• Anna

Methow, Mehtahw? Mazama, Mahatma? Winthrop where?

The Methow (met-how) valley is where we traveled to on a 6 hour drive to the north-east. In this valley is the town of Mazama (mah-zaa-maa) and is where we visited an old friend, also in this Valley is Winthrop where Sun Mountain lodge sits atop one of the tallest hills and over looks the mountain range to the west. I know, that's a very directional introduction, but in short it is one of our absolute most favorite places to visit.

It's our favorite for so many reasons 1) it's stunningly pretty in every direction 2.) The accommodations make me feel like a super spoiled rotten princess and 3) they have the largest nordic ski trail system in North America. 4) The weather is predictability great, with most of the clouds being stopped by the Cascades Range. This area is where Rich and I actually learned how to Cross-country ski three years ago!

It was a little different this time around with COVID protocol, but the resort handled everything incredibly well and the rooms are really accommodating if you are bringing your own food and beverages... so, we survived.

The drive to Winthrop is normally just over 4 hours, but the day we drove over was also the day of a huge snow storm over the cascades, and we had two passes to cross. Lucky for me, Rich looks forward to this kind of challenge. We like to joke (not really a joke though) that he has been training his whole life for events like this.

After 6 hours we finally arrived, settled in and got ready to enjoy our stay to the fullest.

We didn't mind the COVID restrictions at all because the views from our room were beautiful, we had a patio, a fireplace and a big table so we could eat all our meals in the comfort and warmth of our own room... and the food was SO good.

The next day was a perfect bluebird day for skiing. We had a one hour private lesson in the morning and then skied for nine miles after that, came back to our room and decided to nap by 7pm. Since it was New Years Eve the Resort put on an early firework show that was thankfully at 10PM so I woke up for that, and then fell right back asleep.

Rich got these little travel sized whiskeys for Christmas, so we stashed them in our pockets for a cheers at about the mid-way point. I had a honey whiskey, the loveliest taste of whisky you could probably have.... and I still don't like it. But it was a cute, pocket-treat.

The next day we went to go see one of Rich's old friends and former boss at his beautiful "cabin" in Mazama. Their house was a 30-min drive North but still connected to the same ski trail, so we did a little ski exploring around there and drooled at all the amazing cabins. After a quick ski they invited us in for hot chocolate & nachos (winning combination at 25-degF outside).

Then, when our legs were exhausted and our tummies full we brushed the new snow off the car and drove back to the Resort for a cocktail in the Lodge. Anyone else notice that it takes about three days at a hotel to figure out all the shortcuts and secrets about a place?

With our 3-day ski pass still valid when we woke up, we did a quick loop on the ridge above the Resort before the 6 hour drive back home. Brushed off another couple inches of new snow from the car and headed West. We drove slow, stopped for tacos in Wenatchee and pulled into the driveway just before dark.

Happy New Year, Ragamuffins!