Popular Walk-and-Talk Series Underway in Wenatchee Foothills

Bill Layman and Chris Rader hold up an historic photograph that shows the stunning change in the Wenatchee Valley between the early 1900s and today.

Bill Layman and Chris Rader hold up an historic photograph that shows the stunning change in the Wenatchee Valley between the early 1900s and today.

Last Thursday evening, a group of 12 valley residents gathered at the Saddle Rock Trailhead to take a trip back into time.  Chelan-Douglas Land Trust is offering a free, 10-week Thursday evening Walk-and-Talk series in the Wenatchee Foothills and Chris Rader was the 3rd featured guest speaker on May 5.  Chris is a local history researcher and writer, recently retired from the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center.

Chris Rader Talk

Local historian and author, Chris Rader, uses historic photos to tell the story about how the Highline Canal transformed of our valley into orchards

Using photos scoured out of the archives of the museum, Chris showed the transformation of the Wenatchee Valley from sagebrush to fertile orchards, all in the short span of 1900-1910. Chris captivated listeners with the tale of the building of the Highline Canal that delivered abundant irrigation water and birthed Wenatchee as the Apple Capital of the World. By walking just a few minutes up the trail to a viewpoint, everyone looked at the photos with current-day Wenatchee as the backdrop. After the talk, some people continued on up the trail and others walked in conversation with one-another back to the trailhead.

Next in the Walk-and-Talk series on May 12, Columbia River historian and author, Bill Layman, will present Native American Saddle Rock Stories at the Saddle Rock Trailhead.  Bill says, Our landscapes hold the stories of indigenous people’s that stretch far back into time.  Two of these stories have as a central character, the spires of Saddle Rock.

CDLT’s  Walk & Talk Series  continues through June and is a great way to get out for your weekly nature boost. These walks are designed for anyone, are not strenuous, only an hour long and each one has a fun topic taught by a local expert. Walks last from 6-7 pm every Thursday.  These low-key walks cover a very short distance  staying close to the trailhead and all levels of walking ability can be accommodated.  Visit the CDLT website to view a trailhead map and learn more.  See you in the Foothills!


Susan Ballinger serves as the 2016 Conservation Fellow at Chelan-Douglas Land Trust and teaches the fall Wenatchee Naturalist course for Wenatchee Valley College Continuing Education.

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