I’ll admit, it feels a little weird posting something happy on today, the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It feels crazy to me that I was just 15 when it happened, and 19 years later, I’m living life all the way across the country. I know, however, that no words I share will express the collective sadness and memories surrounding that day, so all I can do is continue to share and live my life with my family to the absolute fullest. So, as we remember the tragedy of that day, we also take the time to enjoy the love and experiences we are still able to have as a family today. One of those amazing experiences we had recently was our second camping trip as a family of five. I shared our trip from a few weeks ago when we went wild camping near Spider Lake. Today, I wanted to share our experience camping in Leavenworth, WA.
We’ve been to Leavenworth before, but we’ve only gone once. Leavenworth is kind of a beautiful mix of complexities. It’s known for its authentic Bavarian village, which we visited last fall. This time, however, we wanted to beat the fall madness, even if they aren’t going to have a traditional Oktoberfest due to COVID. We decided on a whim that we wanted to send Ryan’s block leave out in style, so we booked a campsite at the Leavenworth/Pine Village KOA. This was our first time at a traditional marked campsite, and I booked it because it was meant to be incredibly hot during our stay, soaring into the 90s each day.
Spoiler alert: it was a great decision!
While we love wild camping, there was something nice about being able to take advantage of the KOA amenities while in Leavenworth. The kids loved the playground onsite and, though the pool was closed like most are this summer, we had direct river walk access, and we were able to spend a smoldering evening in the Wenatchee River and cool off. The nights, thankfully, were cool for the duration of our stay, dipping into the low 60s, and we were smart and stayed midweek from Tuesday until Thursday. We wanted to beat the Labor Day traffic before our trip to Lake Kachess, and we definitely succeeded.
Originally, we made plans to hike during our stay in Leavenworth, but because the temperatures were pushing closer to 100 each day, we decided it was a tall order for the kids, and we knew it would lead to a lot of undue comfort. The KOA recommended tubing, but we originally wrote it off because A) the kids are so young and B) we brought Danny with us. One of our campsite acquaintances, however, mentioned that Leavenworth Outdoor Center had options for families, as well as for dogs, so we jumped at the chance!
We opted for the two-mile tubing adventure, clipping our tubes together and opting for an extra tube for our cooler. As you float down the river, you glide past Enchantment park, fun waves caused by the merging of the Icicle River, and petite shallows with sandy beaches alongside them. I’ll admit, we may have stretched the patience of the kids a tiny bit, but overall it was such a great experience! We haven’t tubed since I was pregnant with Spencer living in Arizona. We also did great…all the way until the end. Right as you reach Blackbird Island, you have two options; you can go around the island to extend your trip about 25 minutes, or you can go straight past Sucker Rock to the end. We opted for the latter and crashed directly into Sucker Rock. Ryan and Mieke flipped (but are obviously fine), and we made it to the end in one piece. Overall though, it was such a fun experience for all of us.
We’re learning a lot through each camping trip we take, and our experience camping in Leavenworth, WA was no exception. KOA was a fantastic place to stay in Leavenworth, offering easy access to all the best locations and amenities, and the kids were comfortable and easily entertained. Altogether, it was a beautiful send-off to summer we won’t soon forget!
Tell me – have you camped at all this summer?