"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Four seasons add spice to our lives

By on October 25, 2020 in Outdoor Fun with 1 Comment
Red vine maple glows with morning dew. When you are at Lincoln Rock State Park, be sure to look up!

Story by Linda Reid

Photos by Ken Reid

When we moved from the west side of the state in 2016 after living in Seattle for over 60 years, we were (and still are) asked the same question by people on both sides of the mountains, “Why did you move to Wenatchee?” 

Like a mantra, we recite our reasons: more sunny days, less rain, less traffic, lower cost of living, a smaller community, and year-round outdoor activities within easy reach.

An entire “autumn leaf festival” is on display in one vine maple bush.

We had one more reason that seemed to surprise some of our inquirers. 

We wanted to experience living in a place that had four distinct seasons: the crisp, cold, snowy winters, green hillsides full of yellow balsamroot and purple lupines in the spring, the reliably warm (and even hot) summer days, where the moon and stars are visible more often than not, and the unsurpassed brilliance of the fall colors.

Of course, Western Washington has seasonal changes too, but over here they are more obvious, more intense, and cannot be ignored. The snow actually sticks around, spring explodes, summer morning sunrises and balmy evenings are common-place, and autumn’s sunny days and cold nights intensify the broad array of colors, thus prolonging our favorite season. 

Fall colors frozen in time during a frosty fall morning hike at Lake Wenatchee.

That brings me to our annual fall discovery tours. 

Ken is dedicated to capturing autumn in his photos. This has been a passion of his for decades. 

When I returned to teaching in my classroom every September, I was unable to find the time or energy to continue our summer camping trips, so he would go alone. Usually those trips took him into the Cascades and then on into NCW. 

I got to live vicariously through his pictures: the deep red vine maples and huckleberry brush, the yellows of the poplars, birch and larch trees, the variety of hues from orange, to burgundy, to brown, and rarest of all, colorful, frozen leaves touched by overnight frost when fall and winter collide. 

Riverfront Park in Wenatchee provides a path to walk, run, or bike in the heart of autumn.

In the long-ago days of capturing images on film, Ken tried to limit his high-volume photo-taking, but once the digital age arrived, there was nothing to curb his enthusiasm. 

Prints hung on our walls so we could celebrate autumn year-round. They beckoned us to take virtual pilgrimages to his favorite fall vistas. 

After our move to Wenatchee and my retirement from teaching, I was free to accompany Ken on his fall color treks. We love the Cascade passes with their stunning colors set against the backdrop of evergreens: White and Chinook passes to the south, Snoqualmie, Blewett and the North Cascades, each welcoming autumn in its own unique way. 

In our opinion, the incomparable Stevens Pass is the best place to view an informal version of an “autumn leaf festival,” nature’s “art exhibition” displaying every color in October’s palette. 

 On the east side of the Cascades, some of our favorite fall-color-hunting-grounds include the Methow Valley, Winthrop (including Pearrygin Lake, Mazama and Sun Mountain), the Okanogan, Leavenworth and Plain, Lake Wenatchee and Lincoln Rock State Parks, and the Apple Capital Loop Trail. (Ken has more fall pictures taken at Lake Wenatchee than any other place.) 

Thanks to our pop-up trailer, complete with its little furnace, we can comfortably camp well into October. 

We immerse ourselves in the varied shades of scarlet, tangerine, bronze, nutmeg, and lemon. 

I try to capture it all with words, but Ken comes much closer with his photography. 

The visions around us spice up our lives like cinnamon added to apple pie or hot-spiced cider. September and October speak to our souls, and we embrace them with all our senses. 

The autumn season is one more reason life is good.

Ken and Linda enjoy sharing their adventures with readers of The Good Life through their words and pictures and are grateful for the positive feedback.

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  1. Sue Nies says:

    Wow to both of you! Vivid pictures and vivid words! We miss you on this side of the state but can live vicariously through you on the east side. Thank you for sharing!

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