Category Archives: NCW Tidbits

North Central Washington Ghost Signs:  Cashmere

Ghost signs can be found anywhere.  Out in the middle of nowhere or in cities of all sizes.  They can also be found in small towns, and that’s what we’re taking a look at here with a visit to Cashmere.

Cashmere is just a short drive west from Wenatchee and has a lot to offer, including a fun downtown area for shopping and eating, plenty of park space and access to the Wenatchee River, and an incredible museum.  In sign hunting though we’re after a different kind of history.  A kind that is usually found looking up.

A faded Cashmere warehouse

We have a lot of warehouses, mostly of the fruit variety, here in North Central Washington and some have very interesting signs painted on them.  Over the years, signs fade though.  Some are merely plain lettering, usually white on black, while others are more colorful.

A very colorful Cashmere sign

My favorite Cashmere ghost sign though, without a doubt, is painted high on the rear of a downtown building and is visible from the Aplets & Cotlets parking lot.  It’s really one of the coolest in the region. 

Modern Apartments in Cashmere

The font… the look… that Modern Apartments sign is awesome.

Check Out The Pangborn Airport Webcam!

Webcams have a number of uses. You can use them to check out the scenery in far away places, get a look at what a potential vacation destination looks like, or just see a glimpse of what life is like in a location you’ve never been to. You can also use them in your own backyard.

Pangborn Airport has a great webcam available for North Central Washington residents to use. It’s great for getting a look at the weather in the Wenatchee and East Wenatchee area or just watching the comings and goings and other action at the airport. Check it out at the link below!

Pangborn Airport Webcam

This webcam is supplied courtesy of!

North Central Washington Ghost Signs:  Wenatchee – Part 2

A few weeks ago we posted about a few of the ghost signs found in Wenatchee.

North Central Washington Ghost Signs:  Wenatchee
The five photos showcased there don’t do the city justice though so we’ve hunted down some more examples of old and sometimes faded advertising and signage on the buildings in town.  Looking up high or in a city’s back alleys is a great way to find some of the hidden history that sometimes lurks in plain sight in our own backyards.

Some ghost signs reveal businesses that may have played a role in a city’s past.

Morris Hardware
Montgomery Ward
Wenatchee Avenue

While others may offer a look at an entire industry or business concept that became outdated, obsolete, or just no longer viable.

Cold Storage

Still other ghost signs just offer a whimsical look at nostalgic advertising.

Sliced Ham & Bacon!

Keep looking up, behind, and around for some classic North Central Washington ghost signs or old advertising!  Hopefully we’ll find more worth sharing soon.

North Central Washington Ghost Signs:  Wenatchee

If you look up the term “Ghost Sign” online, you’ll probably come up with a definition something like this:

ghost sign is an old hand-painted advertising sign that has been preserved on a building for an extended period of time. The sign may be kept for its nostalgic appeal, or simply indifference by the owner.

Old advertising can almost seem like a work of art at times.  Plus, it’s a nostalgic look back at history too.  Capturing examples of ghost signs is a great way to preserve a very real historical look at a community or region.

When the remodeling work going on at the Les Schwab on Wenatchee Avenue in Wenatchee exposed an old AMC/Jeep sign, the idea to shine a light on some of the other historic ghost signs in town came alive.

Wenatchee Avenue

Old advertising, especially on the local level, can give a great view of our history. We see the businesses that once were located in the community and region around us and we also get a look at signs of what life was like then. There are whole industries that operated in the past that no longer do anymore. Other parts of the advertising, like the font or any graphic imagery, can go a long way towards showing what different styles were in play and popular during the time the advertising or signage was current. Color schemes used decades ago also show what was once looked on as pleasant that may no longer be.

Near Riverwalk Bridge

Old advertising and signage is also just pleasant to see for some of us. This preserved but slowly decaying history adds to an appreciation for what life was like in an earlier time.

Wells & Wade
Wells & Wade

Old advertising and signage can also be a history lesson about both significant and lesser known people, companies, or industries that played a huge role in the birth or development of a community.

Downtown Wenatchee Avenue

Do you have any favorite old advertising, signage, or “ghost signs” in the North Central Washington region? Fire off a comment below or use the contact form and maybe we’ll venture out to photograph it for a next installment on the area’s “ghost signs”.

A Wenatchee Area Christmas Light Must-See

If you love Christmas lights and live in the Wenatchee area, you need to check out the Nelson Family Lights!  A light display so awesome it has its own Facebook page:

This fantastic LED light display is set to music you can listen along to.  Just pull up, find a safe parking spot, make sure you’re not blocking the road or the driveway, and tune to 105.5 on your car radio.  Here’s a very small sample.

Thanks for the family fun, Nelson Family!

A Getaway To Mt. Rainier And Cowlitz River Cabins!

Looking for an out of town getaway recently, we headed to Mount Rainier National Park. At just over three hours away via Blewett Pass and White Pass, it was close enough for a quick drive yet far enough away to feel significant. A great time was had all over the park, including time spent at historic Longmire and of course the visitor center at Paradise. There were also a number of fun stops all over the place where trails, mountain lakes, and waterfalls could be seen.

One of the things that really made the trip special was our stay at Cowlitz River Cabins.

Cowlitz River Cabins

We stayed at the Rainier Log House, one of the three cains they offer. As the name suggests, the location is right on the Cowlitz River, famous for its turquoise water. Cowlitz River Cabins is located approximately nine miles west of Packwood and six miles east of Randle, right where the farmland meets the forest.

The house is impressive to see when you drive up to it. It’s a two story log cabin with construction that can be immediately admired. It doesn’t take long to figure out that this is going to be a great choice for lodging for the night.

Cowlitz River Cabins

Cowlitz River Cabins

It also doesn’t take long to see that the examples of craftsmanship on the outside of the log home continue into the inside. The ground floor features a full bathroom, complete with one of the most interesting clawfoot bathtubs we’ve ever seen, a welcoming bedroom, a fully functional kitchen with modern appliances, and very comfortable dining and living areas. There is also an electric gas fireplace there, as well as a flatscreen television with a DVD player and Direct TV.

Upstairs in the loft, there’s a second bedroom and a bathroom with one of the most beautiful riverrock showers we’ve ever seen. There’s also a built in bookshelf and desk to use too. Throughout the home, the attention to detail and all of the custom woodwork is really stunning.

Cowlitz River Cabins

Cowlitz River Cabins

The outside of the log home is one of the best parts of staying at Cowlitz River Cabins. It’s there you’ll be able to enjoy the wraparound deck, the covered picnic area with barbecue and goldfish pond, the firepit, and of course the hot tub. When you stay in this part of the state you’ll be surrounded with some great attractions and fun things to do. Staying at Cowlitz River Cabins though means you’ll also have plenty of enjoyment coming your way when you return from a day out in the mountains.

Cowlitz River Cabins

Check them out online:

Cowlitz River Cabins

Online: Cowlitz River Cabins
Facebook: Cowlitz River Cabins

Did You Notice That Tumwater Dam Looks Different?

If you’ve never stopped at the Tumwater Dam, a huge mistake as far as I’m concerned, you may not have noticed anything different recently. If you haven’t stopped there in awhile, you may not have noticed either. But, if you’re a regular visitor to this cool little historic spot on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains, you should notice almost immediately that something is a little different.

For years, perched atop the rim of the dam and resting down on its concrete apron has been a very large tree that had floated there down the Wenatchee River. Through high spring runoffs and fall storms, the tree clung to the dam like it was part of it. It had to have been there for at least the better part of a decade.

It finally got washed over though with the high water from a late fall storm this past November.

Tumwater Dam Tree

The Washington State D.O.T. Incident Response Truck On Stevens Pass

Those of you who have made the trip back and forth across Stevens Pass during the winter know that traveling can at times seem a little treacherous. The Washington State Department of Transportation has a number of plow trucks and other maintenance vehicles that assist in keeping the pass not only open but safe to travel. One that people don’t see too often is the Incident Response Truck.

The Incident Response Truck resembles a pickup type truck with a sort of camper unit on the back. In reality this vehicle is set up to almost perfectly handle any situation that should arise on the roads. The Incident Response Truck can assist emergency vehicles who are responding to disasters like flooding, rock slides, and avalanches. It can also assist stranded motorists who are having either mechanical or other problems. The number one priority of the truck is to restore normal traffic flow as safely and quickly as possible. This can mean adding a gallon of gas to a traveler’s empty tank or actually pushing a disabled vehicle out of the roadway and onto the shoulder.

So if you’re driving across Stevens and you see a large white pickup with a WSDOT logo on the door, be appreciative that its there and should you need assistance know that it may be on the way.

Check out more info on WSDOT’s Incedent Response Program here: WSDOT Incident Response

Chelan Complex Fire – Photos From Afterwards

The Chelan Complex Fire raged in the middle of August in 2015, burning hillsides, forested areas, homes, cabins, and businesses.  A visit to Chelan now still shows the flame retardant dropped from the sky on the neighborhoods below.


And the hillsides are charred.





Some of the most dramatic damage occurred in the fruit packing area along Highway 150, just up the hill from Chelan Falls.







Chelan is a tight knit community with a lot of strength.  Without a doubt they will rebuild and flourish.