by Kalie Wertz
Having lived by the blue span of the Pacific my whole life, moving to the Wenatchee Valley has been my boldest undertaking to date. “So what will you do out there?” friends asked me, bewildered that I would willingly move inland. “I’m seeking adventure,” I replied with false confidence.

Rock climbing! That one belongs on the Bucket List.

Approaching Wenatchee for the first time along the Columbia River, the desire to start this ‘living it up’ process made me antsy to jump out of the car and hike the river into town. Once here, I was lucky to discover that my AmeriCorps housemates felt thesame way about the year ahead. And so our AmeriCorps Bucket List was born. With its creation came the realization that we only have 40 weekends in our service contract to finish a list that has been growing daily.

Because I happen to be the newest staff member at WenatcheeOutdoors, it seemed appropriate to share an abridged version, listing a few of the backyard outdoor excursions that local residents are likely to take for granted but open up a wealth of excitement for newbies such as myself. While the world has its Seven Wonders, I have found that Wenatchee Valley one-ups that list with eight mystical wonders that are must-dos for anyone living in or visiting the area. As both a new AmeriCorps member and new member of the Wenatchee community, I came with the goal to ‘live it up’ this year – at least to the extent that is possible on my meager monthly stipend.

  1. Hike Saddle Rock. Best views of the city? Sign me up!
  2. Ski Mission Ridge. –Skis and snowboards are foreign objects when you come from the land of surfboards.
  3. Snowshoe Squilchuck Park. Really? There are shoes designed for walking over snow?
  4. Climb Castle Rock. With 25 different routes ascending all sides, I have to get up at least one.
  5. Walk, Ride, or Skip Apple Capital Loop Trail.  Wish my hometown had a trail like this at its doorstep. I’m going to enjoy this one while I can.
  6. Camp at Lake Chelan. Coming from the land of smog and chlorinated water,  I must wake up to the smell of evergreens and wade in the country’s purest water.
  7. Canoe the Columbia. I’ve only just arrived and already a weekend of drifting and relaxing on the calm Columbia sounds idyllic.
  8. Raft Wenatchee River Whitewater. This one terrifies me the most, but this year is all about stepping outside my comfort zone.

Eight happens to be my lucky number, making me confident that these local destinations will not only expose me to adventures I’ve been so craving, but to experiences impossible to sample had I never left the big blue.

This post was originally published on 9/14/13.

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