Anyone who grew up in the Wenatchee Valley knows that "A" stands for Apple. More than 170,000 acres of apple orchards surround Wenatchee, justifying its nickname "Apple Capital of the World."
Early settlers discovered that the soil (volcanic ash) and climate (sunny days, cool nights, warm summers, cold winters) were perfect for apple trees, and the oldest orchards date back to the mid-1870s. In the early 1900s, the Columbia River Irrigation Project provided additional water, and once irrigated, the countryside was planted with fruit trees. and Wenatchee quickly became one of the world's largest producers of apples.
Today, Washington grows more apples than any other U.S. state, with an annual harvest that yields more than 100 million boxes of apples, which are shipped worldwide. There are over 30 varieties of apples grown in the Cascade Farmlands area. The two most popular apples right now are honey crisp and gala, but historically, other apples such as red delicious were more popular.
Drive through the Wenatchee Valley in the spring, and you'll see miles of flowering apple trees, which inspired the annual Apple Blossom Festival on the first weekend of May. In late summer and fall, you can taste the fresh-picked bounty at the many roadside fruit stands. Harvest of Washington apples begins each year in August and continues until early November. In winter, the work continues with pruning the trees for next year's harvest.
The cache location: The cache is in a Winesap apple tree that dates to 1956, before the present-day farm. It was placed with express permission of the landowner, who chose the location, and it's okay to drive through the gate and onto the property to retrieve the cache. However, please only search for this cache during daylight hours.
This cache was originally part of the 2016-18 Cascade Farmlands GeoRomp, a 12-cache series that showcased the agriculture, recreation, and scenery of north-central Washington, with pathtag prizes for finishers. Each cache had a different theme and highlighted a different community: Leavenworth, Plain, Peshastin, Cashmere, Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Entiat, Chelan, Manson, Orondo, Waterville, and Quincy.