Sometimes a fella just wants to run free with his tongue hanging out and the wind in his ears. It’s a frequent activity for journalists, but we’ve heard that dogs like it, too.
Now, doggy options for playing untethered in the Wenatchee Valley have gone from awful to arf!-ful with last weekend’s re-opening of an off-leash park — named Badger Park — at Walla Walla Point Park in Wenatchee.
“We know there’s a real need here for an off-leash area,” said Kandis Nestor, who runs Badger Park and the adjacent Rå food-and-coffee truck with her fiance David Stann. “So we wanted to make it the best off-leash area we could.”
The fenced, half-acre, membership-only dog park is mostly wide-open space where Fido can frolic, but also features three agility courses (for different size dogs) with regulation obstacles — ramps, tunnels, teeter-totter, weaving poles and others.
Membership in the dog park costs $10 a month for unlimited use. Members are given a code to unlock the gate so little Fifi can join in canine shenanigans.
The couple’s management of the dog park came about last autumn when a parkside espresso stand, whose owner oversaw the off-leash area, closed up shop. Nestor and Stann re-fenced the area and added pooch-pleasing improvements such as box-loads of doggy toys and a potable water supply. (Cal Melton with L&M Fencing donated the fencing materials.)
Nestor and Stann also absorbed the espresso stand’s human offerings into their healthy-food business, Rå, which is based inside a renovated 1977 Mercedes diesel bus parked not far from the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail. We’re talking coffee drinks, veggie sandwiches, four different salads, 14 different teas (from Chå at Pybus Public Market) and juices, smoothies and shakes. The bus is also headquarters for the Osprey Paddleshack, which rents kayaks and paddleboards.
Details: Badger Park off-leash dog park and Ra, a healthy-food truck, are located at the south end of Walla Walla Point Park in Wenatchee. Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours for the dog park. Info: 264-1088.