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Category Archives: Methow River

This time of year it is difficult to find good walking places. They are either covered in soft, unpredictable snow, or slush and mud, or just plain mud. The girls really like a little variety in their lives so I do try to get them out and about to various places. This morning we visited a small piece of public land on the river. It was a mix of soft and hard packed snow, very wet slush and occasionally wet ground. They were ecstatic. And Sky found sticks. Lots of sticks. What more could she want? Luna found smells. Lots of good stinky smells. It was a perfect dog walk.

One day, earlier this month, we had a short walk in Big Valley. Normally Luna and I would be skiing out there every week. MVSTA grooms a ski trail and dogs are allowed. But with so little snow, there is no grooming at Big Valley this year. Insert big sad face here.

It’s always fun to get to the river in the winter and watch for American Dippers (formerly referred to as Water Ouzels). These amazing birds with short tails ‘swim’ underwater finding insects anytime of the year. In the winter they are on the main river. During high water and breeding season they go to the smaller tributaries to make their nests and raise their young.

One evening last week we enjoyed a quiet stroll along the river. It is running quite high, normal for this time of year, and the side channels are all full too. Cottonwoods and aspens are as green as they can be. Grasses are lush. Spring.


It’s nice to have the footbridge to access this piece of state land



It was built by the previous owner



That thing in the side channel counts salmon smolts as they pass by



Pretty clear water for this time of year






Where the side channel meets the river



Evening sky reflections



Ken threw rocks in water



Luna and I drove up to Mazama for some errands the other day and on the way home we stopped at Big Valley (part of the Methow Wildlife area and in the winter a great ski trail shared with dogs) for a quiet walk. Summer is drawing to an end and much of the green has faded to yellow. The trail is dusty from use. Walkers, dogs, horses, bicycles and wildlife all share this path through the mixed woods. The river is quite low and yet still inviting and refreshing.

Ponderosa pines

This field used to grow grain or hay. I wonder if this year it is producing canola with the bright yellow flowers?

Still fascinated by patterns in the water

Fish science? 4 meters from the river, something happened. There was a tiny rivulet of a side channel with little fish that might not get out to the main river.

Luna. She hurt her leg sometime after this and won’t be going any walks or playing in the river for a while.

Asters. Nice to see a few wildflowers still in bloom.

Today was the first day I’ve seen the new pedestrian bridge at Winthrop open and it was a glorious day to try it out! After spending most of the morning at the MVSTA ski swap it was nice to get outside and be reminded about some of the things we like about living here. The clear blue skies, the cottonwoods, the fish in the rivers, the birds flying in the trees and over the rivers, the camraderie of the friendly people who live here.

This new suspension bridge joins the old part of Winthrop with the newer developments to the south. Also it makes it incredibly easier to WALK from downtown to the Town Trailhead and the Ice Rink and other destinations on the west side of the river. Not only walk, but bike or ski. It’s a great place to watch wildlife – birds, fish, deer, rubber ducks…….. I saw and heard American Dippers flying up and downstream. It’s a great place to see Bald Eagles.

The most amazing thing to me is that many people have been and continue to be opposed to it! It is the first and needed step to continuing the trail system down river. Congratulations Winthrop on a job well done.

The new bridge is located slightly downstream from the confluence of the Chewuch and the Methow Rivers

Mount Gardner

Ken enjoyed watching the fish and talking about them. He identified at least four different species – whitefish, steelhead, bull trout and coho salmon!

Coho returning to Spring Creek to spawn. We were able to see numerous redds, the places where the fish lay their eggs.


Looking up Spring Creek on the left

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