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It’s hard to believe that July is already more than half over. Before we know it, fall will be here and we will be thinking about skiing again! But for now, the weather is very summery. Hot days interupted by exciting thunder storms. The storms have produced quite a bit of rain and even hail. The rain’s been good for garden crops; the hail is probably hard on the fruit trees.

 

Grass seedheads are starting to dry and turn gold.

Serviceberries are very ripe. Our dogs enjoy a serviceberry snack on a walk.

 

Sockeye salmon season is in full swing on the Columbia. Here Ken is showing off a fillet from one of the beautiful fish he caught this week. This fish is sushi quality.

 

The tourist town of Winthrop is full of dogs and kids and others seeking respite from either the heat or the thunderstorms or looking for refreshment and shopping opportunities!

 

Lots of motorcycles in town too. The Rhythm and Blues Festival is this weekend.

 

Winthrop reflection

 

At home, raspberries need to be picked, again.

 

First canned food of the summer

 

And look! The first ripe tomato!

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

Our neighbor shared some homemade lox with us last year and when I expressed interest in learning how to make our own from freshly caught fish, he volunteered to teach me this year. The first step is having an excellent salmon and he generously provided an Alaskan Sockeye. With a deft hand and a sharp knife he had it quickly filleted and ready to be cured.

Making lox at home

 

Then we spread the cure of salt, sugar, crushed peppercorns across the bottom filletMaking lox at home

 

Tom had told me last summer to freeze fresh dill from my garden just for this purpose. Here the dill is placed between the two fillets.Making lox at home

 

The two fillets ready to be wrapped and cured in the refrigerator for five days.Making lox at home

 

Wrapped and ready. It needed to be turned every twelve hours. By the end of the five days, it was a sticky mess.Making lox at home

 

The finished product, cold smoked and ready to eat!Making lox at home

 

I served it with cream cheese and capers and red onions on thinly sliced breadMaking lox at home

 

It doesn’t get much better than this!Making lox at home

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