As Jonty mentioned earlier, the last bouldering stop on our trip was to the Bavarian metropolis of Leavenworth, WA (pop. 1992). As usual, we’re highlighting our time in the town and giving a breakdown of useful RV info.
April 25th – May 7th, 2015
Where to stay:
- Icicle Creek Road: There are many state-run campgrounds along Icicle Creek Road (where a large part of the bouldering/climbing is). Most cost around $20/night and have drinking water available, but no site hook-ups. Since we couldn’t get water/dumping hook-up for anything less than $40/night, we opted to park (for free!) in a big parking-lot-style pull-out (specially designated for RV usage) near the upper end of Icicle Creek Road. This was a major score, as it was close to the climbing area, it was quiet, and the views were fantastic!
- RV Parking lot in town: As you pull into the town, there’s a big parking lot for buses, trucks and RV’s. Signs in the lot indicate overnight parking is allowed once per seven days. It’s a 5-minute walk into the downtown area, so we parked here on an evening when we wanted to try the local craft brewery. It’s a good free spot once a week, well worth saving for when having a night out!
- KOA Kampground: We only used this KOA for their RV dumping; it seemed pricey ($40 – $70/night!!).
- Icicle River RV: This resort was closer to the Icicle Creek bouldering, but was still quite pricey in our opinion ($40 – $45/night). They did not offer RV dumping-only rates.
Where to shop:
- Safeway: Standard stuff.
- Dan’s Market: This is the local store, we tried it once, but it seemed no cheaper than Safeway, with equivalent quality but less selection.
Where to eat:
- Munchen Haus Bavarian Grill: We had to try the sausages! We tried the Big Bob Bratwurst and Helga’s Giant Kelbassi, with a variety of house-made mustards and apple-cider kraut (we both preferred the BBB). It’s a nice venue to sit outside, have a beer and a brat, and people-watch in the sunshine!
- Rudloof’s Pizza: We celebrated Jonty sending two V7s in one day with the Bavarian pizza (stone-ground mustard, sauerkraut, brats and peppers), a combination that was surprisingly delicious! Now we want to try making our own mustard and give this combo a whirl at home!
- The Gingerbread Factory: The best bakery! We sampled their treats… many times 🙂 Anything with ginger was superb (the men, the loaf etc.), and the raspberry scones were the best we’ve had in a long time!
Where to drink:
- Icicle Brewing Company: This local craft brewery produced some really great-tasting craft beer. If you sit upstairs, you can look out the window to people-watch, or overlook the brewing operation below. They offer a small selection of food; the meat and cheese platter was a staff-favourite.
Where to shower:
- Your RV. Places were limited, apparently you can get a shower at the KOA for a fee, but we didn’t bother asking about it. We made more use of our small RV shower in the last two weeks of our trip, than we did during the previous 2.5 months!
Where to recycle:
- Man, it’s a hard knock life! Again, there was road-side pick-up for residents, but nothing else. We found a big recycling bin behind a store (presumably just for the store), and dumped all our recycling in there. Jonty kept a look-out while his wife did the stealth-recycling.
Where to fill-up and dump:
- KOA Kampground: There was an RV Dumping station at the campground, for $10+tax. We thought this was not unreasonable, considering they’re the only place you can pay for dumping without having to stay the night.
Where to cycle:
- Anywhere! There seemed to be a strong cycling community here. The roads in town had designated cycling lanes, and there were always cyclists traveling the Icicle Creak Road. With scenery like this, you really can’t go wrong! If you’re looking for hills to climb, you won’t be disappointed.
Where to get Beta:
- Leavenworth Mountain Sports: This store is right next to the big RV parking lot, as you head into town. They have a good range of gear to buy and to rent (including the guidebook, if you need it).
We enjoyed our time in Leavenworth a lot, everything felt easy. Even though the downtown is definitely catering to tourists, there is still a nice laid-back feel to the place. It’s a very active community (climbing, kayaking, skiing, cycling) and we felt quite comfortable there – we could have stayed for another two weeks with little difficulty!