Pilgrimage to the Okanogan

I’d forgotten how multi-layered and gorgeous the sky can be in Central Washington where the state changes from grays and greens to blues and browns:

Once we reached Omak, we found a rainbow waiting for us at this little park we’d never discovered before.

Dinner at my favorite restaurant in the world: The Breadline Cafe, where the atmosphere, food, and drink is the best of Washington: warm, crisp, quirky, organic, local, indie, piquant, and personal.


A tumbleweed lurking just off the main drag in Omak, good for giggles after dinner.

This morning, we drove by the elementary school for old times’ sake and found the trees gloriously ablaze:

And on to get apples and pears from my favorite fruit stand, Smallwood Farms:

We loaded up with Macintosh, Fuji, and Golden Delicious apples, and Bartlett, D’anjou, and Asian pears–enough for fresh eating, neighbors, and processing.

After living in Okanogan, I’m mindful of the migrant farm laborers whose work gave me these apples. Here’s a row of shacks that house the pickers during harvest time. Grapes of Wrath, anyone?

And finally, a stop at Orondo Cider Works where we found the air redolent with the essential aroma of autumn: wood smoke, apple cider, and fresh doughnuts.

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6 thoughts on “Pilgrimage to the Okanogan

  1. Next time visit Conconully Lake, Omak Lake, the Okanogan River, Green Lake, Rebecca Lake, Wanacutt Lake, Palmer Lake, Spectacle Lake, Fish Lake, Blue Lake, Leader Lake, Mocassin Lake, Black Pine Lake, the Twisp River, the Methow River, the Columbia River, Dry Falls, Sun Lakes, Whitestone Lake, Chopaka Lake, and Big Goose and Little Goose Lakes, you will see some really beautiful scenery in the Okanogan.

    Thanks for the post.

    Welcome to the Okanogan.

  2. Wow Ashley, it sure is beautiful there! I especially love the beautifully colored fall leaves. The leaves don’t seem to change color in San Francisco (other than a few brown ones here and there) and I find myself missing those beautiful orange and red hues incessantly this time of year.

  3. Hi Joseph–I’ve visited 8 of the places in your list; I’d like to see them all! Conconully State park on the edge of the lake was one of my favorite places to spend an afternoon with the kids, especially at this time of year.

    Hi Courtney! I love the bright colors too, and there aren’t so many here on the west side of the state, more browns and yellows. My hunch is that the vivid colors remind us of fire and warmth, which I’m craving nonstop these chilly days.

    Hi bzimmer! It was fun to visit, and revisit. I continue to be inspired by your beautiful photography and the great Budding Naturalist trips.

  4. The colors in the pictures are so vivid and really capture the feel of Okanogan. I have great memories of my visits to you there, and oh, the Cider Works doughnuts…mmmm. I’m glad you all had the opportunity to re-visit during harvest time. It is the epitome of the fall-time that I so miss here in AZ. Thanks for the great pictures!

  5. Hi Suzanne! Well, you may be missing out on fresh-pressed cider, but come wintertime, you’ll be marinating in fresh-squeezed orange juice there in AZ!

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