Da road to Daroga
The Auvil family, Orondo’s megaorchardists, has a history of knowing a good thing when they see it. Such as? Their quirky “Gee Whiz” label has become one of the fruit industry’s most recognized brands. So it’s no surprise that, let’s see, half a century ago, the Auvils reshaped the shoreline below their headquarters into a treeWashington State Parks and Recreation Commission lined lagoon that eventually became one of the most idyllic parks on the Columbia River. Legend says the three Auvil brothers — David, Robert and Grady — puzzled over a park name for months before meshing the first few letters of their own names into Daroga. It stuck, and now Daroga State Park attracts thousands of visitors a year. A prized peach — Daroga Red — introduced by the Auvils in the 1960s also shares the name.
Hike into history
Looking for a good walking destination? (No, not happy hour at the local pub.) Then head for the historic barn at Horse Lake Reserve, one of the most bucolic spots along the Wenatchee Foothills trail system. Built in 1911, the barn was originally part of Cherry Springs Ranch, a productive outfit owned by the homesteading Barnhill family. They raised wheat, oats, apples, cattle, hogs Chelan-Douglas Land Trust and sheep using water from three local springs. The barn’s classic lines boast a gable roof with cupola, huge double doors and a trolley and fork for handling hay. The century-old structure, now in the care of the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, is listed on the state Heritage Barn Register. Find it at the end of Horse Lake Road, a half-mile past the new trailhead. The barn is closed to the public for repairs.
The most impressive thing about downtown Wenatchee’s hanging baskets isn’t their quantity — more than 90 along a four-block stretch of Wenatchee Avenue. And it’s not their surprising variety of p-p-petunias — plentiful plants populate passels of pretty places. Most impressive is the supernova size of those flowering fireworks, with their streaming tails of brilliant colors, like living explosions growing larger week by week until … gads, those suckers get big. Green-thumbed gurus with the city and Wenatchee Downtown Association credit potting soil and Miracle-Gro, but we’re skeptical. Some kind of petunia magic is going on here, and we demand to know the secret. “Put down that spray nozzle, son, and nobody’ll get hurt.”
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Published on Apr 20, 2012