Monday, October 18, 2010

The joys of the Methow

Wanted to say the last part of my sweep through Washington state involved a 3-day visit to the Methow valley, a fertile green finger of land sandwiched between the dry hills of Washington's arid center. We got there over the North Cascades Highway and the middle photo is of Veeka shivering at the Diablo Lake overlook. Mountain lakes are emerald green in that part of the world just south of the Mt. Baker wilderness.
We swept through Washington Pass and ended up in Winthrop, a small town in the eastern foothills of the North Cascades where my friends Dick and Pam Ewing have lived for 25 years. They moved there in the mid-1980s and built a gorgeous log home there which Veeka and I adored running about in, especially the new and gorgeous spiral staircase connected the 2nd and 3rd floors. We spent the first day driving up through a pine forest to Sun Mountain Lodge, the local posh resort, which is surrounded by all manner of paths that turn into cross-country trails in the winter. We wandered down one ringed by aspens (see photo of Veeka and Dick) to a beaver pond although we unfortunately did not spot a beaver. Veeka hiked nearly 3 miles that day, a record for her.
The next day, we repaired to Rainy Lake, a hike up in the Cascades to another gorgeous mountain lake and through typical moist Northwesty forests complete with tons of firs, pines, mushrooms, ferns and other opulent flora. Back at the house, Veeka loved running around the property and petting the kitties and exploring the two large gardens that Pam kept up.
It was a lovely reprieve for all too soon we were back in the Washington area, facing an October of no job possibilities and a complete dry-up of even freelance work. Turns out I'd slated some work to be done on my bathroom (it's a wreck) so I've been more than busy running back and forth to Home Depot for supplies. And then this past weekend, a church kindly helped Veeka and I attend - for free - a gathering at the lovely diocesan retreat center of Shrinemont in the foothills west of the Shenendoah Valley. The fall weather could not have been more perfect - and we visited wineries (a national sport in Virginia) on the way home, only to run into a 9-mile backup on I-81 going home and a Beltway with the nastiest traffic. And then someone thoughtlessly rearended me as I was exiting said Beltway.
So this morning was spent with a chiropractor. Back to earth, we are.


DrBigAl said...

Glad to see you take time to smell the roses and feed the chipmunks--didn't the chipmunks come out at Diablo lake? I have a picture of them all over my wife. Very bold--Maybe hibernating if you didn't see them.
Veeka doesn't look like a Kazakh, maybe ethnic German or Russian. Pretty little girl.
OMG not again, like in Houston! I saw a very bad headline, will have to check it out, with your summer blogs
The Lord be with you, Alan Hunt, Dr Big Al

DrBigAl said...

see above, acct verified