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Old 03-05-2012, 01:14 PM
9 posts, read 21,903 times
Reputation: 15


******the bendites told me to look at Wenatchee as well so here goes****

Few points before I ask my questions:

1. My husband has an excellent job and can work anywhere in the PNW. We don't need employment, but do need to be able to fly to Seattle, Portland, Anchorage and Boise.

2. Currently residing in Snoqualmie Washington.

3. Passionate hobbies; horses (me), mountain biking (him)

4. 5 kids ages 7, 2,2,2 and 1

Ok here goes with the questions, we moved from San Clemente to Snoqualmie 3 years ago. We choose Snoqualmie because of the proximity to the mountains, available land for horse back riding, good trail system (Duthie and others) for mountain biking. Good schools.

Problem, it has rained over 60 inches a year since we have moved. Yes, this is due to ENSO and la nina, but sadly we have NOT been able to do our hobbies but for maybe 4 months out of the year. I have to hire babysitting to do my hobbie and with having triplets and so many 2 and under gives me a lot of good mental health break time, sadly I hire babysitters and either ride in a deluge or don't end up riding at all. Horse sits in 10 inches of mud or in the barn. NOT FUN!

My husband is die hard and will do his hobby in the rain, but even according to him it's miserable most of the time.

So we live in the gym, we have two to be exact and we are there in the morning and in the evening. The kids swim almost everyday they seem to really enjoy the enormous indoor play gyms, but gosh I would hate not being able to go outside and run......

Long story short I am really profoundly depressed, and I'm not a profoundly depressed type person. Working out 7 days a week is really good for me, but I have started to feel like a rat on a wheel.

We are not bothered by the cold and spend a lot of time in eastern washington and at Suncadia just to get relief. I just want to be able to slap a northface on my kiddo's and head outside which you can not do in torrest of rain. I know you can in Seattle because it rains half as much, but then we are not near good schools, or our hobbies. Seattle is still grey grey grey most of the year.

We do love the snow I was on the college ski team back in the day and hubby is an avid snow boarder and we do head to the hills most winter weekends with the kids to sled and play.

We are very active, which helps the SAD depression. Please give me your opinion would I hate bend? It seems like it has the activities we like. Employment is not an issue. Excellent schools. Dry climate. We are used to the desert from living in CA for 12 years. We have traveled to bend for years at different times of the year for vacation and seem to enjoy it when we vacation.

It seems to have nice dining options for the weekly date night, and since neither my husband or I are big consumers (shopping) it seems to have enough shopping to satisfy and there is always the internet.

Housing stock seems very nice and varied. Housing stock in Issaquah/Snoqualmie is not great. We would lease for a year before we committed (thank god we leased here).

Seems like there is plenty for little kids to do, but is the wind so bad kids can't play outside? My kids are obviously really used to cold, and we have wind here sadly due to the rain the kids just hate going outside I drag them - force them outside, but they just end up crying and I mean really crying from the wet. One screams mommy no rain mommy no rain and will literally cry and convulses until she is muddy and wet and vomits everywhere and is taken back inside (drama queen - frustrating!).

Schools look like a major problem in Wenatchee, but I dont know for sure. Looks like 21 out of 38 are given failing grades. Private is not an option, so are there good public schools?

Please help. We are looking for a solution. I realize everywhere has issues no where is paradise, once mans heaven is another mans hell..... Just let me know your thoughts. Please look through a lens of lots of kids and two very outdoor minded laid back professional parents searching for a little peace and time outside four walls.
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:26 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
31,500 posts, read 51,957,247 times
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Wenatchee has some good school choices, and I know folks who have moved 15 minutes west to use Cashmere schools. For High School you can use Running Start (Free college) It is a great program for many kids (including mine).

Wenatchee / Cashmere would be my choice over Bend (income tax, quite far from airport, Oregon 'attitude').

I know your dilemma (weather). I'm outdoorsy and from Colorado. 30 yrs on the we_tside of WA has done me no good. I am now 'kid-less', so can escape to CA, CO, NM, AZ, TX frequently during winter.
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:34 PM
Location: Seattle, Washington
3,733 posts, read 7,451,281 times
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Wenatchee is very nice, but if you don't have to be in the city check out nearby Cashmere for sure! Chelan is also very nice, about an hour to the north of Wentachee.
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:37 PM
Location: Seattle, Washington
3,733 posts, read 7,451,281 times
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You might also want to look into Port Angeles or Sequim. Orcas Island, and possibly even San Juan Island (less hilly than Orcas, meaning less hiking opportunities, not that they aren't there), may also be good places to look.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:08 PM
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I would look into Wenatchee or the Ellensburg area. Far less rain and more sunny days. Over 300 days as some report (but that includes partly sunny of course.)

Warmer weather? Look at the Ellensburg area. You said you've been to Suncadia, so you know the area. Look into Rosyln, Cle Elum, and Ellensburg. Sure it is a slower pace of life, but at least this way, you are close to Seattle if needed. Only about 2hrs. The weather is considerably nicer here then the west side of the state, and you get all the great benefits of the Cascade Mountains and the recreation. You are near many great fishing rivers, close to the Columbia River, near skiing and snowboarding, close to hundreds of great hiking trails, and biking trails.

Photo Credit: Downtown Ellensburg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/timothyspics/4715986804/ - broken link)

Wenatchee is a nice area. A good mix of an urban core, suburban living, and rural areas. The corridor from Leavenworth to Wenatchee is all a good place to settle down. If you don't like certain Wenatchee schools, simply go to another one, or go to nearby Cashmere schools. Weather is warmer and nicer overall. Services are like any mid-sized city with two hospitals, fire, police and sheriff's office for the county. There is a nice waterfront park system in Wenatchee and across the river in East Wenatchee, which is in a different county.

Photo Credit: Wenatchee, Washington (AJM NWPJ) | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ajmstudios/4818368829/in/photostream/ - broken link)
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:44 PM
89 posts, read 217,535 times
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Wenatchee has lots to offer, but lots of people don't like Wenatchee. Once you get past the initial beauty, you see a surprisingly low income, dirty place. I made the mistake once of driving downtown at night before I knew the area well. I felt like I was in Mexico. Just not for everyone.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:26 AM
5,483 posts, read 5,986,900 times
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Wenatchee is great for horseback riding and mountain biking as you probably know. Any outdoors stuff. See this website for more information:


The other thing to watch in the Wenatchee Valley is high speed fiber availability. Only 80% of Chelan County residents have access to 100mbps internet. 1gbps service is available but even more limited. Same situation on the Douglas County side. So if high speed internet is important to you, check before committing to a property.

Wenatchee schools are ok. You have to be careful with the test scores since 40% of the students are of Mexican descent. The parents routinely pull their kids out of school for two or three months every year to visit the grandparents in Mexico. Hard to be a good student when you miss that much school.

Our kid went to Eastmont and Wenatchee schools. She was in elementary school in Eastmont and the principals let us pick her teachers. That made a huge difference. Once the teachers knew that you cared enough to sit in and watch them teach our daughter got a wonderful education.

Cashmere's schools were good. We had friends that pulled their kids out of Cashmere and moved to Cascade. They were much happier with Cascade. Taxes are VERY HIGH in the Cashmere School District. We "moved" our house out Cashmere and into Cascade School District through petition and our taxes went down over 40%!!

Best schools in the valley are in Cascade school district simply due to demographics. The schools on the western edge of Wenatchee school district are good for the same reason.

It is great community to live in with kids. Lots of activities for kids and of course, great access to the outdoors.

I use to go to Bend on business trips all the time. It is also a nice community. The advantage is more sunshine in winter, but I suspect Wenatchee is the nicer community. Also schools in Oregon are really bad.

With the real estate crash in Bend I suspect home prices are much lower. Wenatchee prices have not gone down that much.

We had the choice to live anywhere in the west. We got to Wenatchee in 1985 and stayed.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:40 PM
98 posts, read 529,519 times
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I have lived in Wenatchee for two years and my brother has lived in Bend for about four, so maybe I can compare.

Bend is more sophisticated and has higher-end shopping and more restaurant options. A nicer downtown & shopping district. Outdoor activities galore. My brother paddleboards the Deschutes in the warmer months and snowboards Bachelor in the winter. High desert climate means 40-50 degree delta at nighttime. 90 degree days followed by 40-50 degree nights in the summer are not uncommon.

Wenatchee is more of a blue-collar city that lacks the sophistication but has similar outdoor recreation to Bend--some say this adds to our charm. The mighty Columbia and Wenatchee rivers flow right through town. In the warmer months I hike (some of the best day hikes in the PNW in the Leavenworth area), mountain bike, kayak and swim. In the winter I do limited hiking and snowboard at Mission Ridge, a ski hill about 20 minutes from my front door. I do admit to getting slightly bored on my days off toward the end of winter. It's usually cured by a 2.5 hr trip to Seattle for a day or two.

I enjoy visiting my brother in Bend and sometimes yearn for the restaurant and shopping options, but I am partial to Wenatchee. It's a great place to live. I have a 8 & 6 year old that are really enjoying their time here.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:45 PM
98 posts, read 529,519 times
Reputation: 133
I just went through some of your recent posts and it appears Wenatchee is an afterthought for you. You also failed to change "Bend" to "Wenatchee" in your cut & paste on the original above.

On your Bend thread you mentioned horrible schools & gang violence in Wenatchee. I have not witnessed this since I have been here. Quite the opposite, actually. Isolated gang acts in some areas but nothing to worry about really. We have also been pleased with the schools--much better than the Phoenix area where we came from. As 509 stated earlier, scores are brought down by some of the migrant farmworkers (we are the self-proclaimed Apple Capital of the world).

If I had my choice I'd likely live in Cashmere or Leavenworth. Schools are better and outdoor scenery and recreation is more my cup of tea.

Best of luck in your search.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:53 AM
7 posts, read 16,630 times
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What are the great kids activities everyone mentions in Wenatchee? We have lived here for two years and find it horribly boring for our preschoolers. We make continual trips over the mountain to find fun things for them to do: zoos, children's museums, bounce houses, science center, Chuck E Cheese, etc. Etc. There are two crummy gymnastics places here and a Mcdonalds play place. That's it. If you love kids' activities, I'd caution you to heavily research Wenatchee. Oh, the summers are amazing--hot and sunny, perfect for one of the few playgrounds or camping any day. But winters are long, freezing, and boring for those with small kids.
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