Methow Valley SUMMER
A supplement to the Methow Valley News
Real Food Fresh Brews Live Music Illustration by Corinna Luyken
Brewery & Family Dining Riverside Beer Garden Jazz Every Wednesday
Your summer vacation starts at Twisp River Suites. Here you’ll find a relaxed atmosphere and hospitality at its best. We offer first-class, river front accommodations perfect for couples, families and groups.
In the Beer Garden June 19th - September 11th
Check out our website for Live Music Schedule www.twispriverpub.com Call or email to book your Large Party or Event
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201 North Hwy. 20 • (509) 997-6822 OPEN FOR LUNCH & DINNER EVERY DAY MAY 15 THROUGH OCTOBER 20 SUNDAY BRUNCH 10AM to 2PM
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w a s h i n g t o n
adventure is in the air
with a certain Western Flair
It’s summer in the
Methow Summer in the Methow Valley can be a bit overwhelming. To get an idea, take a look at the dozens of events on the calendar (pages 47-49) that are coming our way over the next several months. And that’s just the scheduled stuff. The optional ways to fill in those long and pleasant summer days are innumerable. In Methow Valley Summer, we try to give you an idea of what’s possible, and how to take advantage of it. From bird watching and golf to mountain biking and rock climbing, you can be as low key or as frantically active as you want, from one end of the Methow to the other. If this is your first experience in the Methow, we encourage you to slow down and get to know the place. Then come back and get to know it better. If you are regular visitor, and have your favorite places and activities lined up, you might broaden your horizons a bit and keep the spirit of discovery alive. Either way, we’ll do whatever we can to make you feel welcome and enjoy your stay. –Don Nelson
Photo by Ashley Lodato
Methow Valley Summer 3
A coffee-lover’s guide to the Methow
10Check out kids’ camps
Sue Misao design
Callie Fink advertising
Summer programs offer outdoor, indoor adventure
The Methow abounds with places to pitch a tent or park an RV
The Methow has plenty of attractions and activities for all ages and interests
8Our best shots
A supplement to the Methow Valley News
What are you doing here?
14Rod, reel, relax
The Methow’s lakes and streams beckon anglers of all types
Just you and the wilderness
Taking the waters
For those seeking solitude and selfreliance, backpacking is the way to go
Linda Day ad design
Janet Mehus office assistant
The Methow offers waterborne experiences from the mild to the slightly wild
Golfers will find a variety of options in and around the Methow
A publication of the Methow Valley News P.O. Box 97 101 N. Glover St. Twisp, WA 98856 509.997.7011 fax 509.997.3277 www.methowvalleynews.com firstname.lastname@example.org
a 4 Methow Valley Summer
The Methow ascendant
Don’t park without a pass
A growing community of climbers is discovering the valley’s ‘improbably good’ challenges
Most of the Methow’s public lands require a pass, and every jurisdiction has its own rules
Take it in stride
Day hikes in and around the valley range from easy to challenging
Horse pack the wilderness for unforgettable memories
Contributors is publisher of the Methow Valley News.
Bicyclists will find miles of Methow roads and trails for all skill levels
is a Methow Valley News reporter.
The Methow is like heaven for stargazers
The Methow’s other season
It’s wild out there
Laurelle Walsh is a Methow Valley News reporter and proofreader.
Come on back when the snow flies
Bob Spiwak is a Methow Valley News columnist and freelance writer and photographer.
The Methow is prime territory for bird watching and animal spotting
is a Methow Valley News reporter.
Read it here first
is a Methow Valley News columnist.
Enjoy a good book, or many, throughout the Methow summer
42Creativity on display
Public art works grace the Methow Valley from one end to the other
44Surrounded by the past
Evidence of the Methow’s rich history is easy to find
is a Methow Valley News columnist.
David Ward is an
astronomer and columnist for the Methow Valley News.
Patrick McGann is a Methow Valley News columnist.
A calendar of events
Directory of advertisers Meet them!
is a Methow Valley News reporter.
On the Cover: A ride and a romp through the Methow’s glorious arrowleaf balsamroot.
Geof Childs is a local author and experienced mountaineer.
Photo by E.A. Weymuller Methow Valley Summer 5
What are you doing here? The
Methow has plenty of attractions and activities for all ages and interests
his remote little valley seems to attract a certain breed of visitor, and the lack of shopping malls and movie theaters doesn’t faze them. When they drop by visitor information offices in Twisp and Winthrop to find out what there is to do in the Methow Valley, they come away with a plethora of possibilities. “Hiking and biking trump the questions category. Next is, ‘What can we do with kids?’ Then, ‘Where to eat? What to see?’” said Kirsten Ostlie, director of the Methow Valley Community Center. The community center houses the Twisp Visitor Information Center, and Ostlie fields an array of questions from
6 Methow Valley Summer
BY ANN McCREARY
Photo by Don Nelson
people wondering how to recreate in the valley. Since many visitors are families looking for fun things to do with kids, she has lots of family-friendly suggestions. “The best family picnic and mountain views are at Black Pine Lake,” Ostlie said. “Hiking from this area is wonderful.” About 18 miles out of Twisp, Black Pine Lake offers majestic landscape views, a boat launch, fishing, two floating docks, picnic areas, an interpretive accessible trail, and wildlife viewing. The area is reached via Okanogan County road #1090 off Twisp River Road. After crossing Twisp River on Buttermilk Bridge, stay left and continue up Buttermilk Creek, FS #43 for eight miles to the campground. For people who want to enjoy the outdoors closer to town, the local park is a great option. “The Twisp park is a gem with a huge
play recreation area for kids of all ages. In the fall salmon can be seen spawning at the confluence of the Twisp and Methow rivers,” Ostlie said. A deep swimming hole with a sandy beach near the confluence of the rivers is a popular spot to cool off on hot summer days, she said. The town of Twisp, with its artsy bent, provides regional cultural offerings, Ostlie said. Confluence Gallery on Glover Street offers quality art exhibits, a gift shop stocked with affordable art, and art classes. “TwispWorks features many artist studios on campus and includes the Methow Valley Interpretive Center, which has displays on the geological features of the valley and the first inhabitants, the Methow Tribe,” Ostlie said. And from April to October, Twisp’s Saturday Farmers Market at the community center is a lively gathering place for valley residents and visi-
tors, offering locally grown seasonal food, handmade crafts, musical entertainment, and freshly made snacks and juices.
Must-see in Winthrop Further north in the valley, Georgia Sanders has staffed the Winthrop Information Center for more than 13 years. She never tires of helping people discover the Methow Valley. “I love my job!” she said. The “must-see” attraction in Winthrop, Sanders said, is the Shafer Museum. Restored buildings at the museum above Winthrop’s main street allow people to walk through the Methow Valley’s history. The museum’s display of mining equipment is one of the best in the West. “I have a lot of people who come back [after visiting the museum] and say, ‘Wow! I just spent two hours there,’” Sanders said. “Every year they improve it.” Across the street from
the Winthrop Information Center is one of the town’s busiest spots in the summer – Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe. “I send a lot of people, with kids especially, over to Sheri’s to play miniature golf.” The small golf course tucked next to the homemade candy and ice cream store gives kids a way to work off the sugar. Just outside town on Twin Lakes Road, next to the Methow River, the Winthrop National Fish Hatchery has tanks teeming with spring Chinook salmon, steelhead, and coho salmon. Newly remodeled, the hatchery includes a new holding facility for adult salmon, a spawning building where visitors can watch spawning operations, and a salmon-viewing window below water level that lets people observe the fish in their element. The hatchery also includes a fishing pond for kids to try their hand at catching a beautiful rainbow trout. Families can bring
their own poles or borrow one at the hatchery, and bait is also available. An added attraction, Sanders noted, are tanks where beavers are kept before being relocated by wildlife biologists to mountains around the valley. Most of the beavers have been trapped and removed from private property, where their tree-felling and dam-building activities caused a nuisance. They are fascinating to observe up-close in their temporary homes, Sanders said. The North Cascades Smokejumper Base offers a rare glimpse into the world of smoke jumping, Sanders said. “They have an excellent tour, and they always give the kids things like magnets and pencils,” she said. The Methow Valley is considered the “birthplace of smoke jumping,” with the first experimental jumps made in 1939. Free tours are offered every day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., June
through October. The base in located on the East County Road between Twisp and Winthrop. The Mac Lloyd town park by the Winthrop Barn has a playground, picnic area and a “nice little nature walk” among trees along the Methow River, Sanders said. “It’s an excellent place for people with little kids to go because it is short.” For easy access to magnificent views, Sanders recommends people take the drive up to Washington Pass and head to the overlook. Especially if people aren’t traveling over North Cascades Highway, the 30-mile trip to the viewpoint is well worth it, she said. A short trail provides panoramic viewing points overlooking Liberty Bell Mountain and down into the valley. Not far from the town is Pearrygin Lake State Park, one of the most popular state parks in Washington. Visitors can stay overnight in the large
campground, or visit for the day, Sanders said. The park features expansive green lawns leading to 11,000 feet of waterfront on Pearrygin Lake. The lake offers swimming, fishing and boating. Willow and ash trees provide shade on hot summer days. Hikers can also walk the Rex Derr trail, a 3.1-mile loop through the east campground and along the shrub steppe hillside above Pearrygin Lake. Caught up in the Old West flavor of Winthrop, many visitors want to spend some time in the saddle. There are three good options to go riding in the area, Sanders said. The Chewack River Guest Ranch on the East Chewuch Road (yes, there are alternative spellings), Sun Mountain Lodge, and Early Winters Outfitting in Mazama all take visitors on rides through the valley’s scenic hills. She advises people to call ahead to make arrangements for a trail ride. a
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Photo by Sue Misao
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Methow Valley Summer 7
Our best shots BY DON NELSON
A coffee-lover’s guide to the Methow Coffee drinkers need not get all jittery about where to find their fix in the Methow. Our roasters and baristas are ready for you. True, there’s not a humongous Seattle-based coffee retailer store between Interstate 5 on the west and Highway 97 on the east. But before, during and after your trip through the valley you will encounter enough caffeination stations to keep your java jones satisfied. At most coffee/espresso outlets in the Methow (and in some places beyond), you will be served one of two excellent, locally produced coffees: those from Blue Star Coffee Roasters in Twisp or Backcountry Coffee Roasters
in Winthrop. They are both great, and you can visit their roasting facilities to see how it’s done. Take home some of each (also available in the grocery stores) and relive the Methow coffee experience. When you run out, come back, or buy some online. A few things to be aware of: • Terminology – You may not find anyplace in the valley that offers “tall,” “grande” or “vente” drinks. Those are Starbucksian terms, little-used by locals. Ask for 12 or 16 ounces; 20 ounces may not be on the menu. • Flavors – Most local baristas probably won’t ask. • Tipping – Always ap-
preciated. • Complicated or eccentric multi-part combinations – Go for it, and expect to be taken for someone from “the coast” (the valley term for anything west of the Cascade crest). • Dosage – If you’re not sure, ask if a drink contains two shots. From west to east along Highway 20 and a bit beyond, here are some coffee stops worth checking out (for the most part, these do not include places which are mainly restaurants that may serve coffee drinks). • Cascadian Farms: Hugely popular rest stop between Rockport and Marblemount, offering an array of
Photo by Don Nelson
At the Mazama Store: choices, choices, choices. locally grown organic fresh fruits, vegetables and other products, plants, ice cream, espresso – and bathrooms. It’s also a nice spot to just look around. • Jack’s Hut: The store and café at Freestone Inn is a handy place to start or end an adventure in the Wilson Ranch area. David can help you with coffee, food and recreational advice. Free wi-fi. • The Mazama Store: The
hub of commerce and community at the west end of the valley for decades, the store is immensely popular with the recreational crowd (often sweaty, but always friendly) and is a common gathering spot for people who live along Goat Creek and Lost River roads. Rick, Missy and their busy staff serve up fresh baked goods, scrumptious lunches, groceries, and tons of other cool stuff. Pizza
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8 Methow Valley Summer
nights during the summer are crowded with locals, their children and their pets. Hunker down and blend in. • Jailhouse Java: This takes some explaining. The sign above the little shop on Highway 20 just before the four-way in Winthrop still says Java Man Espresso, which it was for many years until it was for a short time renamed “Java Mama” (although the sign didn’t change), and then rechristened Jailhouse Java (again, same old sign, as of this writing). Ask friendly owner Andy why “jailhouse” and get a local history lesson. This is one of the local “hangs” in the morning, a working man’s crowd that is up early. Also offers breakfast and lunch. • Noca Coffee House: On the west end of Riverside Avenue around the corner from the four-way in Winthrop, this is an airy, pleasant shop with an outdoor patio seating area that’s perfect for people-watching yearround. Owner and Blue Startrained barista Lauri pulls the shots. Light lunches and pastries as well. Free wi-fi. • Rocking Horse Bakery: You may encounter a line out past the screen door in the summer at this popular all-season gathering and chatting spot for locals on Riverside Avenue in Winthrop. Steve, Teresa and crew also produce some wonderful breads, pastries, pizzas, soups, sandwiches and other edibles from their busy kitchen. Decorated with local art. Free wi-fi. • Trail’s End Bookstore: Enjoy a latte in this cozy, wellstocked bibliophile’s treasure in Winthrop. Christopher will help you find something great to read. Sit on the back deck when it’s open and watch the river. • Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe: A Winthrop landmark that hardly needs explaining, but the ice cream, candies, pastries and other goodies are nicely complemented by a walk-up coffee bar. There really is a Sheri, and she’s likely to be keeping things in order while Doug (the Candy
Man) makes the cinnamon rolls and fudge right before your eyes. • Pony Expresso: In a Western-themed town, someone had to do it. The Pony is a drive-up kiosk, handily situated on Highway 20 in Winthrop for those coming or going, always with a smiling barista to take care of your caffeine needs and keep you moving. • Backcountry Coffee Roasters: Not a coffee bar per se, but the roasting facility on Horizon Flats in Winthrop also has a store offering fresh beans by the bag – owners Lori and Bob will help you pick just the right blend that guarantees “good karma in your cup” – and branded gear. Just for fun, ask them what’s really in “Cowboy Mud.” A bit out of the way, but worth it.
Photo by Laurelle Walsh
Lori Loomis offers samples at Backcountry Coffee Roasters. • Michael’s: You can’t miss this colorful driveup kiosk on Highway 20 in Twisp, across from the Methow Valley Community Center. Expect to be enticed by the aroma of donuts in the morning. Michael knows just about everybody, so if there’s a chat going on between him and driver ahead of you, relax and think good thoughts. • Cinnamon Twisp Bakery: On Glover Street (that means you have to get off the highway and explore downtown Twisp), too conveniently located across from the Methow Valley News office. Light, open space, wonderful pastries, soups, sandwiches,
and other stuff, and of course coffee. Local art is displayed on the walls. Expect a line during peak tourism season. Free wi-fi. • Blue Star Coffee Roasters: The all-in-one stop on Highway 20 in Twisp includes a small indoor sitting space (where you may see the mayor and/or the police chief and other locals clustered around the tiny tables), outside seating in season, and a clear view of the roasting process – plus “America’s Best Espresso” officially certified at the Seattle Coffeefest in 2012. Owners Dan and Meg (who pulled the winning shots) have the trophy on display. • Hank’s Harvest Foods deli: If you’re used to sipping and shopping, they’re ready for you at Hanks. Don’t be alarmed by the amazing wildlife menagerie – they’re all docile. • Salmon Creek Coffee Company: In downtown Okanogan, next to Rawson’s clothing store (wander into that cavernous space and see if you can get out without buying something). Salmon Creek is a spacious, cheery place that regularly has live entertainment. • Breadline Café: The venerable eatery in downtown Omak is a perennial on “best places” lists thanks to its original, home-style cuisine and “robust espresso.” • Sweet River Bakery: At the mouth of the Methow River in Pateros, Sweet River specializes in breads and brick-oven pizza, but the coffee menu is always available. • Lone Pine Fruit & Espresso: On Highway 97 four miles south of the Beebe Bridge, Lone Pine is best described as a year-round eclectic experience – coffee, a cafe/deli, locally made gifts, fresh produce in season, all in a country store atmosphere. You think you’re in a hurry, but you’ll end up lingering in the 100-year-old building, once an apple-packing shed. A great leg-stretching spot. Many of these businesses also sell branded stuff – caps, T-shirts, mugs, etc. Help spread the word. a
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¾ of a mile above the Weeman Bridge
Methow Valley Summer 9
Check out kids’ camps BY LAURELLE WALSH
Summer programs offer outdoor, indoor adventure Nationally acclaimed
Ahhh … school’s out, and the summer stretches before you in a seamless, glorious arc of warm, leisurely days soaking in the … boredom? Listlessness? Ennui? Dare we say, crabbiness? “Summer is an important and sometimes challenging time for kids and their parents because of its idle nature,” said Little Star Montessori School director Dani Reynaud. She sees a need for structured programs for youngsters to provide some fun, direction, and give parents a little break during the “downtime” between June and September. If someone you know could use a little direction in their summer, would thrive in an environment of creativity and outdoor education, or just needs to get out of the house for a while, check out the summer camp programs that a passel of diverse Methow Valley organizations and educators have put together. They offer day and overnight options with elements of adventure, education, art and science for kids from toddlers to teens.
Confluence Gallery and Art Center For its second year, Confluence Gallery & Art Center in Twisp offers six weeks of summer art camps for children ages 6-10. Camps will take place in the Confluence classroom every Wednesday through Friday, July 10 to Aug. 16,
from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $125 per week, and space is limited to 10 kids per session. Camp themes will change each week. Children may sign up for one or all six weeks. Camps focus on skills development, tapping creativity and nurturing self-expression in artistic mediums ranging from mosaics to ceramics, collage, painting, drawing, print making, and multi-media, Confluence director Nicole Ringgold said. Art campers will visit working artists’ studios at TwispWorks, take public art walks, and spend plenty of time walking to the Twisp park and the river, and making regular ice cream stops at Glover Street Market, said Ringgold. To register, contact Ringgold at 997-2787 or email@example.com.
Little Star camps Little Star Montessori in Winthrop offers multiple sessions of day and overnight camps for kids from toddlers to 11-year-olds, running from late June through mid August. Costs vary. “Little Star camps provide a fun environment for kids to develop selfconfidence, social skills, and good work habits,” said director Dani Reynaud. “Children have a wonderful time in our camps due to the creative themes, fun activities, and loving teachers. Who
doesn’t want to be a pirate, a cowgirl, or a yogi for a week?!” Besides day camps for 2- to 6-yearolds with themes such as Spanish, yoga and creative construction, Little Star offers two archery camps at Big Valley Ranch – one overnight camp for ages 8-11 – and also partners with Methow Valley Riding Unlimited for horse camps at Moccasin Lake Ranch. For a camp brochure or to register, call Little Star at 996-2801 or email Trudi@ littlestarmontessori.org.
Summer pottery camps Ceramic artist Jim Neupert offers pottery camps for kids ages 7-12 at his studio south of Twisp. Sessions are Aug. 13-15 and Aug. 20-22, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $120 per session. The two sessions run about the same, Neupert said, but “the kids that take both classes end up making different items.” Pottery campers will work on many hand building projects and also have a chance to work on the pottery wheel, he said. Neupert has been teaching ceramics in Methow Valley schools and at his studio for over 15 years. At his camp, “Kids are working in a safe and supportive environment,” Neupert said. “Children’s natural instincts and talents are cultivated, and experimentation and
The Merc Playhouse Children’s Theater
Alice in Wonderland
at the corner of Hwy 20 & Glover Street METHOW VALLEY Interpretive Center
Natural & Native History Historic Audio Tour Honoring the native peoples & natural history of the Methow Valley, open 12-5 pm
Learn about the past and present of the TwispWorks campus
Mobile Art Gallery Experimental art. Performance art. Installation art.
open during farmers market hours Open Daily 9am April 15 - October 15
Soothe your senses in an evergreen oasis. 3327 Ohme Road, Wenatchee WA 98801
Located at the Junction of Highway 2 & 97A, overlooking the Wenatchee Valley (509) 662 - 5785 www.ohmegardens.com 10 Methow Valley Summer
Textile artist & botanical dyes
Art. Craft. Education. Experience.
Sarah Jo Lightner
based on the story by Lewis Carroll, adapted by Anne Coulter Mortens
directed by Julie Wenzel
May 3 - 12, 2013 Fri-Sat 7pm, Sun 2pm. Tickets online or at the door Adults $12, Youth 18 & under $5 101 S. Glover Street, Twisp 509-997-7529 www.mercplayhouse.org
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eight years.” To register, contact Visalli at 997-7011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Primitive skills camps
Photo by Laurelle Walsh
Primitive projectiles under construction.
invention are encouraged over production.” To register, contact Neupert at 997-5556 or jimneupert@ gmail.com.
Methow River Camp Methow naturalists and outdoor educators Dana Visalli and Rob Crandall invite kids ages 10-14 to join them in their 21st year of outdoor adventure and ecology education on the Chewuch River. The overnight camp runs from July 15-19 and costs $350, with some scholarships available, Visalli said. Space is limited to 24 campers, with a 1:5 ratio of adults to kids. River Camp activities include canoeing, hiking, camp cooking, natural history, and music and stories around the campfire. “Many kids fall in love with camp and come for four years,” Visalli said. “Some have become counselors and attended for
Professional Wilderbabe Katie Russell teaches primitive skills to kids for the third summer at her Twisp home. “Our brains are wired to love nature. The magic of the natural world is deep within each of us,” Russell said. “There is no work more rewarding to me than offering that spark to a child, because you never know where it will lead them.” Primitive Living Skills Camp is for ages 7-9 and runs from June 24-27. Skills such as fire building, foraging, rawhide crafting, cordage, nature awareness and shelter building will be intertwined with games and stories. Warrior Camp is for ages 9-12 and runs from Aug. 5-8. Young warriors will make primitive weapons and projectiles, and learn stalking, camouflage, and the code of warrior ethics. Both camps run 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day and cost $125. For more information and registration, contact Russell at email@example.com or (509) 449-1290.
Internships with the Methow Conservancy While not a camp per se, the Methow Conservancy offers a summer internship program for local high school students in grades 9-11 who want to work for the environment and conservation. Interns will commit to a minimum of 20 hours over the course of the summer doing individual or group projects. Projects will be developed based on the interns’ interests and the availability of staff, and may include field work, preparing educational
programs for kids and adults, or creating print or multi-media publications, said educational programs director Mary Kiesau. A limited number of interns will be selected on a rolling basis, so interested students are encouraged to apply between April 15 and May 31, Kiesau said. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 996-2870 for information and an application form.
Soccer camp Challenger Sports will be hosting two soccer camps at Methow Valley Elementary on June 1721. The always-popular British Soccer camp, with coaches from the United Kingdom, features a fun camp full of games, soccer skills and scrimmages, according to coordinator Heidi Bard. The 9 a.m. to noon session is open to 6-9 year olds, and the 1-4 p.m. session is open to 9-12 year olds. The cost per session is $123. During the same week, coaches from Brazil will be at Methow Valley Elementary to coach the Tetra Brazil camp. This camp is geared more to experienced soccer players who would like to learn soccer skills and drills the Brazillian way, says Bard. The 9 a.m. to noon session is open to 10-13 year olds, and the 1-4 p.m. session is open to 13-18 year olds. The cost per session is $137. Registration is online at www.challengersports. com. A free soccer jersey goes to those who register by May 1. All participants will also receive a soccer ball and free T-shirt. Families volunteering to host a soccer coach receive an $80 refund on camp fees. For more information email Bard at heidigrows@ gmail.com. a
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Methow Valley Summer 11
Happy campers BY BOB SPIWAK
The Methow abounds with places to pitch a tent or park an RV If you enjoy camping out in the warm days, in a place where the weather is rarely obnoxious, the Methow Valley offers a bushel full of places in which to do it. Most of them also offer fishing as a bonus. Then there are other pastimes or pursuits like birding, wildflower walks – whatever suits your escape from the place from which you came. It does not matter if the shelter over your head is of canvas or aluminum, whether setting up your temporary home requires backing up a trailer or erecting a tent, there is something for you somewhere within
an easy drive from Winthrop or Twisp. To give you some visual idea of what amenities are where, it would be a good idea to go up to U.S. Forest Service headquarters in Winthrop and get an excellent map of the territory. I’ve been kicking around this place for four decades and still found the map extremely helpful. And, it is blessedly flat so you can fold it according to your wishes – about 12 by 16 inches – and locates every Forest Service campground, Pearrygin Lake State Park and lakes of consequential size. The map also displays hiking trails, off-the-beaten-
path roads and the type of road surfaces you can expect. It is called The Upper Methow Valley Summer Visitor Map and can be found at the Winthrop visitor center as well. And amazingly, it is free.
Options, options What is not free is entrance to Pearrygin or Alta Lake State Park, the latter near Pateros. You must have a state-issued Discover Pass that costs $10 for a day/night or $30 for the season. This will give you access to any park in the state and access to boat launching/fishing ar-
Methow Valley Farmers Market
eas throughout Washington, as well as Washingtn Department of Natural Resources sites such as Leader Lake off Highway 20 en route to Okanogan. For information, go to www.parks.wa.gov/. Camping at Forest Service campgrounds has a
minimal fee, $5 to $12. If you have an America the Beautiful federal senior pass the cost is half-price, as it is in the national parks. If you plan to make your stay in an RV, there are several private campgrounds including the two state parks
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mentioned. The latter offer most of the amenities you’d expect, including boating and fishing. Both parks also accommodate tent camping, are near commercial centers like Winthrop, Twisp, Carlton and Pateros to grab some fresh grub, fishing necessities and in some cases fishing advice. There is a particularly nice KOA campground on the Methow River just south of Winthrop, and another private, vehicle-friendly operation on Highway 20 a few miles north of Twisp, also a large-scale operation. This is Riverbend RV Park, and as the name implies it is on a bend in the Methow River. At Pearrygin Lake, Silverline Resort offers RV parking and camping on the shore. You can bring your boat. For easy access to town, Pine Near RV Park and Campground in just up the hill from downtown Winthrop and across from the Shafer Museum. For the best and latest information on any of these, it would be a good idea to Google them as to reservations, fees and available dates. And, by Googling or referring to a Methow Valley phone book, there are other smaller campgrounds listed.
On the ground We’ve saved what I consider the best, for last, that being tent camping. It may be at a Forest Service campground, a private one or just out in the woods somewhere. “Somewhere” to me means the Chewuch River and its tributaries. One very notable example would be the Falls Creek Campground. Some RVs can park there, but there is much room for tents and cars. This is true for most of the campgrounds along the river that gurgles or bashes depending on the season, but Falls Creek offers a bonus for the smallest child or oldest adult, in a stroller or walker. It is only a quarter-mile paved path to the waterfalls. Nestled among pine and fir,
the water cascades down over 50 feet, violently bubbling across and through huge boulders in a narrow and frothy stream. And in the summer when the temperature is pushing 90 or 100, there is an immediate cooling, sometimes augmented a wind-borne mist from the falling water. There are at least seven camping grounds, with varying amenities, along the Chewuch drainage. Upper-upper Methow sites
begin about eight miles above Mazama and climax at Harts Pass, over 6,000 feet high, where it can snow any month of the year. This road is closed to trailers, and if you are at all acrophobic, it’s probably better to avoid it. Along the way you’ll pass some other good campgrounds on your left. South of Twisp are seven more Forest Service campgrounds, the closest to town being Black Pine Lake, a small but elegant body of
water surrounded by a dense evergreen canopy. Aside from the campgrounds there are many places along all these Forest Service roads to pull off and set up a tent, or in some cases a camper. Trailers are not recommended, as there may not be a turnaround. Wherever you are, the most crucial thing to remember is dealing with campfires. Be certain it is in a designated fire pit, or else well-cleared and on mineral
soil without a needle or root exposed. And where fires are legal, be sure to douse, drown, stir and drown again the fire site and its perimeter. Forest fires are not uncommon here, and not all that long ago four firefighters lost their lives combating one up the Chewuch. A final thought: Be sure to bring insect repellant, sunscreen and the knowledge that your cell phone may not work once you are in the mountains. a
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The Methow’s lakes & streams beckon anglers of all types
BY PATRICK McGANN The Methow River can be a difficult stream to fish for trout in the summer, but if you know what to offer and how to be stealthy you may encounter some nice resident rainbows, cutthroat and hybrids. The upper mainstem, above Twisp and up the headwaters, is usually better, with access easier the higher you go. In the summer months, the tributaries can be better and easier to fish, although the fish aren’t as big. Trout fishing in streams opens June 1, when it’s not unusual to find the main Methow still running high,
fast and turbidly. The tributaries clear out sooner and start offering opportunities in June. The larger tributaries, the Twisp and Chewuch rivers, are considered high-quality fly fishing water. Both are rocky, high-gradient streams with cold water. A U.S. Forest Service map will help with access information. Boulder Creek is one of the better tributaries, where beaver dams help slow down the water and increase the bug life, and therefore the size of the fish. It can be steep getting down to the water. Just about any creek with
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a deep hole or beaver dam is a good prospect. Watch your access – it can be difficult in the lower elevations. Steelhead season officially opens Oct. 1, but it’s not uncommon for it to open a week or two earlier.
A look at the lakes The Methow Valley boasts a variety of fishable lakes in lovely locations: • Alta Lake: In the lower valley near Pateros, it’s a popular destination for mostly stocker rainbows. The lake has a private resort, state park, 18-hole golf course and paved boat ramp. It is best early in the year as the water temperature gets high and mid-day summer fish get sluggish. Bait, either still-fished or trolled, is the way to go. • Aspen and Deadhorse lakes: West of Twisp, off Twisp River Road on the Big Buck Wildlife Management Area. Both are small lakes (Aspen is very small) and neither get fished very hard. Aspen has brookies and it can be either excellent or
Photo by Laurelle Walsh
Fish from your boat or the shoreline at Pearrygin Lake. absolutely horrible because of winter kill. Deadhorse is more reliable, with rainbows and some nice fish and easy bank access. Bank access only, but both are good for tubes or cats. Aspen requires a short, steep hike. • Black Pine Lake: West of Twisp up the Twisp River. A beautiful lake with an excellent U.S. Forest Service campground, it can be very good for cutthroat and rainbow trout up to 14 inches, occasionally bigger, on anything from wet or dry flies to hardware (especially spoons) to nightcrawlers to Power Bait. Great
for catch-and-release fishing all summer. • Campbell, Cougar and Davis lakes: Located between Twisp and Winthrop east of the Methow River in the Bear Creek drainage. They are catch-and-release, selective gear only during the summer (check regulations) and catch-and-keep during the winter, when they are popular for winter sports enthusiasts. Due to shore vegetation, Campbell is virtually impossible to fish from shore and best fished with a tube or cat, but launching is difficult. • Patterson Lake: Between
Twisp and Winthrop on the road to Sun Mountain. It is planted with larger trout, including triploids and tiger trout, and the lake is open all year. Trout are found throughout the lake and respond well to spinners, spoons and flies as well as prepared baits or nightcrawlers. As a bass lake, it’s marginal, but perch fishing can be excellent with nightcrawlers or perch parts in the middle on the west side. Boat launch, gas motors allowed. Check regulations for horsepower restrictions. • Pearrygin Lake: Northeast of Winthrop. Easily the most popular lake in the valley. Home of Pearrygin Lake State Park with excellent camping facilities, it’s also generously stocked with rainbows with some nice carryovers up into the 14- to 16-inch range. Hardware, flies, nightcrawlers and prepared baits used just about any way you can think of: trolling, casting, still-fishing, cast-and-retrieve. Gas motors allowed. Check regulations for horsepower restrictions.
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• Rainy Lake: Located off Highway 20 at Rainy Pass about a one-mile hike on a paved trail. Like most alpine lakes, it opens late and stays good throughout the summer. It gets hit fairly hard for a hike to the lake due to its location, but it can be a good alternative when the valley floor lakes turn into warm bathtubs. • Twin Lakes: Between Twisp and Winthrop west of the Methow on the way to Patterson Lake. Two lakes, Big Twin, as you would expect, is bigger. And the fish are too. But both can produce some monster trout. Trophy fisheries, selective gear rules, electric motors only. There is a private resort on Big Twin. If fishing is part of the vacation plan, it is imperative that you get a copy of the correct fishing regulations from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. These are sometimes in short supply or completely gone as spring and summer progress, but you can check online at www.wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/ regulations/. a
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Just you and the wilderness BY MARCY STAMPER
For those seeking solitude and self-reliance, backpacking is the way to go Amy Stork is a selfdescribed “total backpacking evangelist.” She’ll grab any chance to head into the wilderness with just a pack on her back – and urges others to do the same. “It’s one of the great joys of my life – I think everyone should try to experience it, because it is qualitatively different from camping next to your car,” said Stork. Like many backpackers, Stork started out with day hikes, took overnight trips, and then graduated to week-long excursions. Then she did a solo month-long backpack on the Pacific Crest Trail, tracing the entire spine of the Oregon Cascades. “It was fabulous,” said Stork, who loves her home base in Twisp because she can get into the mountains with ease.
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Stork cherishes backpacking for the sense of self-reliance it provides. She acknowledges that it can bring up fears about being alone in the wild – whether connected with wild animals or other risks – but has become practiced at driving away these worries. “It’s pretty interesting to experience the wilderness by yourself,” agreed Paul Smotherman, who completed a 10-day solo traverse of the Olympics before he moved to the Methow. Not everyone is seeking solitude. For Twisp residents Tom and Sarah Halpin, backpacking is a way to share experiences as a family. “Some of our best times have been on backpacking trips,” said Tom, who said they take four goats to carry gear for two adults
Photo by Marcy Stamper
Backpacking is a way to connect with nature, with yourself, and to lose yourself in the moment. and four kids, ages 2 to 14. “The kids are really keen observers. They’ll ask about mushrooms or a bend in the river,” said Tom. “Seeing things through kids’ eyes makes the trips really special.”
“The thing I really love about backpacking is it’s like a conduit to get off-road and to see things you wouldn’t see if you don’t move beyond civilization,” said Smotherman. “It’s completely selfsustaining and very simple.”
While most backpackers cherish that sense of self-sufficiency and being away from civilization, they emphasize the need to be prepared. If something happens out in the wilderness, it’s different from being next to your car or just five miles from the trailhead, said Stork. Backpackers need basic first aid supplies, and some are more comfortable having a system for notifying someone in case of emergency – but don’t rely on a cell phone. You won’t necessarily have reception and it can defeat the purpose of the wilderness experience. Experienced backpackers advocate spending extra on lightweight equipment – both for their back and their feet. Stork replaced everything from her first trip with lighter
Photo by Ashley Lodato
Spectacular scenery is a given on any wilderness trek. gear and now has the base weight of her pack – without food and water – down to 18 pounds. Still, you don’t need to saw off the handle of your toothbrush. Smotherman has eliminated a lot of unnecessary gear and brings equipment he can use in several ways, such as a headlamp wrapped around a water
bottle for a lantern. “In order to sustain yourself as a backpacker over the years, you have to carry very little,” said Smotherman, who looks for fabrics that dry quickly so he doesn’t need to carry more than one change of clothes. Pack preferences vary – from internal frame to external frame to no frame. Smotherman prefers packs without a lot of framing, and packs them solid so they conform to his body and keep him agile. The key thing is to have an experienced person help you check the fit, with the pack fully loaded. Smotherman carries a very lightweight, bottomless tent that is supported by trekking poles. It compresses into a tiny wad but can comfortably fit two people and a dog. Managing the weight of your food is one of the crucial aspects of backpacking, said Stork. Ten years ago she survived on Ramen noodles and, while she has since upgraded her cuisine, Stork still chooses meals that need only boiling
water. “Plus, anything you eat is going to taste good if you’ve walked 12 miles,” she said. Smotherman likes his old, reliable stove, which, even though heavier than newer models, can be disassembled in the field to fix a problem. “And I like the ability to simmer and cook beyond boiling water – I’m a bit more gourmet,” he said. Smotherman eats “fairly normal food” – things like couscous that cook quickly. “And if I’m going to carry weight, I’ll carry fresh fruits and vegetables that will keep. A little onion or garlic goes a long way,” he said. Herbs and spices are light and add variety. You can carry less fuel by minimizing the number of times you boil water for a meal. Some people use a feather-light stove made from the bottom of a soda can that burns alcohol. The Halpins cook over wood fires but carry a back-up stove in case of rain. Because of the goats, they can bring fresh vegetables and eggs, rather than dehydrated RETRO
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woods all day and night. “You’re just out there with your backpack, sitting on a rock, no man-made thing – you’re in a position of equality with all the other things out there in the world,” said Stork. “I’ve always headed out in the woods to find that bit of sanity,” said Halpin.
Recommended routes • The Pacific Crest Trail, in either direction, from Harts Pass or Rainy Pass, is very accessible and will take you through some of the most magnificent scenery in the region. • A lake is an appealing destination – most Twisp River trails lead to a lake in about five to seven miles. You can use the lake as a base camp for further exploration. • Further south, in the Lake Chelan–Sawtooth Wilderness, you’ll find many beautiful lakes, including Oval Lakes. • Several trails, including Purple Creek off of War Creek, lead to Stehekin and – if you coordinate transportation – you can take a boat from there to Chelan. a
food. “We make pizzas and pancakes around the fire,” said Tom. Backpackers typically carry a filter or iodine tablets to purify water. A new technology is a small pen that uses ultraviolet light to sterilize water (it does require batteries). Many people find they don’t need the support of heavy boots and instead wear lightweight boots or sneakers. When you’re averaging 17 to 18 miles a day, there’s a big difference in leg fatigue if you can hike in light footwear, they say. Part of the essence of backpacking is that its satisfactions are highly personal. “Backpacking provides immersion in the natural, nonhuman, unconstructed world – it helps connect to something more universal,” said Stork. “Backpacking is a way to clear your head, appreciate where you are, and lose yourself in the moment,” said Smotherman. He also values the unique wildlife encounters afforded by being in the
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These professionals have been helping Methow Valley fisherman and families get into fish for 20 years. For a wide range of gear (rods, reels, flies, waders, lines and accessories) the Sun Mountain Lodge Fly Shop is open 7 days a week. The most current and knowledgeable fishing advice is our specialty. North Cascades Fly Fishing guide service has more than 50 years combined experience fly fishing the Methow waters. NCFF has exclusive access to trophy waters and will guide you to trout and steelhead.
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Taking the waters
BY BOB SPIWAK
The Methow offers waterborne experiences from the mild to the slightly wild
Photo by Laurelle Walsh
The Methow River is challenging but not overwhelming for rafting adventures.
If there is one attribute that makes the Methow Valley outstanding in the summer months, it is water, both rapid and placid. Two mountain-born rivers join at the south end of Winthrop – the Methow and the Chewuch. If you are merely a spectator, there is a relatively new footbridge in town that offers an upstream view of the confluence 100 yards to the north, or downstream where the combined courses retain the Methow River name. Bald eagles, migrating salmon and steelhead may be seen from here. Downstream, some 40 miles to the Methow’s junction with the mighty Columbia River at Pateros, are opportunities for any craft that will float – from tubes to technical whitewater kayaks and all craft between. The venerable Osprey rafting
company has moved, but if raft trips are your thing, look them up on Google as there are frequent visits by out-of-town rafting outfits. From the confluence to Carlton, about 18 river miles, the water is rated at most class 2, making an ideal leisurely float and paddle. Halfway to Twisp there is a small dam, most safely portaged. Some will go over the four-foot drop at river left. Watch out for poison oak if you opt for the portage. If you are not an experienced paddler, better to risk an itch than drowning. There are take-outs along the way, and the Twisp park offers space for a shuttle vehicle and an easy exit from the river. Afew miles upriver along Highway 20 is another frequently used takeout, but it requires climbing a steep bank, which can be quite a chore if your boat or raft will be accompanying
you. Below Carlton, toward and beyond Methow, expect class 3 water. As with any experience on the water in a small craft, a life preserver or personal flotation device is a must. One may laugh at the idea, as the river is not all that deep, but colliding with a rock, eddy turn or hole in the water can send a person into the current of cold snow melt, tumbling down what might be a shallow rocky bottom.
Take to a lake Having preached the personal flotation device sermon, it applies also to still waters. Here again, the Methow Valley shines. One of the most popular parks in the state is but a few miles from downtown Winthrop. This is Pearrygin Lake State Park, and the big lake it fronts carries the same
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There are several spots for quiet canoeing. Always wear a personal flotation device. name. There are formal boat launches in the park and small cruisers with big engines are not unusual. They frequently have skiers, boarders, or other aquatic sport addicts in tow. If you are in such a craft, keep a close eye out for canoes and, especially, kayaks. We almost got run over one year at dusk. Before you leave Pearrygin, be aware there is a price to be paid. If you are shuttling and choose to park at any Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife access, you must have a state-issued Discover Pass. This will allow you to park not only at these sites but also at Department of Natural Resources land and, of course, state parks. The pass is $10 per day at the park or $11.50 from a dealer. The better buy is the season Discover Pass at $30, or $35 from a dealer. For more detail call toll-free, 1-866-320-9933, or visit www.parks.wa.gov/. If you plan to fish, you will need a fishing license. Be sure to get the current fishing regulations book and read it carefully in conjunction with a map, or visit www.wdfw. wa.gov/fishing/regulations/. Regulations can change during the season. Incidentally, if you park on the national forest you will need yet another pass, available from U.S. Forest Service headquarters in Winthrop or other places. Back to Pearrygin Lake. It is well-stocked with trout and there are other native finned creatures. There is camping, both vehicular and tent, but reservations may be needed. Again, see www.parks.wa.gov/. There are more quiet and sedate lakes in the immedi-
ate area. On the way to Sun Mountain Lodge is Patterson Lake, just a bit smaller than Pearrygin. There’s a large Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife parking area, a dirt and gravel launch, and a feeling of seclusion. Ringed with trees and marshes at the east end, it harbors many species of birds, aquatic animals and quiet, other than cars on the road. On the way before turning off to Patterson are the Twin Lakes, easily visible.
They are small, hence the names Big Twin and Little Twin, and offer ultra-casual boating. There is a small resort fronting the larger lake. Just beyond the Bear Creek Golf course to the south of Winthrop lies Davis Lake. This is as close to a desert lake as exists in the upper Methow. It offers a boat launch and unimproved parking area, only a few buildings at shoreside on the south bank, and is otherwise virtually treeless and devoid of people fishing.
Another quiet and comfortable lake. South of Twisp is Black Pine Lake. There is a gorgeous, heavily treed national forest campground. The lake is relatively small, but suitable for folks with small children who definitely should be wearing personal flotation devices regardless of the benign nature of this aquatic gem. To get there, consult your map. The annual runoff from melting mountain snow usually reaches its peak in
late May and early June on the two rivers. They can be high, fast and murky. There have been fatalities during this phase in years past when discretion was overtaken by what some might call valor, but in fact was sheer stupidity. At roiling high water, if you want to paddle or play, be wise and keep to the lakes. Paddle them, float them, fish them, bird-watch around and in them or just take a dip – the Methow’s waters will be waiting for you. a
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Photo credits: Rick Allen, David Astudillo, John Harter, Elizabeth Penhollow & NEllen Regier
Methow Valley Summer 19
Different strokes BY BOB SPIWAK
Golfers will find a variety of options in and around the Methow
Photo by MacLeod Pappidas
Bear Creek Golf Course near Winthrop offers breathtaking scenery from tee to green.
he Methow Valley is not renowned for its multiple golf attractions. Small wonder, as there are only two courses, one in Winthrop and the other 40 miles south at Alta Lake. This paucity of courses competes
with camping, fishing, boating, hiking, climbing, biking, birding, hunting and loafing. But despite headlines a n d h o o p l a p ro d u c e d around the nation by courses new and old, there’s a steady stream of regulars, aside
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from local residents, who come from other places to play here. Why? In the case of Bear Creek Golf Course at Winthrop, the scenery is enough to entice many golfers to withdraw cameras and
picture-taking phones from their bags. There is only one golf course in North Central Washington that can offer equal or better views, and we’ll come to that in a bit. Its name is similar, Bear Mountain.
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The other Methow Valley course, near where the river joins the Columbia at Pateros, is Alta Lake Golf Course. The big draw here is 18 holes on a fine course whose amenities include a swimming pool, a motel whose rooms look
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over the pool and the front nine, and probably the biggest out-of-area draw, group golf. Yes, parties of friends from in-state and beyond will book a block of time, enjoy “stay-and-play” discounts on golf, and just hang out at the motel and pool. Bear Creek is a nine-hole track with the back nine played off tees different from the front. It is surrounded by mountains of varying heights including the tallest peak in oversized Okanogan County. The view is 360 degrees of heights, snow-clad in the early and late seasons. The course offers bentgrass greens, wide fairways, challenging lies, and a couple of challenging holes that become blind shots halfway there. It’s extremely well groomed. Alta Lake is a converted nine-holer that offers a legitimate 18 with the arrival years ago of a new back nine. The greens are double-size on the front, having been being played twice in the nine-hole days. The back
nine has a different complexion, including a view from its heights of the Columbia River en route to a challenging finishing hole, at what appears to be the highest point on the course.
Outside the valley Moving somewhat out of the valley to the east, where the Okanogan River joins the Columbia, is Lake Woods, a park-like ninehole, 18-tee venue. Adjoining a state park and just upstream from Chief Joseph Dam, the course has a driving range. Of all the courses covered in this article, this one has the most trees in play yet retains a feeling of openness. The greens are small and fast, the fairways generous. Moving south to Lake Chelan, there are two distinctly different courses, both 18-hole, both with lake and mountain views. Lake Chelan Municipal has been around for many decades. It has, in my opinion, the best
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driving range of all those we cover. It likewise has the fastest and most challenging greens, and just to add to the effect, they are not all that big. The terrain it covers is varied, offers doglegs, climbs, and blind shots that collectively require every club in the bag. The course is about 60 miles from Winthrop; most of the drive follows the Methow and Columbia rivers, scenic in themselves. Across the lake and 1,600 feet above it is the aforementioned Bear Mountain Ranch. This is a 9-year-old course with blow-yourmind views, especially when the snow is still on the mountains. It’s a toughie course too, with lots of sidehill shots, elevated greens and some blind approaches. The bunkering is a fairly easy commodity to avoid, other than heroic shots from afar. T h e a t m o s p h e re i s friendly and then some, led by head pro Von Smith. The course offers a small pro shop, an uphill driving range
and a great snack bar. But above all, it boasts the most exciting views, certainly in North Central Washington, perhaps the entire state. It’s about 65 miles from Winthrop, across the lake from the municipal course. The farthest afar, by way of a river-edging drive, is Desert Canyon Golf Resort. It’s about 75 miles from Winthrop. When it opened in the late 1990s it was touted as the best new course in the state. It still retains a lot of that glamour. The greens are immense but not too difficult to approach – unless you are in the sandy desert, brush-laden roughs. The fairways are long and most agreeable to hit from. It shares with Bear Mountain the distinction of what were, and may still be, the longest single holes in the state – over 600 yards from the blacks. It and Bear Mountain have five tees to accommodate all skill levels. Carts are required on these two and included in the greens fees.
The last of our travels is to the Okanogan Valley Golf Club. It is east of the Methow over Highway 20 to Okanogan, then a bit west. It is a nine-hole course, with 18 tees, that begins in a benign tree-lined park setting, then changes its mind for a moreopen venue. There are some difficult holes, and a unique tee that sits on a hill between two opposing fairways. It is a fun course to play and probably the closest to Winthrop other than Bear Creek. All the courses mentioned offer carts with a separate fee, other than the two most recently mentioned. Most have junior rates, and rates will go up somewhat at all of them come Memorial Day. In doing research for this article, I found errors or old data on several websites. Be sure to call and verify what you’ve read. As some websites do not have phone numbers, we offer them here. All have the 509 area code prefix except the toll-free numbers. a
Bear Creek 996-2284 Lake Woods 686-5721 Alta Lake 923-2359 Lake Chelan 800-246-5361 Okanogan 826-6937 Bear Mountain 877-917-8200 Desert Canyon 800-258-4173
Photo by Mike Maltais
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Methow Valley Summer 21
The Methow ascendant
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22 Methow Valley Summer
A growing community of climbers is discovering the valley’s ‘improbably good’ challenges
limbers, like architects and actuaries, tend to view the world in terms of lines and probabilities. Drive to the overlook at Washington Pass on almost any summer weekend and you will inevitably encounter climbers staring up at the east face of Liberty Bell and scoping out the imaginary paths linking talus to summit. It is a ritual with which Larry Goldie is well familiar. As co-owner of North Cascades Mountain Guides and a winter heli-ski guide, Goldie has probably spent more time examining the topography of Washington Pass than anyone in recent history. Yet he still feels the magic – a phenomenon he attributes in large part to his clients. “I love seeing the mountains through their eyes,” he explains. “It reminds me of how thrilling this place really is.” But visualizing an adventure is only part of the formula, and where climb-
ing is concerned the more telling ingredient lies in pulling on a pack, walking to the base of a wall and pitting one’s courage, skill and tenacity against the uncertainties that lie above. And that part still works for Goldie, too. “I do the same six to eight classics over and over again,” he says, “and I never get tired of them. Plus there’s still room to sneak in an occasional first ascent or, if the weather turns bad, to head down to Mazama and get in a good day of climbing down there.” Little wonder that guidebook author Ian Nicholson has called the range of peaks surrounding Washington Pass “the best alpine rock destination in North America.” But there is more to it than that. What Mark Allen, an IFMGA-licensed guide and a former valley resident, likes best about climbing in this area is its “Europeanstyle” atmosphere. Which,
in climber’s parlance, is to say short approaches, routes that can be accomplished in a single day, and the opportunity to not only enjoy “the best alpine rock climbing” in the Pacific Northwest but also “the amenities of the Methow Valley.”
Becoming a destination In recent years those amenities have expanded to include a vibrant climbing scene on its own terms. Where for decades climbers descended to the Methow only when storms threatened the mountains above, beginning in the late-1980s a part-time valley resident named Bryan Burdo began developing the local crags as a unique and separate destination from Washington Pass. Partnered by a small group of dedicated friends, Burdo leveraged his indefatigable energy into creating literally hundreds of safe, accessible and astonishingly diverse routes on crags
located all over the Methow and Chewuch drainages. The result, according to Sid Pattison, is “improbably good climbing” and a remarkably open and rapidly growing community of climbers. Speaking from his shoe repair shop in downtown Winthrop, Pattison recalls that when he first arrived in the valley, “people only climbed here if they had been weathered out of the mountains. Now people come here specifically to climb in the valley and if they have some time left over go up to climb at Washington Pass.” It is a change that reflects other evolutions in the sport as well. Over the last 30 years, as year-round training, bolted routes, better gear, and densely informative guidebooks have removed much of the mystique that once marginalized climbing (and climbers), that space has been filled by a community within the sport that is both broader and more inclusive.
“I love having a growing community of folks to go out with,” Sol Gutierrez of Mazama explains. “Especially other women. It’s inspiring for me.” That’s a sentiment shared by Tiffany Vidal of Twisp. “Sometimes it can take quite a while to find people who you are psyched to climb [with],” she says. But not here. “It has been really cool to find a strong climbing community in the valley,” Vidal says. “I really appreciate the amazing people that are part of [it].” Tom Smith, also of Twisp, has even opened a Facebook page to help connect valley climbers with each other and to provide route information.
An expanding scene Looking ahead, there is very little reason to believe the numbers of people coming to live and climb in the Methow will do anything but grow. Local rumor insists
that Burdo will be back in the valley this summer putting up even more routes and finishing work on a muchanticipated second edition of his out-of-print guidebook. Likewise, after a year of working through financial issues related to a change in its national structure, Outward Bound’s Mazama base will once again be open and introducing scores of new climbers to both climbing and the local mountains. Photo by Ashley Lodato But perhaps the biggest factor in growing this It’s never too early to begin scaling the rock. community is what has not1 changed. Ms. Kitty’s place 1 “What I value most 2 Ms. Kitty’s place about climbing,” as Pattison put it, “is its ability OLD time phOtO to center me. To help me parLOr find my equilibrium.” Or, ‘Create A Memory’ as Vidal describes it, “when Kitty Nelson Kitty Nelson Fun For The you overcome your fear Owner Owner to accomplish something Whole Family challenging, it just feels 229 C Riverside Ave. 229 C Riverside Ave. incredible.” Winthrop, WA. 98862 Drop-ins Welcome Winthrop, WA. 98862 For whatever else we (509) 996- 9912 take up onto the walls of (509) 996-Riverside 9912 245-A Avenue Washington Pass, or the Downtown Winthrop (509) 996-9912 Methow, or the Chewuch, 3 4 the one constant is ourOLD time phOtO parLOr selves. Climbing never lies. It is always the truth. It is 3 an honest broker – a mirror OLD time phOtO Kitty NelsonparLOr that embraces our wildest Owner dreams without criticism and yet never fails to reflect Kitty Nelson our greatest fears, our most 229 C Riverside Ave. Winthrop, WA. 98862 Owner burning wants, our most stinging limitations and our (509) 996- 9912 most profound capabilities. “Part of what I love 229 C Riverside Ave. about climbing,” Gutierrez 6 Winthrop, WA. 98862Ms. Kitty’s place 5 told me, “is that it feels good (509) 996- 9912 to look back and acknowlOLD time phOtO edge my growth and laugh parLOr at myself.” Or, as Cory Richards so succinctly described Kitty Kitty’s Nelson place verythingMs. it, “Climbing is like love.5 of e Owner t i b We endure pain for the joy le that comes with discovering 229 C Riverside Ave. tt i l Winthrop, WA. 98862 ourselves.” And who wouldn’t want (509) 996- 9912 a part of that? So while climbing the Kitty Nelson east face of Liberty Bell Owner might make very little practical sense, there just may not 229 C Riverside Ave. be any more useful primer Winthrop, WA. 98862 for life or for forming a community of friends. a 996- 9912 open daily(509) 7am-6pm
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A full range of climbing challenges can be found in and around the Methow Valley.
Geof Childs is an accomplished climber and author of Stone Palaces, a collection of climbing-related stories.
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50 lost river rd mazama, WA 996-2855 Methow Valley Summer 23
Don’t park without a pass BY MARCY STAMPER
Most of the Methow’s public lands require a pass, and every jurisdiction has its own rules Maps of the Methow show land ownership as a jigsaw puzzle of irregular shapes coded in shades of pastel. So it is no wonder that figuring out which recreation pass you need to enjoy those lands can be such a mystery. Nevertheless, solving that puzzle has become increasingly important for people who use those areas to hike, watch wildlife or float their boat, with government land managers trying to fill budget gaps with recreation passes and day fees. The U.S. Forest Service has been requiring passes (Northwest Forest Pass, $30, annual; National Forest Recreation Day Pass, $5, day) for most trails since 2005, based on certain amenities at the trailhead. The Forest Service does maintain several free local trailheads – including the popular trail to Goat Peak in Mazama, the West Fork Methow trail in Lost River, and Copper Glance up the Chewuch – and last year the agency eliminated fees for the entire Harts Pass area (except for camping). Washington state began imposing its own fees for most of its recreation lands – state parks, wildlife areas and forests – two years ago, after the Legislature drastically cut funds that once supported public lands. The Discover Pass ($30, annual; $10, day; plus transaction fees – $5 for an annual pass and $1.50 for a day pass if not bought from a state park ranger) is now required at lands managed by Washington State Parks, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), but not necessarily in all situations – and therein lies another conundrum for the outdoor enthusiast. “It’s hard to just make a general statement because people have to know where they are,” said Rob Wottlin, assistant manager for the state’s 24 Methow Valley Summer
Methow Wildlife Area. “You’ve got to know where you’re parking, and whether it’s state, federal or private.” In the Methow, anyone parking on state land needs a Discover Pass, but if you can park safely on a state or county road, you do not need a pass, according to a spokesperson for WDFW. In Okanogan County, DNR is requiring the Discover Pass only at only certain campgrounds in the Loup Loup State Forest and Loomis State Forest. Most of the shrub-steppe areas in the lower Methow Valley and those east of the Loup Loup summit – good for walking, horseback riding and wildlife viewing – are managed by DNR but do not presently require a pass. In fact, the key thing to know about both federal and state passes is that they apply to vehicles – primarily for parking – and are therefore not required for anyone arriving on foot, bicycle or horse. The federal Northwest Forest Pass can be transferred between an unlimited number of vehicles and this year the state’s Discover Pass has been retooled so you can swap it between two (specific) vehicles.
Other passes available In addition to the main passes – day or annual versions of the Northwest Forest Pass and the Discover Pass – a variety of other passes are available, depending on your interests, age and the extent of your use of public lands. If you’re over 62, you can get a good deal on a lifetime pass (the Interagency Senior Pass) that will provide access to virtually all federal lands – national parks, Forest Service properties, Bureau of Land Management sites and more – for just $10. A pass providing entry to all federal
Photo by Marcy Stamper
Easy Pass in the North Cascades is just one of the spectacular areas reachable from local trailheads – but be sure to check which parking permits you’ll need. lands (the Interagency Access Pass) is available for free to those with a disability. The Interagency Annual Pass ($80, annual) provides access to all those lands for people under 62 and could be a good option if you plan to visit a lot of national parks. Note that our closest park – North Cascades National Park – still has no entrance fee. The state doesn’t provide a break for older recreationists, but there are a few package deals if you have specialized interests. If you’re a boater and have the watercraft launch permit (Natural Investment Permit, $80), you don’t need a Discover Pass – for state parks. But you would still need one to visit a WDFW area or DNR lands. If you have a hunting or fishing license, you won’t need the Discover Pass to visit WDFW lands (but you do
need the WDFW vehicle-access pass, free to those with these licenses). Still, this pass won’t get you entree to state parks or DNR lands. People with disabilities (and official license plates) can visit state parks without a Discover Pass, but will need the pass for WDFW or DNR lands. Because there are so many options, several agencies and organizations have created handy questionand-answer guides and fact sheets to help you determine which pass will be most appropriate and economical for you. Try the Forest Service’s guide at www.fs.fed.us/passespermits (follow the link to the “Recreation Fees and Passes Web Site”) or the “Which Pass Do I Need Q&A” link on the Washington Trails Association website at www. wta.org/hiking-info/passes/passes-andpermit-info. a
FEDERAL Northwest Forest Pass (annual, $30) In person: Methow Valley Ranger District in Winthrop (24 W. Chewuch Rd., 996-4003) Online: U.S. Forest Service: www. fs.fed.us/passespermits National Forest Recreation Pass (day, $5) In person: at trailheads; requires exact amount or check Northwest Forest Pass ($30), Federal Interagency Pass ($80), Interagency Senior Pass, $10; all annual passes Online or by phone: U.S. Geological Survey store at http://store.usgs.gov, (888) 275-8747
Where to buy rec passes STATE Discover Pass (annual, $30; day, $5) In person: state park ranger (no transaction fees) Local vendors: Bryan’s Clothing & Sporting Goods Station, Twisp The Outdoorsman, Winthrop Pardners Mini Market, Winthrop Valley Hardware Do it Center, Twisp (local vendors include transaction fees: $5, annual; $1.50, day)
Online or by phone: www.discoverpass.wa.gov or (866) 320-9933 (includes transaction fees: $5, annual; $1.50, day) GENERAL INFORMATION U.S. Forest Service: www.fs.fed.us/ passespermits (follow the link to the “Recreation Fees and Passes Web Site”)
in Eastern Washington
Washington Trails Association: www. wta.org/hiking-info/basics/passesand-permit-info Discover Pass: www.discoverpass. wa.gov; frequently asked questions, exemptions, etc.
Trails and recreation sites – a selection of popular places Lower Valley (Pateros to Carlton) Alta Lake State Park, DP, NIP Crater Creek, free Foggy Dew Trail, free Martin Lakes, NW, IA Eagle Lakes, NW, IA Carlton Swimming Hole, DP, VA Golden Doe Wildlife Area, DP Leecher Mountain, NW, IA Twisp and Twisp River Lookout Mountain, NW, IA Black Pine Lake, day use free Deadhorse Lake, DP Big Buck Wildlife Area, DP Aspen Lake, free, from either Elbow Coulee Road or Frost Road Twisp River Trail, NW, IA East Fork Buttermilk, free War Creek, NW, IA Twisp Pass, NW, IA Slate Creek, free Copper Pass, NW Louis Lake, NW, IA Winthrop, West Chewuch, Rendezvous Pearrygin Lake State Park, DP, NIP Lewis Butte, DP Riser Lake, DP, VA Twin Lakes, free Patterson Mountain, DP to park at boat launch on Patterson Lake. (There is a small free public-parking area along Patterson Lake Road.) Patterson Lake, boat launch: DP, VA Sun Mountain trails, free Methow Wildlife Area (Bear Creek), DP Falls Creek Falls, NW, IA Buck Lake, NW, IA Copper Glance, free Andrews Creek, NW, IA Mazama, Harts Pass Big Valley, DP Goat Peak, free West Fork Methow, free Monument Creek, free Robinson Pass, NW, IA Pacific Crest Trail (north & south), NW, IA Harts Pass–area trails, free, including Grasshopper Pass and Windy Pass North Cascades Hwy (east of the crest) Cedar Creek, NW, IA Driveway Butte, NW, IA Cutthroat Lake/Pass, NW, IA Washington Pass overlook, free Pacific Crest Trail (north & south), NW, IA Blue Lake, NW, IA Rainy Lake, NW, IA Lake Ann/Maple Pass, NW, IA Boulder Creek Tiffany Mountain/Freezeout Ridge, NW, IA Bear Creek, East Valley, Loup Loup Cougar Lake, DP Campbell Lake, DP Pipestone Canyon, DP Loup Loup State Forest, free; DP required for some campgrounds KEY: DP: Discover Pass IA: Federal Interagency Passes NIP: Natural Investment Permit NW: Northwest Forest Pass VA: vehicle-acess permit for those with hunting and fishing licences All areas requiring a Northwest Forest Pass or Federal Interagency Pass can also be accessed with the National Forest Recreation Day Pass.
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Methow Valley Summer 25
Take it in
BY ANN McCREARY
Day hikes in and around the valley range from easy to challenging So many hikes, so little time. That’s often an issue faced by visitors, and busy residents as well, who want to explore the hills and mountains around the Methow Valley but have a limited timeframe. “We find that an increasing number of visitors are looking to fit several recreational opportunities into their time in the Methow Valley, so a hike or walk is usually shared with some other activity each day,” said Joe Brown, owner of Methow Cycle and Sport. Brown’s bike and outdoor equipment shop is located at the north end of Winthrop on Highway 20, so for many people it’s a convenient stopping place to gather information as they enter town over the North Cascades Highway. As a result, “we get a lot of questions from visitors for day hikes that are accessible from town, whether Winthrop, Mazama or Twisp,” Brown said. “A high percentage of those visitors are looking for a hike or walk that is short, interesting and easy to navigate, with many adventuring as a family including children and/or dogs,” he said. In order to offer ideas for an appropriate hike, Brown said, “we really listen to how much time the individual has, what they are looking for, and how fit 26 Methow Valley Summer
and able they might be.” Brown likes to reference a trail map of the Methow Valley put out by AdventureMaps, which provides good graphic and written guides to hiking and biking trails in and around the valley. Diane Childs, owner of Winthrop Mountain Sports in downtown Winthrop, also fields a lot of questions from people about hiking in and around the valley. She said it usually takes a few questions – and explanations – to determine the best outing. “We have to ask the questions about how long do you want to go, and do you want hills? A lot of people want great views and don’t want to go uphill,” Childs said. “They need to realize how the valley is laid out. You either start low and there’s a lot of uphill, or you drive to Harts Pass and Rainy Pass and start higher.”
On the ‘must-do’ list If people have time for only one hike, are reasonably fit, and have a few hours to devote to hiking, Childs says she recommends Maple Pass Loop. Many locals, she added, say Maple Pass is a “mustdo” hike for them each year. “You can’t beat it for what you get in that distance,” she said. “You
Continued on P. 28
Methow Valley Summer 27
From P. 26 get up high and it’s a loop, and that’s always fun.” The trailhead for Maple Pass is located at Rainy Pass on North Cascades Highway 20. The 7.5-mile loop climbs up through forests to eye-popping views of the North Cascades mountain range. Taking the loop counterclockwise is steeper up and more gradual on the way down. Hikers on Maple Pass sometimes report seeing bears in the area, and marmots whistle from talus fields along the way. Accessed by the same trailhead is an easy, 2.4mile wheelchair accessible hike to Rainy Lake that also offers lovely highmountain scenery for little effort. Cutthroat Lake and Cutthroat Pass trails, also
along the North Cascades Highway, offer some choices in terms of difficulty as well, Childs said. The 3-mile hike into the lake is easy and the roundtrip can be done in under two hours. For people who want more of a challenge, the 12-mile round trip to the pass climbs 2,300 feet to a high ridge with panoramic views. “Some people have a mixed group and for some the lake is plenty, and others want to do the pass,” Childs said. Another option for the pass is to arrange transportation and hike from Rainy Pass to the Cutthroat trailhead, or vice versa. A less ambitious, but fun outing – especially on a hot summer day – is a trip to Falls Creek Falls, 11 miles out of Winthrop on
Photo by Marcy Stamper
The hills are often blooming with color. 28 Methow Valley Summer
the West Chewuch Road. A paved pathway provides handicapped access to the first set of falls only about 500 feet from the trailhead. The waterfall cascades into a lovely pool with impressive force during spring and early summer snowmelt, and later in the season the spray from the waterfall creates a refreshing mist. The trail, no longer handicapped accessible after the first falls, climbs to a couple other waterfalls along the creek.
Kid-friendly, close-in For a quick and easy hike suited to families with young children, Brown says he suggests the Sa Teekh Wa trail and park. The Sa Teekh Wa trail is a 2-mile interpretive trail along the Chewuch River accessed by a foot bridge at the northwest end of Winthrop’s boardwalk. It’s a flat, shady stroll through pines along the scenic river, which is also a major salmon spawning area. The lower Methow Valley offers a variety of hikes as well. Kirsten Ostlie, manager of the Methow Valley Visitor Information Center in Twisp, likes to send people to Lookout Mountain, but warns them that the road to the trailhead is rough. The trailhead is at the end of Lookout Mountain Road, which begins just outside downtown Twisp. Parts of the 6-mile drive have to be taken slowly to avoid rocks and potholes. A 2.6-mile roundtrip hike climbs 1,100 feet to an old fire lookout tower and panoramic views of the Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness and the valley below. For a lesser-known, easy hike in the Twisp area that isn’t found in guidebooks, Brown suggests Frost Road to Dead Horse Lake. From Twisp drive about 3 miles out Twisp River Road to Frost Road,
Photo by Ashley Lodato
Many local hikes are perfect for all ages. follow the road to the first green gate on the right and park nearby. A 1-mile walk along the dirt road past the gate brings hikers to Dead Horse Lake, with a fantastic view to the south of the Sawtooth Mountains. Many trailheads around the Methow Valley require a Northwest Forest
Pass, so hikers are wise to check on pass requirements before heading out for a hike (see story on page 24). The passes are available at the Methow Ranger District, Winthrop Mountain Sports and Methow Cycle and Sport. Day permits are also available at some trailheads. a
Methow Valley Summer 29
Saddle up BY MIKE MALTAIS
Horse pack the wilderness for unforgettable memories Horse packing into the high country comes in three flavors around here: commercial outfitters, roll your own, or a combination of the two. Whichever option you choose there are plenty of places to go and poundfor-pound the wilderness experience will probably rank right up there with the best life throws at you. I clearly recall my first horse packing trips as a pre-teen that were more of the working sort, being part of a small group of riders trailing a herd of cattle to summer range some dozen miles into the back country northwest of Starvation Mountain. With a couple of pack horses in tow our destination was a musty little cabin that we shared with the rodents and spiders for several days while we cleared trails, cut paths through deadfalls, put out salt blocks and got the herd settled.
Those who choose the Methow Valley as a jumping off point for their wilderness experience have over half a million acres to chose from in the Pasayten Wilderness hugging the Canadian border to the north and the smaller Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness (153,057 acres) to the west. The U.S. Forest Service manages both expanses and the Methow Valley Ranger District in Winthrop is a good place to begin to find out more about rules and regulations governing access to and use of both areas. The agency’s seven “Leave No Trace” principles – plan ahead and prepare; travel and camp on durable surfaces; dispose of waste properly; leave what you find; minimize campfire impacts; respect wildlife; and be considerate of other visitors – help insure that the wilderness will remain unspoiled for future generations to enjoy.
Photo by Patrick Hannigan
Local outfitters offer a range of options for seeing the scenery from horseback. Amber Stokes, lead wilderness ranger for the Methow Valley Ranger District, noted that a horse packing party is limited to no more than 12 individuals and 18 head of pack and saddle horses. Private party wranglers with their own stock and tack are well acquainted with horse packing eti-
C o l d w e l l B a n k e r Wi n t h r o p R e a l t y
quette. But if you’re new to the experience or unfamiliar with the area, one of the local commercial outfitters is a recommended route to get the most our of your wilderness adventure. The commercial packers offer several options tailored to suit just about any level of backcountry experience. Clients can ride in or hike
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in to their destinations and once there can experience whatever amount of “roughing it” they prefer. Outfitters offer everything from deluxe packages to drop camps and range from a fully catered experience to transport for the more independent do-it-yourself types who bring their own equipment. “I do a lot of drop camps,” Aaron Burkhart, owner of Early Winters Outfitting & Saddle, said of his clientele. “They can hike in and we carry in their gear or they can ride in and we come and pick them up.” “The Ride to Rendezvous is usually the event that kicks off the packing season,” said Ryan Surface, owner of North Cascade Safaris. This year the 15th annual five-day ride will run from May 6-10 and culminate in Winthrop with the 25th annual Packers’ Rendezvous during the ‘49er Days celebration May 10-12. Horse packing trips into the surrounding wilderness
areas begin around mid-June for elevations around 4,500 feet and early July for subalpine destinations around 7,000 feet. “We can get into the Hidden Lakes at 4,500 feet around June 20th for the serious fishermen,” said Steve Darwood, owner of North Cascade Outfitters and Cascade Wilderness Outfitters. Darwood got into the business working for his uncle when he was 13 years old and has been active in the business for the past 45 years. “Probably 75 percent of my business comes from non-hunters,” Darwood said. Surface concurred that more of his business also comes from summer trips. “The early hunt in September runs from Sept. 15-25, 11 days,” Surface said. “And last year the general hunting season was knocked down to nine days in October.” That leaves a larger 90day window for wilderness trips open from June into September for hikers, anglers, photographers and general
wilderness buffs. Burkhart, whose riding stable also offers horseback trips from one hour to a full day, said he likes “seeing the light go on with people when they get into the wilderness and bond with their horse.” “It gives you an opportunity to totally unwind,” said Burkhart, who has been guiding guests for 40 years. “One of the things clients comment on is the sky and how many more stars they can see.” Long time Winthrop resident Claude Miller, who was an outfitter and guide until 2005, recalled being told that the only spot in the nation that rivals the Pasayten Wilderness for scenic beauty is the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. “I’ve never been to the San Juans, so I don’t know,” Miller confessed. “But I packed a former game warden from Montana who’d seen lots of country. He told me the scenery in the Pasayten was as fine as he’d ever seen.” a
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Get outfitted The Washington Outfitters and Guides Association web site at www.woga.org/ provides a list of pack strings that operate locally. They include:
• Cascade Wilderness Outfitters Owner: Steve Darwood P.O Box 103, Carlton, WA 98814 www.cascadewildernessoutfitters.com (509) 997-0155 • Early Winters Outfitting & Saddle Co. Owners: Aaron and Judy Burkhart 18078 Highway 20, Winthrop, WA 98862 www.earlywintersoutfitting.com (509) 996-2659 or (800) 737-8750 • North Cascade Outfitters Owners: Steve and Jess Darwood P.O. Box 103, Carlton, WA 98814 www.northcascadeoutfitters.com (509) 997-3030 • North Cascade Safaris Owner: Ryan Surface 24 Surface Lane, Twisp, WA 98856 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (509) 997-0215 • Sawtooth Outfitters Owner: Brian Varrelman P.O. Box 284, Pateros, WA 98846 www.altalake.com/sawtoothoutfitters.html (509) 923-2548
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AUGUST 8-11, 2013 Methow Valley Summer 31
BY LAURELLE WALSH
Bicyclists will find miles of Methow roads and trails for all skill levels
Photo by Sue Misao
Don’t forget the kids when you hit the bike trails.
With its networks of trails and miles of quiet county roads, “In terms of sheer cycling variety, the Methow has a little something for everyone,” according to cycling advocate and Methow Cycle and Sport co-owner Julie Muyllaert. Beginning trail riders might try the lower Sun Mountain Trails, sections of the 30-kilometer Methow Valley Community Trail, and the pump track alongside the Winthrop ball field for fun rides and skill-building opportunities, said Muyllaert. Intermediate mountain bikers will enjoy Sun Mountain’s upper trails, Pipestone Canyon, and the Buck Mountain Loop, according to Muyllaert. For advanced riders, she recommends Angel’s Staircase, Cutthroat Pass and Starvation Mountain, all offering challenges for the techni-
cally proficient single track rider. Trail riders should note that the ever-popular 13-mile Buck Mountain loop trail is still impacted by logging that began last summer. An alternate route that starts at Buck Lake and “still allows riders to access the best parts,” is well signed, however a map is recommended, according to the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association (MVSTA). The route is viewable online at www. mvsta.com//buckmtn.html, or on the West Methow Trails map published by Amazing Maps. Most of MVSTA’s famous Nordic ski trails become multiuse hiking/biking paths in the summer. Interactive trail maps are available on the trail association’s website (www.mvsta.com), where you can find thorough descriptions of the best road and mountain bike rides around
the valley, as well as where to purchase books and maps. Also, see the trail map on pages 26-27 of this publication. On the pavement, cyclists, drivers and pedestrians should remember that “We live in a small, rural environment with narrow roads with minimal shoulders. A lot of people are sharing the roads,” said Muyllaert, founder of Methow Shares and Cares, a road safety education campaign. Bicyclists should keep their heads up, eyes open, and follow the rules of the road, signaling when turning, and stopping at stop signs, said Muyllaert. Motorists by law must give bicyclists three feet of room and wait until it is safe to pass. “Remember that a bicycle on the road is considered another vehicle,” she reminds drivers.
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Advocates for trails
The 50-member Methow chapter of the statewide Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance was formed in 2012 to advocate for mountain biking and sustainable trails in the Methow Valley. In its first year, the Methow chapter, working alongside the U.S. Forest Service, succeeded in reopening the West Fork of the Methow trail, according to chapter president Merle Kirkley. This summer the mountain bike alliance plans monthly trail work parties starting with a general membership meeting, ride and barbecue at the Chickadee Trailhead on May 4. For more information go to www.methowevergreenmtb.org.
Bike repairs and rentals
Is your derailleur derailed? Brake broke? Wheel wobbly? Bicycle service and repairs are available from two new mobile shops – North Cascades Cycle Werks featuring pick-up and drop-off service, and Community Bicycle Services with a booth
at the Methow Valley Farmers Market – as well as Methow Cycle and Sport. Bicycle rentals, gear and supplies can be obtained at Sun Mountain Lodge, Winthrop Mountain Sports, Methow Cycle and Sport, Jack’s Hut at Freestone Inn and Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies in Mazama.
Any number of organized bike tours – sponsored by large and small bicycle clubs based around the state – will pass through the Methow this summer as their leaders take members spinning over Loup Loup or Washington passes. Three accommodations cater specifically to bicycle travelers in need of a place to rest their weary legs. North Cascades Mountain Hostel in Winthrop rents communal bunk rooms, with private cabins and a hiker/biker hut in the works. Barn Bicycle Camping provides camping exclusively to bicyclists at the home of Jim and Jan
Gregg on the North Cascades Highway between Winthrop and Mazama. And Pine Near RV Park in Winthrop offers tent sites and rental tipis that sleep four.
A double handful of bike events will keep the wheels turning in the Methow this summer. • Two Bike Rodeos, featuring fun and bike skills for kids, are scheduled for May 18 at TwispWorks, and June 8 at Pearrygin Lake State Park, from 10 a.m. to noon each day. Call 997-4013 for more information. • Free test rides of Trek bikes are offered May 24-25 at Sun Mountain’s Chickadee Trailhead, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Call 996-3645 for details. • The Loup Loup Mountain Challenge is two days of cross-country and enduro races on June 29-30. Sign up at rideviciouscycle.com. • Gran Fondo Winthrop on Aug. 4 is an 80-mile ride boasting 10,000 feet of climb-
ing that starts and finishes at the Winthrop Barn. Sign up at rideviciouscycle.com. • The Trek Dirt Series Bike Camp in Winthrop on Sept. 14-15 teaches mountain bike skills exclusively to women. Sign up at www.dirtseries.com. • The Methow Valley OffRoad Duathlon on Sept. 28 is a 40K mountain bike/10K trail run on the Sun Mountain trail system. Register at www.methowduathlon.blogspot. com. a
Who to contact North Cascades Cycle Werks 996-2225 Community Bicycle Services 997-2636 Methow Cycle and Sport 996-3645 Winthrop Mountain Sports 996-2886 Sun Mountain Lodge 996-4735 Goat’s Beard 996-2515 Jack’s Hut 996-3906 North Cascades Mountain Hostel (509) 699-0568 northcascadesmountainhostel.com Barn Bicycle Camping 996-3163 http://barnbicycle camping.blogspot.com Pine Near RV Park (509) 341-4062 www.pinenearpark.com
MV News file photo
Challenging trails can take you deep into the woods.
Blue Star Summer Cycle Challenge
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Pick-up your passport anywhere that Blue Star Coffee is served in the Methow. Fuel your ride and get your passport stamped at each location. Bring your completed passport to the Blue Star Coffee Bar & Roasting Plant in Twisp. Be a Rock Star. Blue Star will donate $10.00 to AeroMethow for every completed passport, and you’ll get a groovy prize & our undying love.
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Methow Valley Summer 33
Looking up BY DAVID WARD
The Methow is like heaven for stargazers The Big Dipper, among other things.
he rivers, hills and mountains of the Methow Valley are all great places to play this summer, but do not forget about the night sky above it all. Our remote valley has
some of the best stargazing around because it is so far from big city lights. All you have to do is stay up late enough for it to get dark and look up. Summer nights can be chilly, so a jacket or blan-
ket will come in handy. A lounge chair to lie back into is very relaxing, and a pair of binoculars will bring out the depth of the night sky. One of the easiest constellations to spot up there
is the Big Dipper, high in the north. Its distinctive shape of bright stars is one of the most familiar of all star groupings to those of us who live in the northern hemisphere. Line up the two stars
on the end of the bowl of the dipper and point northward to find the North Star, a star of similar brightness to those of the dipper. Follow the curve of the handle of the dipper to the south to find the bright orange star Arcturus high overhead. East of Arcturus, look for three bright whitish stars making a large triangle. These stars are Vega, Altair and Deneb, and together they are known as the Summer Triangle. Look for them all summer long and into the fall. Two bright planets will grace our skies this summer. If you can see low in the west just after sunset, the goddess of love embodied in the planet Venus shines brightly in the evening twilight. In the south, Saturn will easily be visible all summer. If you have a small telescope you will be able to see Saturn’s beautiful rings and its largest moon, Titan. That fairly
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dim star just left of Saturn is called Zubenelgenubi, a curious name from Arabic that means the “southern claw of the scorpion.”
See the big stars Want to see one of the largest stars in the sky? Summer is a perfect time to spot the red supergiant star Antares. Look low in the south to the left or east of Saturn for a bright distinctively reddish star. That is Antares, the heart of Scorpius, the scorpion. Its name means “rival of Mars” in Greek because of its red or orange color, just like the planet Mars. Antares is so large that if our sun was placed in the center of it, the giant star would swallow up Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and even part of the asteroid belt! Look for the rest of the scorpion curling down to the south and east. You can even see the stinger at the very end of the constellation. Scorpius is the scorpion that stung and killed the famous hunter Orion and it is one of the few constellations that actually sort of looks like what it is supposed to. One of the most spectacular
events in the summer night sky is the Perseid meteor shower of August. You will be able to see more shooting stars during the first half of August but the show really happens from August 10 to 12. This is when that lounge chair and blanket really come in handy. Just get comfortable, lie back and look up. What could be simpler? The meteors will be coming out of the constellation Perseus in the northeast but will be seen all over the night sky. After midnight is the best time for watching as our part of the world will be turned into the oncoming stream of meteors. If you are lucky you might see a giant fireball or a meteor storm, an unusually intense barrage of shooting stars. There will be a crescent moon in the west early in the evening during the shower, but it will be setting before the real show gets going so it should be a great summer to view the Perseid meteors.
Along the Milky Way My all-time favorite thing to look at in the summer night sky is
Saturn the Milky Way, that nebulous band of light streaming through the stars overhead. Stargazers have looked and wondered about it for centuries. The ancient Greeks thought it was a celestial river flowing through the stars or even breast milk spilled from Hera, the queen of gods. The Greek philosopher Aristotle thought it was the fiery ether of the stars burning in our upper atmosphere. Galileo was the first one to look at the Milky Way through a telescope and he saw “ a mass of innumerable stars.” Today we know that the dim band of light in the summer
night sky is part of the Milky Way galaxy, our home in the vast cosmos. We share that home with about 300 billion stars, countless planets, comets, asteroids, and who knows what or who else. Late summer is a great time to see the Milky Way. It flows from north to south almost overhead. Scan along its length with binoculars and you will see it come alive with a myriad of tiny stars just like Galileo did 400 years ago. Whenever you are out at night, be sure to glance up into the north every now and then. In 2013 our sun is reaching the peak of its 11-year sunspot cycle, putting out more energy than normal. This is a great time to catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis or northern lights as they are often called. If you are lucky enough to see this phenomenon you are witnessing the powerful magnetic field around the earth protecting us from charged particles blasted out of the sun. Be sure to look up every now and then. You might see something really amazing up there and enjoy the beauty and vastness of the summer night sky. a
Take a stroll to the Methow Valley Inn Bed & Breakfast Open May 12-Sept. 15 9am-6pm Daily
2nd Avenue Downtown Twisp 997-2253 methowvalleyinn.com Methow Valley Summer 35
The Methow’s other season Come on back when the snow flies Spring, summer and fall are fantastic seasons in the Methow with no shortage of things to do, but one might be surprised to learn that our Methow Valley winters also provide bucket list experiences that are hard to find anywhere else. A visit to Winthrop during the winter offers a totally new perspective of the Methow Valley. Winthrop receives a lot of snow, 60-120 inches of snowfall each season. Being on the eastern slope of the North Cascade mountain range, the snow comes in the form of light dry powder. The days of winter are sunny and the sky is at its deepest shade of blue. With all the snow, the North Cascades Highway from the west side of the state is closed in the winter, leaving the towns of Winthrop, Twisp and Mazama located at the end of the road. There are not many places in America where you can drive to the very end of a closed highway and have a full winter wonderland
Cross-country ski at the largest Nordic area in North America The Methow Valley’s perfectly groomed ski trails wind along valley floors and up to the mountaintops. The 120-mile-long system is the largest in the nation. The ski trails cover much of the valley floor between Mazama and Winthrop and extend up the mountains into the Rendezvous and Sun Mountain. To make it easy for families to vacation, kids 17 and under ski free in the Methow! There is even a snowshoe trail system for those desiring a winter hiking experience. More information on the ski trail system can be found at www.mvsta.com.
Ride your bike in the snow Photo by John Hanron
The Methow beckons skiers with 120 miles of groomed trails. experience. The winter offerings in the Methow Valley are so unique that for many people they are life-long
“bucket list” adventures. Here is just a sampling of what a winter in the Methow Valley has to offer:
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Everything you know should tell you this is not possible. Ride a bicycle on top of the snow? With the advent of fat bikes however this has become absolutely possible. And it is something you should experience now.
Fat biking is rapidly growing in popularity. The Methow Valley was one of the first places to dedicate portions of our trail system to this very unique experience. A number of the Methow Valley Nordic ski trails are open to fat biking. In addition, trails dedicated to fat biking exist near Winthrop. If you are an avid cyclist, then biking on the snow should be on your bucket list. Experiencing the fat, floaty, surprisingly stable sensation of riding on snow will keep you grinning from ear to ear all winter long. More information on fat biking can be found at www. mvsta.com.
Go ice-skating outdoors The Winthrop Ice and Sports Rink was recognized by Sunset Magazine as one of the top 10 outdoor ice rinks in North America. This gorgeous, uncovered ice rink allows skaters to experience the thrill of ice-skating under the stars and in the shadow of Mt. Gardner. Maybe skating outdoors was an experience that you had as a child – now you have the opportunity to pass on the thrill of outdoor ice-skating and pick-up hockey to your own children. Ice-skating is one of those fantastic sports that makes you feel young! More information on the award-winning Winthrop rink can be found at www. winthropIceRink.com.
Heli-skiing Certainly not a new listing on most skiers’ bucket list, but a day with North
Cascades Heli Ski will stand out above other operations as you will have the opportunity to ski the light, dry powder of the “American Alps” with runs surrounded by the immense granite cliffs and spires of the North Cascades. Get the goods at www. heli-ski.com.
The Loup: downhill skiing’s secret gem There are a dozen ski resorts in Washington state but we challenge you to find one as cool as the Loup Loup Ski Bowl. The Loup’s best assets might be in what it doesn’t have –lift lines, heavy, wet snow, an attitude, ridiculous pass prices and some new amenity every minute. What is does have is big mountain views, super-close proximity to Winthrop and Twisp, and days where all the powder may not even get skied out. Learn more about this gem at www.skitheloup.com.
anglers. And don’t forget about the rivers, which don’t often freeze over, making winter steelhead fly-fishing an opportunity that tests both fisherman and fish!
Stargaze or possibly catch the Northern Lights The Methow Valley is dark! Residents of the Methow are very supportive of dark sky initiatives. In fact many neighbors are on a phone tree to wake each other up at night, no matter what the time, when spotting an amazing celestial sighting. The clear, cool nights of winter make the stars shine even brighter. Sometimes we also are lucky enough to witness the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. These light curtains of green, red and purple dance across the sky. Anyone who has ever witnessed it will certainly confirm it’s a sight that all should see.
If you like exploring a big area then snowmobiling is about the best way to cover large tracts of land in the winter. The Methow Valley has over 300 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and endless miles of ungroomed routes. Information on snowmobile locations and rentals at www.winthropwashington. com.
Enjoying lightly falling snow while relaxing in an outdoor hot tub may not be adventurous enough for a bucket list but leaving the hot tub, rolling in the snow and jumping back into the tub could be, especially when you are the only one of the group willing to get so crazy. Nearly all of the Methow Valley’s lodges offer hot tubs which weren’t put there only for summer. Winter is hot tub time! Lodging with hot tubs can be found at www. winthropwashington.com. a
Ice fish That’s right, ice fish. Some might make fun of it, but have you really ever tried it? The Methow Valley’s lakes freeze over in the winter making this a destination for avid
Information provided by MVSTA.
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bucket list Cross-Country Ski at North America’s largest ski area: over 120 miles of perfectly groomed trails and all kids 17 & under ski free. Bike in the Snow! You won’t stop smiling as your fat bike floats over the snow. Ice Skate Outdoors! Enjoy Winthrop’s award winning outdoor ice rink. Heli-ski the epic backcountry with North Cascades Heli. Ski the Loup and see if any of Washington’s other alpine ski areas can compare. Snowmobile in over 300 miles of groomed trails in the Methow. Ice Fish in style on one of our frozen lakes, or winter steelhead fly-fish! See the Northern Lights and the brilliant stars in the Methow Valley dark sky. Polar Plunge from a steaming hot tub into the snow.
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It’s wild out there BY LAURELLE WALSH
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Members of a bird-watching class spot birds near Pineforest.
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38 Methow Valley Summer
Photo by Laurelle Walsh
The Methow is prime territory for bird watching and animal spotting A survey conducted by the Methow Conservancy in 2001 counted 109 species of birds on nearly 8,000 acres of riparian habitat in the Methow Valley. Add to that the shrub steppe, aspen/ cottonwood, wetland, forest, mountain and dry canyon habitats in and around the valley and the diligent birder may count about 265 avian species, according to the Methow Naturalist’s 2012 “Birds of the Methow Watershed” list. Is charismatic megafauna more your thing? “Mammals of the Methow Watershed” lists 72 known species, including the recent reappearance of the gray wolf (still rare), plus five “possible” mammals including the grizzly bear, though termed “vanishingly rare.” Some 2.3 million people participate in wildlife watching in Washington state, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.” Wildlife watching has proved to be a powerful economic engine. Washingtonians spent more than $1.5 billion on trip-related and equipment expenses
in 2006, according to the same survey. The average trip-related expenditures for wildlife watchers away from home were $452 per person that year. State and federal agencies, nonprofits, and local entities such as the Okanogan County Tourism Council have all taken note and are working to promote opportunities for wildlife viewing around the state and in our area. One telling partnership is the Watchable Wildlife Memorandum of Understanding, a framework for interagency cooperation established in the mid-2000s to “create, enhance and market wildlife watching in Washington state,” signed by Audubon Washington, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, and the departments of Fish and Wildlife, Transportation, and Community, Trade and Economic Development.
State birding trail
With more than 40 million people in America describing themselves as interested in bird watching, birding trails have become big business, says Audubon Washington.
To help birdwatchers get to the best locations in the state, Audubon has mapped the Great Washington State Birding Trail – seven drivable loops dotted by stops showing “the best bird watching in the Evergreen State.” Thirteen birding stops in the Methow Valley are included along the trail’s Cascade Loop, starting with Alta Lake State Park and hopscotching around the valley toward Washington Pass. The illustrated booklet may be purchased from Audubon for $5, with a downloadable iPhone app for $2.99, or viewed online at wa.audubon. org/cascade-loop. Teri Pieper, Winthrop birder and newsletter editor for North Central Washington Audubon, recommends the Beaver Pond Trail at Sun Mountain (Cascade Loop stop No. 32), Big Valley Wildlife Area (38), and the TawlksFoster Suspension Bridge (39) for summer bird watching. “May and June are the best times for seeing breeding birds in all their fine breeding plumage, and they might be singing which makes it easier to find those tiny migrants high in the deciduous trees,” Pieper said.
For future release, NCW Audubon is working on an online birding guide for Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan and Ferry counties, Pieper said.
Basecamp Audubon Trails State Birding Trail stop No. 40, Audubon Trails at North Cascades Basecamp on Lost River Road, is also a favorite spot of Pieper’s. The Audubon Trails were designated in the early 2000s when Audubon Washington “came through the Methow looking for trail suggestions,” according to Basecamp founder Sue Roberts. Short, easy trails lead through diverse habitats including wetlands, cedar forest, pine woodland, cottonwood galleries and alder/ birch groves, allowing access for birders and wildlife enthusiasts of all ages, according to the Basecamp’s website. A checklist of wildlife observed on the property is posted on a trail kiosk. Private naturalist tours may be arranged by contacting current owners and naturalists Kim and Steve Bondi at www. northcascadesbasecamp.com. Posts on the North Cascades Basecamp’s blog and its quarterly newsletter tell vivid wildlife stories throughout the year, including sightings of snowshoe hares, red squirrels, bobcat, bear, raccoons, river otter, long-tailed weasel, and moose tracks. The Basecamp’s forest habitats also provide homes for at least five species of owl: barred, great horned, pygmy, saw whet, and screech owls. To further protect the wild inhabitants constructing beaver ponds, nesting in trees, burrowing underground and spawning in the river, the Basecamp property is a designated Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary and is protected against future development through a conservation easement.
Go wild on public lands The Methow Valley’s resident mule deer and migrating raptors are blissfully oblivious to Washington state’s budget woes. Follow their
lead, and pay no attention to jokester and Pearrygin Lake State Park Manager Rick Lewis when he quips, “We’ve cancelled all our wildlife this year because of budget cuts.” Wildlife abounds on public lands throughout the valley and our state lands managers would really like to tell you where to go (for the best viewing opportunities, that is). Tom McCoy manages the 31,000-acre Methow Wildlife Area, which provides critical
habitat for songbirds, cavity nesters, amphibians and reptiles, small mammals, nesting golden eagles, and three species of forest grouse, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Several units of the Methow Wildlife Area are good bets for wildlife viewing, says McCoy, especially Big Valley for potential black bear sightings, a lone(ly) cow elk, and “fantastic” general birding. Another favorite of
his is Pipestone Canyon, which is “a great place to see raptors, although it looks like our golden eagle nest is not going to be active this year,” McCoy says. McCoy and park ranger Rick Lewis agree that the local marmot population seems to be down the last few years, although Lewis says you can still find marmots “pretty much anyplace” in the state park, and warns people not to feed the furry critters. Lewis also notes a family
of muskrats that have taken up residence in the 2-acre pond just north of Pearrygin Lake State Park headquarters. The same pond, “kind of a special place,” has hosted nesting wood ducks, and – wait for it – a cow moose and her calf last August. McCoy says “the moose rumor is true,” with a bull moose sighted last year on the WDFW’s Lloyd Ranch, and others seen near the wildlife area headquarters as well as on Studhorse Mountain. a
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Shafer Historical Museum & Village
A Window into the Past... Shafer Museum features a New Barn and Farm Exhibit Across from “THE CASTLE”, a log home standing on its original site, built in 1896 for entrepreneur Guy Waring. • Open air museum with 17 buildings which includes authentic homestead structures • World class mining exhibit featuring equipment used in historic local mines, including a Stamp Mill replica • 1914 Model T and 1924 Rickenbacker Coupe • Interpretive signs and 4,000 historic photos
Shafer Historical Museum & Village Open Mid May through September 7 days a week – 10am to 5pm 285 Castle Avenue • Winthrop WA
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(509) 997-2787 http://www.confluencegallery.com/
Methow Valley Summer 39
Read it here first
BY JOANNA SMITH
Enjoy a good book, or many, throughout the Methow summer Nothing beats a warm sunny day and a good book. Or a drizzly rainy day and a good book. Or a blustery cloudy day … OK, let’s cut to the chase. No matter what the weather, sitting down with a page-turner of a read is just one amazing way to spend a summer day. The only thing that could possibly make it better is a light breeze, gently swinging hammock and a refreshing drink with drops of condensation lazily sliding down the edges. Here are some ways to enjoy summer reading in the Methow.
Trail Tales The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association will showcase a children’s trail book along the Beaver Pond Trail at Sun Mountain this summer. The StoryHikes are fun for the whole family, as children are drawn along the trail page by page. The featured book is Totem Tales by Deb Vanasse, illustrated
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Take a break from outdoor action with a good book. by local artist and author Erik Brooks. This project is funded by the Methow Fund of the Community Foundation of North Central Washington. More information can be found at www. MVSTA.com.
Summertime at the library It’s easy to get lost in books at the library. The soft whisper of pages turning, combines with the earthy smell of wooden shelves
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lined with novels of paper and ink. North Central Regional Libraries in Twisp and Winthrop invite kids of all ages to “Dig Into Reading” this summer with hands-on activities, reading programs and educational entertainment. Browse an assortment of DVDs for summer movie nights, and books on CD for road trips. The North Central Regional Library is the largest library network in Washington state – thousands of titles are available for checkout. If you don’t see what you are looking for in the library, check online and order books for delivery to the library, or your doorstep. See www.NCRL.org to download e-books and select your next fascinating read. Every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon is an opportunity for adventure at Methow Valley libraries. The PUD Outreach program features electrical experiments and educational displays, and the NCRL puppeteers put on quite a show.
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Twisp library June 4, 1:30 p.m. – Storytime and Craft June 11, 1:30 p.m. – Storytime and Craft June 18, 1:30 p.m. – Pacific Science Center June 25, 1:30 p.m. – Storytime and Craft July 2, 1:30 p.m. – Chelan PUD July 9, 1:30 p.m. – NCRL Puppeteers July 16, 2 p.m. – Books on Stage July 23, 1:30 p.m. – Storytime and Craft July 30,1:30 p.m. – Storytime and Craft Aug. 6, 1:30 p.m. – NCRL Puppeteers Aug. 13, 1:30 p.m. – Storytime and Craft Aug. 20, 1:30 p.m. – Storytime and Craft Aug. 27, 1:30 p.m. – Storytime and Craft
Winthrop library June 19, 1:30 p.m. – Magic Show June 26, 1:30 p.m. – Reptile Man July 3, 1:30 p.m. – Storytime and Craft July 9, 11 a.m. – NCRL Puppeteers July 15, 2 p.m. – Chelan PUD July 24, 1:30 p.m. – Kent Woodruff, Bats July 29, 4 p.m. – NCRL Puppeteers Aug. 7, 1:30 p.m. – Knights of Veritas Aug. 14, 1:30 p.m. – Storytime and Craft Aug. 21, 1:30 p.m. – Storytime and Craft Aug. 28, 1:30 p.m. – Storytime and Craft
Trail’s End Bookstore in Winthrop is a Methow Valley treasure. This indie bookstore has a wide selection of books, magazines and unique gifts. They will special order any title and the employees, who double as bookstore baristas, whip up espresso drinks and recommend good reads. The riverside porch provides a summer evening respite with featured readings by local and visiting authors. Check the website, www.trailsendbookstore. com, for times and dates. The bookstore has a beautiful new book, Sea Star Wishes, illustrated by Erik Brooks and featuring poems by Eric Ode. On May 9, the Methow Arts Alliance and Twisp Library Friends will host author Helen Thayer at the bookstore on the patio. This National Geographic explorer and bestselling author will share selections from her newest book, Walking the Gobi.
Mazama Festival of Books Mazama will once again attract authors and voracious readers at the second annual Festival of Books, scheduled for Sept. 7-8. This Pacific
Northwest book festival features regional authors and is founded by Mazama resident and patron, Art Gresh. Trail’s End Bookstore will have all the featured books on hand both in store and at the festival. The Mazama Festival of Books is coordinated by Methow Arts Alliance. About a dozen authors will perform readings and be available for chats. Katherine Lanpher, cohost of Air America Radio’s “The Al Franken Show,” will conduct the interviews of the authors in a salon-style format.
Little Free Libraries The Methow Arts Alliance introduces Little Free Libraries this summer to the Methow Valley. This global project combines the talents of local artists and recommended reads from fellow book lovers to create public art and tiny libraries. Each town in the Methow will receive a Little Free Library created by a local artist. Booklovers are encouraged to take a book and leave a book. There will be at least three boxes ready by July. One box will be sponsored by and featured in front of Trail’s End Bookstore. a
Recommended reading Adult fiction A Town Like Alice, by Nevil Shute The Garden of Evening Mists, by Tan Twan Eng Caleb’s Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks The Timekeeper, by Mitch Albom Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn Remarkable Creatures, by Tracy Chevalier Adult non-fiction Walking the Gobi, by Helen Thayer Silk Parachute, a collection of essays by John McPhee The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-Ups, and Winning at All Costs, by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle Quiet, by Susan Cain Sum It Up, by Pat Summit with Sally Jenkins Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand Teens The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger The Giver Series, by Lois Lowry The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky Kids The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate Timmy Failure, by Stephen Pastis Lego Ninjago Character Encyclopedia, by Claire Sipi This is Not My Hat, by Jon Klassen Tilly Lays an Egg, by Terry Golson Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct, by Mo Willems
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Creativity on display BY ASHLEY LODATO
Public art works grace the Methow Valley from one end to the other As if the splendor of the surrounding North Cascades were not enough to satisfy the senses, the Methow Valley is filled with wonderful pieces of public art, complementing the natural environment we so cherish and providing an opportunity for people to experience art in the course of daily life. The valley’s array of public art is also a testament to the creative vision of local artists and the value the community places on art in public spaces. If the great outdoors is so enticing that you simply can’t bear to set foot indoors, you can still enjoy much of the art the valley has to offer. At the far end of the
Methow, Mazama is home to one of the largest pieces of public art in the valley: the ceramic mural that stretches near the Tawlks-Foster suspension bridge. Designed and created by local students working with artists Bruce Morrison and Jim Neupert, the mosaic features the flora and fauna of the Methow Valley, as well as original poetry the students wrote while working with Linda Robertson. Travel down the valley and as you enter Winthrop from the west, you’ll see the memorial to the Methow Valley Wildland Firefighters, which rests in the Mac Lloyd Park near the Winthrop Barn.
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Built by Barry Stromberger, the metal sculpture honors the 17 men and women who have lost their lives protecting the Methow Valley from wildfire since 1929. Wildland firefighting is integral to the history and culture of the Methow Valley, and the statue stands as a tribute to all ground and aerial firefighters; past, present and future. The Western-style murals right in downtown Winthrop offer great photo opportunities (who doesn’t like a 12-foot high painting of a horse and man sharing a bed?), but most of the public art pieces are located outside of town. Before leaving town, however, you should cruise past the Old Schoolhouse Brewery to check out the stained glass windows, created by artist and brewery co-owner Laura Ruud. The Winthrop Town Trailhead doesn’t get a lot of action in the summer, but it is well worth a walk across the pedestrian bridge (arguably a piece of art itself) just to see the new mural that was installed last January. Sponsored by the Methow Valley Nordic Club as part of its ongoing efforts to make trailheads more appealing, the mural “Winter in the
Photo by Ashley Lodato
“Wait for Me,” by Bruce Morrison, adorns the Little Star Montessori School in Winthrop. Methow” was designed and painted by high school art students guided by artist Tori Karpenko through Methow Arts’ Artist-in-Residence program. The individual scenes were inspired by historic images from the Shafer Museum and contemporary pictures showing how people live, work, and play during winter in the Methow Valley. Across the street, a sweet sculpture sits on the steps of Little Star Montessori School: “Wait for Me,” carved by Bruce Morrison as a gift from John Hayes to his wife Rayma, the founder of the school. Continue east on Highway 20, pausing at the Winthrop Post Office to admire the glass tile mosaic, “Our Forests, Fire and Recovery,” which is another Methow Arts project involving students and local artists, in this case Laura Ruud and Kathleen Briley. The next stop is Liberty Bell High School, which not only includes a magnificent entry sign and decorative
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bench created by Bruce Morrison and Jim Neupert, but also the McCabe Memorial: a metal monument to beloved late art teacher, skier, and community member Sean McCabe. Placed at the center of the 5 kilometers of McCabe Trails surrounding the high school, the memorial art piece provides a dramatic setting for many a ski race and workout when juxtaposed with a backdrop of snow. Across the parking lot at the main entrance to Methow Valley Elementary School you’ll find “Seasons of the Methow,” a large painted mural featuring work that students in grades four through six created with Deirdre Cassidy and Janet Essley. Nearby are pillars with clay fish, built with the help of artist Janie Lewis. Although it’s a bit out of the way, a trip up to Chickadee Trailhead before you head to Twisp will not disappoint you, as you’ll get to examine Rich Beyer’s cast aluminum “The War of the Frogs and the Cranes.” Beyer, the noted sculptor who created the famous “Waiting for the Interurban” piece in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, also created the work called “Dragg’n His Saddle,” which is on Highway 20 in Winthrop near the post office. In Twisp, Beyer’s sculpture “Children Carrying Water to their Herbs in the Woods,” is seasonally decorated at the Twisp Commons park next to the Methow Valley Community Center. The Methow Salmon Re-
covery Foundation’s Twisp Ponds site just outside of town on Twisp River Road fairly blooms with public art. Dan Brown’s steel “Bringing Home the Salmon/Bacon” perches on a pole at the entrance to the site, Cordi Bradburn’s cast aluminum “Blue Heron and Smolt” wades near the bank, and Bruce Morrison’s carved wood “Beaver Totem” greets you as you walk around the bend. Steve Love’s cast aluminum “Twisp” will be installed sometime this summer. On your way back to Twisp, swing by the Twisp Grange to see what remains of “Methow Totem,” with Raven the Trickster on top, a pioneer girl below, and a land turtle. The original totem included Sasquatch, Bear with Salmon, and Mother of the Methow, as well as a sea turtle, but all succumbed to rot. (Says woodcarver Bruce Morrison, “I’ve come to accept decay as part of the process.”) The pieces were carved by visiting artists under the direction of Morrison.
other, a second “Seasons of the Methow,” near the Twisp Town Hall. A third glass tile mosaic, “Potty Project,” graces the walls of the women’s bathroom in the Methow Valley Community Center. TwispWorks provides a feast for the eyes, with two Bernie Hosey spheres – “Round and Round” and “Entro” – metal orbs whose buoyant aesthetic belies their hefty weight. The spheres’ presence at TwispWorks is especially poignant, as Bernie’s untimely passing last summer cut short an artistic career that spanned the globe and resonated deeply with Methow Valley residents. A third, smaller sphere resides in the courtyard between Methow Arts and the Twisp Orchid. “Home: Past and Present,” a mural painted for the Methow by artist-in-residence David Joel, pops out from the wall of the TwispWorks shop: a vivid swirl of abstract design. Joel was one of TwispWorks’ first resident artists and his mural interprets his
Photo by Ashley Lodato
The TwispWorks campus abounds with public pieces by local artists. A walk down Glover Street in Twisp will allow the visitor to see what are undeniably the most attractive recycling barrels in the world. Designed and fabricated by local artists, the six recycling barrels are both functional and fabulous, with styles ranging from glass tile mosaic to metal art. Also on Glover Street in Twisp, visitors can view two glass tile mosaics: one at the Riverbank building called “Fish Grow on Trees” and the
experiences in his home state, from growing up in Eastern Washington, to a decade in the Puget Sound area, and how those ecosystems and cultural systems convene in the Methow Valley. Just outside the main office at TwispWorks you’ll find Laurie Kain’s “Wedgeshed,” an information kiosk made from recycled plywood and designed and built by the University of Washington College of Built Environments Collab/Fab studio.
Another TwispWorks Artist in Residence, Michiko Tanaka, created the stained glass panels on the South Bay building. The four panels of gel film over plexiglass honor five stories of the Okanogan tribe, as told by Mourning Dove in “Tales of the Okanogans.” Upcoming public art pieces, some of which will be installed by summer, include the ArtScapes vacant storefront project, which pairs artists with owners of vacant commercial properties and activates these empty spaces with art. Meanwhile, other local artists will be creating artistic and functional benches in a variety of mediums for the trailhead kiosks, through a collaboration between Methow Arts and MVSTA. Two benches will be installed this year and there are ten more slated for the future. Another project that combines form and function is the Free Little Library project, which will eventually provide five inventive tiny book collections, one in each of the Methow Valley towns. A public art exhibit on the move features the Heroes of the Methow Valley, a series of portraits depicting the scientists, athletes, artists, and other characters that make up a community. Designed by Erik Brooks and painted by community members at Arts Fest, the panels celebrate the quiet heroes in our midst. Like the heroes panels, many of the public art pieces in the Methow are collaborative works, with various stakeholders involved in the vision, fundraising, and/or implementation of the art. Such collaborations stimulate a shared sense of ownership and an investment that unites a community. In an area that so highly values its unique identity and sense of place, the public art of the Methow Valley sparks the imagination, encouraging people to experience and appreciate more profoundly their surrounding environment, and strengthening their connection to this special place. a
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Surrounded by the past BY MARCY STAMPER
Evidence of the Methow’s rich history is easy to find History buffs who stray beyond Winthrop’s quaint wooden sidewalks have numerous opportunities to walk deeper into the Methow’s past, discovering evidence spanning 150 years of human habitation and eons of geological history. Local history lives on in museums with educational exhibits and artifacts from the area’s past, as well as in remnants – old miner’s cabins, wooden irrigation canals and signs of the last ice age – dotted across the landscape. The Shafer Museum in Winthrop features original buildings and a treasure trove of artifacts that tell the story of the first 50 years of European settlement in the Methow, from 1886 to 1936. The muse-
um’s exhibits include dozens of agricultural implements and mining equipment rescued from the surrounding mountains, an old printing press – the behemoth that once cranked out issues of this newspaper – and period toys and clothes. The Shafer’s centerpiece is the 1896 log house built by Guy Waring, who landed in Winthrop after study at Harvard and started the Methow Trading Company. Known as “The Castle,” the log house contains exhibits of vintage household items. Waring’s Methow Trading Company building displays groceries and sundries from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Old clothing, dolls and personal items are
on view in the Ladies’ Shop, a replica of a store that was in downtown Winthrop until 1950. In the Carriage House is a rare 1924 Rickenbacker coupe – one of five in the country – and a Ford Model T. Children of homesteaders learned in one of a dozen far-flung one-room schoolhouses. The museum’s school is an 1894 cabin from a Bear Creek homestead. Other buildings at the Shafer include the Mazama post office from 1900, which later served hopeful miners by checking their ore for gold. The Shafer is adding several exhibits this year, including a grain-threshing machine and grinder, and several horse-drawn conveyances, including a wagon
Photo by Marcy Stamper
A pioneer conveyance at the Shafer Museum in Winthrop. (a veteran of every Ride to Rendezvous), a bailer and a binder. Other recent donations include a chuck wagon and pack saddles used by mule trains. You can also browse copies of thousands of historic photos donated by the families of Methow pioneers and homesteaders that tell the story of the land and its people. Winthrop’s wooden sidewalks also lead to several
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For the history of the Methow’s first human inhabitants, visit the Methow Valley Interpretive Center, which opened last year on the TwispWorks campus.
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century-old buildings still in use, including the 1916 Farmers State Bank, with its ornamented façade, and the town hall, which started life in the late 19th century as the original Duck Brand Saloon.
was the Methow’s high school until 1973. You can also pick up travel information in the building, which celebrated its centenary just last year. More history can be found at the North Cascades Smokejumper Base between Winthrop and Twisp, where smokejumping, a technique developed in the late 1930s to fight wildfires in remote, roadless areas, began. The base – one of just nine around the country – remains an important component of fighting wildfires and trains a specialized force, who parachute out of planes to attack fires in much the same way as their predecessors did 70 years ago.
Photo by Laurelle Walsh
Shafer Museum volunteer John Owen cranks up the Model T. You can take a guided tour of the base, see old climbing equipment and firefighting tools, chart the changes in parachute technology over the years, and sit in a plane. Pateros is celebrating the centenary of its incorporation this year, with special events during the Apple Pie Jamboree from July 19 to 21. Originally called Ives Landing, Pateros was an important stop for a steamboat that plied the Columbia River from Wenatchee to Brewster and a stagecoach route that navigated the difficult, rutted road across the mountains to Twisp and Winthrop. The round trip to Wenatchee took three days. Pateros was moved from its original site, across the
river and closer to the hills, in the 1960s during the construction of Wells Dam. You can learn about the history of the area and the Columbia River at the Pateros Museum in the town hall.
Created in partnership with the Colville Tribes, the center tells the stories of the Methow Band and the natural history of this area through permanent and changing exhibits. This summer the center is inaugurating a replica native encampment, with a pit house, teepee and salmondrying racks constructed around a native-plant garden. One theme of the interpretive center is to illustrate the connections between natural and human biology and traditions, so visitors will learn how seasonal variations in edible plants created corresponding rhythms in native people’s lives. A new exhibit on the Methow Band will relate their story through a changing focus on different families, including archival photos and interviews with descendants. A hands-on geology exhibit with displays about the ice age and the effects of volcanoes and earthquakes in forming the landscape is also getting the finishing touches this year. The TwispWorks campus is itself an important piece of local history. Headquarters for the U.S. Forest Service in Twisp for 80 years, the complex contains 17 buildings, the oldest built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps to house work crews and firefighters. In its new role as a hub for the arts, agriculture, technology and education, TwispWorks is keeping that history alive. You can take an audio tour (via cell phone) to learn about the buildings and hear reminiscences of former inhabitants and workers. The information and interviews are also available online at gatheringourvoice.org. The evolution at TwispWorks is in many ways a microcosm of changes in the Methow – buildings that once housed firefighters and Forest Service rangers are now home to artists’ studios and a computer lab. Just down the road, check out the photos of decades of graduating classes lining the walls in the Methow Valley Community Center, which
History in the hills Informal traces of history can be found throughout the Methow. Hike an old road or trail and you’ll find old cabins and foundations, abandoned farm equipment, and apple trees or lilac bushes, seemingly in the middle of nowhere – all signs of an old homestead. The valley’s century-old irrigation canals still constitute a vital part of Methow agriculture. But you can also find vestiges of early irrigation systems no longer in use, including the China Ditch, built between 1860 and 1880 along the Columbia River by Chinese placer miners. The ditch extended from about three miles north of Pateros on the Methow River to about one mile south of the town. It was later used for irrigation by farmers until the major flood in 1948 destroyed part of the flume. Signs of the ditch grade are just barely visible today as a line on the hillside about a mile south of Pateros. Check out the old headstones at the Sullivan Cemetery in Winthrop and Beaver Creek Cemetery in Twisp, as well as smaller burial sites, such as one near the river just a few miles north of Pateros. The Methow’s dramatic geological history is perhaps most striking in Mazama – look up at Goat Wall and Flagg Mountain – and at Pipestone Canyon, both products of the same geological upheavals. While people hoping to strike it rich by finding gold near the Methow were, for the most part, thwarted by the cumbersome and costly need to get ore from high in the mountains to refineries on the coast, their presence helped create roads and businesses in the area. You can see remnants of their efforts along several
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tion of the photographs of Frank Matsura, a Japanese immigrant who settled in the area in the early years of the 20th century and documented local residents and early infrastructure with exceptional artistry and an eye for humor. Matsura’s close relationship with the Colville Tribe created an unsurpassed visual archive of their way of life. Further east and north – amid beautiful scenery near the Canadian border – is the ghost town of Molson. The Old Molson Ghost Town Museum features farming and mining equipment and, just north of there is the Molson School Museum, a 1914 brick building with a restored classroom, the original school library, and displays of hand tools and photographs. Along the valley’s highways, look for historic information signs at small pull-outs for background about the tiny town of
trails, including prospectors’ cabins at Gilbert, a short walk from the west end of Twisp River Road, about 25 miles from Twisp. A more ambitious outing will take you to the entrance to the Copper Glance mine and an old cabin, a hike accessed from the West Chewuch Road. Take the challenging road to Harts Pass and you’ll be near the heart of the legendary Slate Creek mining district, where the boom town of Barron was tucked into a remote niche of the Cascades. It’s worth the scenic drive over Loup Loup Pass to understand more local history. Start at the Okanogan County Historical Museum for exhibits of farm equipment, an early20th-century firehouse, and an adjoining library with a rich collection of old books, maps and photos. The Historical Society owns an extensive collec-
Methow, and the first real settlement in the valley, Silver – which was washed away in a long-ago flood.
Hours Shafer Museum: open for ’49er Days weekend (May 12 and 13); then opens for the season starting Memorial Day weekend. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Labor Day. Methow Valley Interpretive Center: open Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. There is a presentation the last Sunday of each month from 5 to 6:30 p.m. North Cascades Smokejumper Base: guided tours daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pateros Museum: open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Okanogan County Historical Museum: open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting Memorial Day. Molson Museum: open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., starting Memorial Day.
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The armchair historian Reading up on local history will enhance your understanding of and appreciation for the Methow. There are more than a dozen books providing different angles on Methow and Okanogan history, focusing on mining, smokejumping and settlement of the area; compendiums of • Bound for the Methow, by Kit McLean and Karen West More than 300 historic photographs from the Shafer Museum’s archives, many of them shared by families of the Methow’s early settlers. Detailed captions provide a glimpse into the rigors and pleasures of daily life, creating a rich, colorful tapestry of Methow history. • City of Pateros: 1913 – Centennial – 2013 A just-published album of vintage photos – and some more recent ones – in connection with Pateros’ centenary. • Down to the Harness Section, by Wilfred “Wink” Byram This engaging, unvarnished account by Byram, who was a boy when his family came to the Methow at the turn of the 19th century. Byram’s memory for steam donkeys, flour-sack underclothes, cream separators and popping Johnny saws conjures a forgotten time with humor and originality. • From Copenhagen to Okanogan, by U.E. Fries The story of Ulrick Fries, who was a boy when his family migrated from Denmark and settled in the Okanogan in 1887.
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archival photos that depict the hardships, the good life and the humor of past residents; and personal accounts by ordinary folks and country physicians. More recent history is chronicled in accounts of the deadly Thritymile Fire. Several works of fiction also provide a glimpse into life in the Methow. a • High Hopes and Deep Snows, by Marcy Stamper A glimpse into the formidable efforts to extract gold from high in the North Cascades. Although it didn’t produce much income from gold, the quest for minerals helped fuel the local economy and create the valley’s infrastructure in the late 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. • Hunga Dunga: Confessions of an Unapologetic Hippie, by Phil Polizatto This novel in three sections provides a glimpse into more recent Methow history – the 1970s – through the eyes of a group of hippies who settled near Twisp. • Mazama: The Past 125 Years, by Doug Devin A history of the development of the upper Methow Valley from the late 1800s to 2008, with stories of individual settlers based on interviews, unpublished diaries and media accounts, by a long-time resident of the area. • Pay You in Hay: Tales from a Country Doctor, by William J. Henry A personal account of what it was like to be the Methow’s only doctor for 30 years, before modern conveniences and efficient transportation. • The Smiling Country, by Sally Portman A history of the Methow Valley – its geology, its people, and recent struggles over development and the proposed downhill ski resort at Early Winters. • Spittin’ in the Wind, by Bill Moody A history of the elite force that fights wildfires by parachuting into the forest, by one of the Methow’s longest-serving smokejumpers (Moody headed the force for 33 years). • The Thirtymile Fire: A Chronicle of Bravery and Betrayal, by John N. Maclean A look into the circumstances of the devastating fire that killed four young firefighters in 2001 and how the tragedy has changed firefighting. The book also provides a window into the culture of firefighting and intriguing details of the investigation. • A View of the Methow from Moccasin Lake Ranch, by James C. Pigott An account by a long-time resident about economic development, homesteading and ranching in the Methow, richly illustrated with period photographs and leavened with personal accounts from old-timers. • The Virginian, by Owen Wister Wister visited the Methow twice, and reportedly used some of his experiences in this area in the late 19th century in his story of Wyoming ranch life. • The Whole Damn Valley, by Diana Hottell A collection of about 80 profiles originally written for the Methow Valley News that chronicle a vanishing era through some of the valley’s most colorful, talented characters, including cops, pig slaughterers, fire lookouts, rodeo announcers, moonshiners and switchboard operators.
Summer happenings 26: Cracker Factory performs rock’n’roll at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 996-3183. 7pm 30: Wine tasting & food pairings at Tappi in Twisp, to benefit the Merc Playhouse. $20. 5:30-8pm 30: Learn local geography, flora and fauna in a three-day Spring Naturalist’s Retreat with Libby Mills and Dana Visalli. $130. Methow Conservancy 996-2870. 31: Blackburn performs acoustic rock at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 996-3183. 7pm
Saturdays: Farmers Market at the MV Community Center, Twisp. 341-4737. 9am-noon 1: Wildflower Walk hosted by Methow Conservancy and Washington Native Plant Society. Free. Reserve a spot by calling Mary at 996-2879. 4pm 3: Open mic hosted by the Rivertown Ramblers at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. Free. 996-3183. 7pm 3-5: Children’s Theater performance of Alice in Wonderland at the Merc Playhouse, Twisp. $5-$12. 997-7529. 7pm (Sunday at 2pm) 4: Knowbody Knew performs rock, reggae and blues at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. Free. 996-3183. 7pm 7: First Tuesday presentation on whiteheaded woodpeckers at Twisp River Pub. Free. Methow Conservancy 996-2870. 7pm 9: National Geographic explorer Helen Thayer presents “Walking the Gobi” at the MV Community Center, Twisp. Free/donation. 997-4004. 7pm 10: Singer songwriter Larry Murante performs at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. Free. 996-3183. 7pm 10-12: ’49er Days with packers, pack trains, cowboys, cowgirls, wagon train and more western events in Winthrop. Free. 996-2125. 10-12: Children’s Theater performance of Alice in Wonderland at the Merc Playhouse, Twisp. $5-$12. 997-7529. 7pm (Sunday at 2pm) 11: Sunflower marathon & relay from Mazama to Twisp. $45-$85. 996-3287. 7:30am
11: The Northstar Session performs soul and Americana music at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. Free. 996-3183. 7pm 12: Garden art exhibit at Methow Valley Inn, Twisp. Free. 997-2253. Noon 13: Debbie S. Miller presents “On Arctic Ground: Tracking Time in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve” at Twisp River Pub. Free. 996-2870. 7pm 14: Pygmy rabbit conservation field trip to Ephrata. Free. NC Basecamp 996-2334. 17: The Dimestore Prophets perform acoustic rock & reggae at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. Free. 996-3183. 7pm 18: Singer songwriter Whitney Monge performs at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. Free. 996-3183. 7pm 24: Art & Science of Nature presentation by Hannah Hinchman at NC Basecamp, Mazama. $5. 996-2334. 24: Redwood Son & Wil Kinky perform soul and Americana music at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 996-3183. 7pm 24-25: Readers Theater performance of The Laramie Project at the Merc Playhouse, Twisp. 997-7529. 7pm 24-27: Nature in Art & Science field journaling with Hannah Hinchman and Bruce Thompson at NC Basecamp, Mazama. $299$515. 996-2334. 25: Book sale at the MV Community Center gym, Twisp. 997-4364. 9am-1pm 25: Pipestone Music Days celebration with orchestra concert at the MV Community Center, Twisp. $5-$15 (under 12 free). 997-0222. 7pm 25: RL Heyer & Andrew Vait perform rock and soul at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 996-3183. 7pm 25-26: Methow Valley Rodeo at the rodeo grounds on Twin Lakes Road, Winthrop. $5-$10 (under 6 free). 996-2439. 1pm 26: Pipestone Music Days celebration with student recitals at the MV Community Center, Twisp. Free. 997-0222. 1-4pm 26: Entomologist Bob Gillespie presents “Methow Pollinators” at MV Interpretive Center, Twisp. 997-4904. 5pm
Saturdays: Farmers Market at the MV Community Center, Twisp. 341-4737. 9am-noon Sundays: Winthrop Market at the Winthrop park. 341-9102. 10am-2pm 1: Artists’ reception with Pearl Cherrington, Laura Karcher and Kathy Meyers at the Winthrop Gallery. Free. 996-3925. 6-8pm 4: First Tuesday presentation “Bluebird Grain Farms, Organic Farming and GeneticallyModified Foods” at Bluebird Grain Farms. Free. 996-2870. 7pm 8: “From the Wardrobe” sculptural pieces by Ann Dunbar, and future heirloom jewelry by Hana Hull and Nancy Daniels Hubert opening reception at Peligro Studio, Twisp. (509) 6990238. 4-8pm 8: Kara Hesse Trio performs soul and pop at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 996-3183. 7pm 9: Summer Reading presents NCRL puppeteers with humorous stories at the Twisp Library. Free. 997-4681. 1:30pm
Methow Valley Summer 47
More 9: Pine Hearts featuring Kendl Winter performs bluegrass at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 996-3183. 7pm 12: Classroom in Bloom end of school celebration with pizza, garden games and tour of crops. All welcome to schoolyard garden at the schools on Twin Lakes Road, Winthrop. 997-2050. 8:30am-3pm 14: The Last Outlaws perform country rock at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 996-3183. 7pm 15: Painting balsamroot landscapes with John Adams at NC Basecamp, Mazama. $40. 996-2334. 10am-2pm 15: Vaughn Jensen Band performs the blues at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 996-3183. 7pm 18: Summer Reading presents Pacific Science Center’s “Science on Wheels” program at the Twisp Library. Free. 997-4681. 1:30pm 19: Classroom in Bloom volunteers invited to work in the schoolyard garden at the schools on Twin Lakes Road, Winthrop. 9972050. 8:30am-2pm 20: Bowl painting at North Cascades Basecamp, 255 Lost River Road, Mazama, for Room One’s annual soup dinner benefit. $10. 997-2050. 4-6pm 21: Everyday Jones performs acoustic rock at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 996-3183. 7pm 22: Deception Pass performs country music at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop.
48 Methow Valley Summer
$2. 996-3183. 7pm 24-27: Go Wild! Primitive skills camp for ages 7-9 teaches friction fire, foraging, pottery, earth pigments, rawhide, nature awareness and more. $125. Call Katie Russell at (509) 4491290. 9am-1pm 25: Summer Reading presents art projects and stories at the Twisp Library. Free. 997-4681. 1:30pm 26: Classroom in Bloom volunteers invited to work in the schoolyard garden at the schools on Twin Lakes Road, Winthrop. 997-2050. 8:30am-2pm 30: Native plants and roots presentation by MV Interpretive Center, Twisp. 997-4904. 5pm
Saturdays: Farmers Market at the MV Community Center, Twisp. 341-4737. 9am-noon Sundays: Winthrop Market at the Winthrop park. 341-9102. 10am-2pm 2: Summer Reading presents Chelan PUD’s education specialist Bob Bauer with a hydropower program at the Twisp Library. Free. 997-4681. 1:30pm 2: First Tuesday presentation “Climate Change in the Northwest” with K.C. Golden at the Merc Playhouse, Twisp. Free. 996-2870. 7pm 3: Classroom in Bloom volunteers invited to work in the schoolyard garden at the schools on Twin Lakes Road, Winthrop. 997-2050. 8:30am-2pm 4: Independence Day parade down Glover Street in Twisp. 11am 4: Methow Arts Festival, with crafts, music, food entertainment and more in the Twisp park. $5-$9. 997-4004. 11:30am-4:30pm 6: Ben Union Band performs rock’n’roll at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 996-3183. 7pm 6-7: Learning & Creating for a Naturalist’s Field Journal with Libby Mills. $75. Register 9962870. 9am-4pm 10: Classroom in Bloom volunteers invited to work in the schoolyard garden at the schools on Twin Lakes Road, Winthrop. 997-2050. 8:30am-2pm 12: Black Market Revue performs R&B at
the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 996-3183. 7pm 13: Celebrate 25 years of Confluence Gallery at the Pipestone Canyon Event Center, with dinner, music and auction. 997-2787. 15: Methow River Camp, a five-day ecology camp for ages 10-14, begins in the Methow Valley. $350. 997-9011. 16: Summer Reading presents “Books on Stage” with Chelan Valley Players in the MV Community Center gym. Free. 997-4681. 2pm 17: Classroom in Bloom volunteers invited to work in the schoolyard garden at the schools on Twin Lakes Road, Winthrop. 997-2050. 8:30am-2pm 19-21: 26th annual Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival at the Winthrop Blues Ranch. Johnny Winter, Ivan Neville, Otis Taylor, Too Slim, Doug MacLeod, Nikki Hill and more. $80-$90. 997-3837 or 1-800-422-3048. 20: Artists’ reception with Paula Christen, Carol McMillan and Dennis O’Callaghan at the Winthrop Gallery. Free. 996-3925. 6-8pm 20: Chris Eger Band performs R&B at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 9963183. 7pm 21: “Dragonflies, Damselflies and other Winged Beauties of the Methow Valley” with Dennis Paulson. $40. Register 996-2870. 8am5pm 24: Classroom in Bloom volunteers invited to work in the schoolyard garden at the schools on Twin Lakes Road, Winthrop. 9972050. 8:30am-2pm
happenings 25, 27 & 28: Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival at Signal Hill Ranch near Twisp. $25. 996-6000. 7pm 26: Science! performs acoustic rock at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 996-3183. 7pm 27: Classroom in Bloom annual garlic pull with pizza and cold drinks in the schoolyard garden at the schools on Twin Lakes Road, Winthrop. 997-2050. 4:30pm 28: Free chamber music concert in the Twisp park. 996-6000. 2pm 28: “The Return of the Lamprey” with John Crandall at MV Interpretive Center, Twisp. 997-4904. 5pm 29: Five-day music education camp for all ages begins at MV Community Center, Twisp. $200-$300. Pipestone Music Institute 997-0222. 29-Aug.1: Treasured Landscapes of the Valley outings at NC Basecamp, Mazama. 996-2334. 30: Summer Reading presents art projects and stories at the Twisp Library. Free. 997-4681. 1:30pm 31: Classroom in Bloom volunteers invited to work in the schoolyard garden at the schools on Twin Lakes Road, Winthrop. 9972050. 8:30am-2pm
Saturdays: Farmers Market at the MV Community Center, Twisp. 341-4737. 9am-noon Sundays: Winthrop Market at the Winthrop park. 341-9102. 10am-2pm 1 & 3: Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival at Signal Hill Ranch near Twisp. $25. 996-6000. 7pm 3: Future Heirloom Jewelry by Nancy Daniels Hubert and Hana Hull opening reception at Peligro Studio, Twisp. (509) 699-0238. 4-8pm 3: Tommy Simmons Band performs soul music at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 996-3183. 7pm 5-8: Primitive projectiles camp for ages 9-12 teaches Atatl, sling, bola, rabbit-stick, blowgun, bows with foam-tipped arrows and safety. $125. Call Katie Russell at (509) 449-1290. 9am-1pm 6: Summer Reading presents NCRL
to work in the schoolyard garden at the schools on Twin Lakes Road, Winthrop. 9972050. 8:30am-2pm 24: Cutthroat Classic 11.1 mile trail run through the North Cascades. $50-$75. MVSTA 996-3287. 8am 27: Summer Reading presents art projects and stories at the Twisp Library. Free. 9974681. 1:30pm 28: Classroom in Bloom volunteers invited to work in the schoolyard garden at the schools on Twin Lakes Road, Winthrop. 9972050. 8:30am-2pm 30: Ben Union Band performs rock’n’roll at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. Free. 996-3183. 7pm 31-Sept. 1: Methow Valley Rodeo at the rodeo grounds on Twin Lakes Road, Winthrop. $5-$10 (under 6 free). 996-2439. 1pm
September puppeteers with humorous stories at the Twisp Library. Free. 997-4681. 1:30pm 7: Classroom in Bloom volunteers invited to work in the schoolyard garden at the schools on Twin Lakes Road, Winthrop. 997-2050. 8:30am-2pm 8-9: Celestial Cinema movie nights at Spring Creek Ranch, Winthrop. 996-2495. 10: Methow Valley Home Tour, self-guided. $20-$25. 997-2787. 10am-5pm 13: Summer Reading presents art projects and stories at the Twisp Library. Free. 997-4681. 1:30pm 14: Classroom in Bloom volunteers invited to work in the schoolyard garden at the schools on Twin Lakes Road, Winthrop. 997-2050. 8:30am-2pm 15-16: Celestial Cinema movie nights at Spring Creek Ranch, Winthrop. 996-2495. 16: Monarchs in the Pacific NW with Robert Michael Pyle at NC Basecamp, Mazama. $5. 996-2334. 16: Ayron Jones and the Way perform the blues at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 996-3183. 7pm 16-18: Heart of the Methow Native American Powwow at the Twisp park. 997-4904. 16-18: Butterflies of the North Cascades with Robert Michael Pyle at NC Basecamp, Mazama. $225-$385. 996-2334. 17: Ian McFerond Band performs Americana at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop. $2. 996-3183. 7pm 20: Summer Reading presents art projects and stories at the Twisp Library. Free. 997-4681. 1:30pm 21: Classroom in Bloom volunteers invited
Saturdays: Farmers Market at the MV Community Center, Twisp. 341-4737. 9am-noon 6-8: Plein air watercolor retreat with Maria Coryell-Martin at NC Basecamp, Mazama. $185-$345. 996-2334. 7: Vintage Wheels Show at Shafer Museum, Pine Near RV Park, Methow Cycle & Sport and the Winthrop Barn, all in Winthrop. Free. 996-2125. 11am-4pm 7: Artists’ reception with Laurie Fry, Suzanne Powers and Gloria Spiwak at the Winthrop Gallery. Free. 996-3925. 6-8pm 8-9: Mazama Festival of Books at the Mazama Community Center. $5-$10. 9974004. 28: Methow Conservancy cider squeeze at Sabold’s house in Winthrop. Free. 996-2870. 2-4pm 28: Jonathan Batiste & the Stay Human Band perform jazz in the MV Community Center, Twisp. $5-$25. 997-4004. 7pm a
Photos by Sue Misao
Methow Valley Summer 49
Directory of advertisers Architects Johnston Architects.................51 Artists/Artisans Methow Arts ..........................51 Paula Christen Watercolors.......28 Peligro Metal Studio ..............37 Rod Weagant Studio................22 TwispWorks............................10 Antiques/Collectables The Farm Shed........................15 Robins Egg Bleu.....................18 Trick Pony...............................17 Automotive/Gasoline Gabby Cabby..........................12 King’s Pacific Pride & Car Wash..........................46 Mazama Store.........................23 Twisp Chevron Sub Shop........12 Banquet Halls/Event Facilities North Cascades Basecamp.......18 Merc Playhouse Theater.........10 Bicycle Dealers/Repair Methow Cycle & Sport.............8 Winthrop Mountain Sports.......45 Building Supplies Doug Haase Excavating..........25 North Valley Lumber..............36 Cafés/Dining/Espresso Arrowleaf Bistro.....................20 Backcountry Coffee Roasters......11 Blue Star Coffee Roasters.......33 Breadline Cafe........................33 Cascadian Home Farm............51 Cinnamon Twisp Bakery.........11 Duck Brand.............................34 East 20 Pizza...........................41 Freestone Inn.......................8, 43 Hometown Pizza.....................46 Jack’s Hut............................8, 43 Kelly’s at Wesola Polana...........9 LaFonda Lopez.......................18 Lone Pine Fruit & Espresso.......13 Mazama Country Inn..............20 Mazama Store.........................23 Noca Coffee House.................30 Old Schoolhouse Brewery........8 Rocking Horse Bakery............44 50 Methow Valley Summer
Cafés/Dining/Espresso, cont. Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe..............25 Sun Mountain Lodge.........17, 32 Trail’s End Bookstore.............21 Twisp Chevron Sub Shop........12 Twisp River Pub........................2 Winthrop Tipi Dinners............16 Campgrounds/RV Parks Pine Near RV Park..................35 Riverbend RV Park.................40 Silverline Resort......................39 Winthrop KOA........................34 Car Wash King’s Pacific Pride & Car Wash..........................46 Classes/Workshops Confluence Gallery.................39 North Cascades Basecamp......18 Paula Christen Watercolors.......28 Yogalush..................................13 Events/Festivals Celestial Cinema.....................31 City of Pateros.........................51 Merc Playhouse Theater.........10 Methow Arts ..........................51 Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival......................43 Methow Valley Farmers Market .................................12 MVSTA...................................21 NC Mountain Hostel/ Mountain Film Tour.........8, 38 Winthrop Market.....................12 Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival...................16 Excavating Doug Haase Excavating..........25 Financial Services Wells Fargo, Jim Gordon........20 Galleries Confluence Gallery.................39 Methow Valley Inn..................35 Groceries/Hardware Hank’s Harvest Foods.............25 Mazama Store...................11, 23 Valley Hardware Do-it Center.... 14
Health/Medical The Country Clinic.................44 Omak Clinic..............................7 Three Rivers Hospital.............25 Ulrich’s Valley Pharmacy.......41 Internet Methownet.com......................17 Local Goods & Produce Backcountry Coffee................11 Blue Star Coffee Roasters.......33 Cascadian Home Farm............51 Lone Pine Fruit & Espresso....13 Thomson’s Custom Meats......31 Methow Valley Ciderhouse.....40 Methow Valley Farmers Market .................................12 Misty Fjord Seafood Producers..............................36 Winthrop Market.....................12 Lodging Central Reservations...............52 Cottonwood Cottage...............12 Freestone Inn...........................12 Hotel Rio Vista........................44 Mazama Country Inn..............20 Mazama Ranch House............40 Methow River Lodge & Cabins..............................30 Methow Valley Inn..................35 North Cascades Basecamp......18 North Cascades Mountain Hostel..............................8, 38 River Run Inn..........................36 Rolling Huts & Methow Tents....9 Silverline Resort......................39 Sportsman Motel.....................34 Sun Mountain Lodge.........17, 32 Twisp River Suites....................2 Winthrop Inn...........................31 Winthrop KOA........................34 Winthrop Mountain View Chalets.................................33 Wolf Creek Cabins & Lodging............................45 Massage Practitioners, Spa Services Nectar Skincare.......................15 Sun Mountain Lodge.........17, 32
Museums Shafer Historical Museum......39
Recycling Methow Recycles ...................22
Organizations Cascade Foothills Farmland Assoc....................38 City of Pateros.........................51 Confluence Gallery.................39 Merc Playhouse Theater.........10 Methow Arts...........................51 Methow Conservancy.............18 Methow Recycles....................22 Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation.....................19, 41 Methow Valley Chamber Music Assoc........................43 MVSTA...................................21 Omak Chamber ......................29 Shafer Historical Museum......39 TwispWorks ...........................10 Winthrop Chamber .......2, 12, 37
Retail Confluence Gallery.................39 The Farm Shed........................15 Flyfishers Pro Shop.................14 Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies.........11, 23 Hank’s Harvest Foods.............25 Jack’s Hut............................8, 43 Lone Pine Fruit & Espresso....13 Mazama Store...................11, 23 Methow Cycle & Sport.............8 Outdoorsman...........................14 Peligro Metal Studio ..............37 Poppie Jo Galleria...................12 Quilting Hive..........................16 Rawson’s.................................13 Red Hen Trading Co. .............20 Robins Egg Bleu.....................18 Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe..............25 Sun Mountain Lodge.........17, 32 Sweet T’s.................................37 Trail’s End Bookstore.............21 Trick Pony...............................17 Ulrich’s Valley Pharmacy.......41 Valley Hardware Do-it Center.... 14 White Buck Trading Co. ........33 Winthrop Mountain Sports .....45
Photographers Ms. Kitty’s Place.....................23 Radio KTRT 97.5 FM .......................42 Real Estate Blue Sky Real Estate...............15 Coldwell Banker Winthrop Realty...................30 North Cross State Realty.........46 Recreation/Activities Bear Creek Golf Course..........19 Early Winters Outfitters..........39 Flyfishers Pro Shop.................14 Freestone Inn.......................8, 43 Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies.........11, 23 Methow Cycle & Sport ............8 Methow River Raft & Kayak...............................36 Morning Glory Balloon Tours....22 MVSTA...................................21 Ohme Gardens........................10 Skagit Tours / North Cascades Institute................................19 Slide Waters............................32 Sun Mountain Lodge.........17, 32 Winthrop Tipi Dinners............16 Yogalush..................................13
Sporting Goods Flyfishers Pro Shop ................14 Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies.........11, 23 Methow Cycle & Sport.............8 Outdoorsman ..........................14 Sun Mountain Lodge ........17, 32 Valley Hardware Do-It Center ........................14 Winthrop Mountain Sports .....45 Table & Chair Rental Pipestone Canyon Ranch .......21 Theaters Merc Playhouse Theater.........10 Transportation Gabby Cabby .........................12 Travel Trailers Tiny Trailer ............................17
sustaining responsive enduring practical approachable
Celebrating 100 Years at the confluence of the Methow & Columbia Rivers June 14-16 City Wide Yard Sale July 19-21 66th Annual Pateros Apple Pie Jamboree, Jet Ski Races August 24-25 Pateros Hydroplane Races
September 14 Chelan Ridge Hawk Festival October 5-7 City Wide Clean Up and Yard Sales October 31 Nightmare at the Museum December 12 Christmas in the City
City Of Pateros www.pateros.com
509.923.2571 Pateros Museum Open year-round Mon.-Fri. 8am to 4:30pm, same entrance as City Hall at 113 Lakeshore Drive, Pateros, WA
J O H N S TO N A RC H I T E C T S
P L LC
An in-depth and informative guide to summer living in the Methow Valley – Washington State’s premier recreation area. Full color with a glos...