishment of hiking to the top of Grandpa’s property, something that Dad had never done.
During the journey, we witnessed the beauty of the mountains and began to understand that whether through logging or a bed and breakfast, Grandpa Jack’s dream is still a possibility.