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Tag Archives: Winthrop WA

Hot air balloons graced the skies of the Methow Valley this past weekend. They launched in Winthrop, surrounded by spectators and photographers on three picture perfect mornings. Each day their flights were a little bit different. Friday morning, they drifted quickly down valley to the airport. Saturday was a little slower with some balloons landing before they got as far as the airport. And Sunday was very different. Most balloons seemed to linger above Winthrop for a while and some never did go down valley and two later ones went up valley and then down valley on our side and both went right over us, with one landing on our neighbors’ place! It was all very colorful and fun. Even after fourteen years, I do not get tired of the Winthrop Balloon Roundup.

The annual Balloon Roundup in Winthrop happened last weekend. In 2020, it may have been the last big event that happened in the valley. So maybe it’s fitting that it’s the first big event as we begin to see the end of the pandemic. Masks were required to enter the viewing area and attendance was limited to 200 viewers. The weather was not the most cooperative. Friday morning, the balloons hovered over Winthrop and never really got out of town. Saturday morning, they did drift down valley to the airport as usual but the sky was not blue. And Sunday they didn’t go up at all with a threat of snow showers.

Last night, Winthrop hosted its annual fireworks show for Christmas at the End of the Road. It was the only event of the weekend that did not get cancelled due to covid. We stayed home for the first time in thirteen years. I love the cold weather fireworks but with the very real threat of covid, I felt that it was a poor idea for the town to hold the event and I was not willing to risk it. They asked that spectators stay in their cars and I hope they did.

It came as a surprise to me that we could see and hear them from here! I guess we should have realized that. All these years, we have been leaving the dogs home so that they would not be bothered by them. Little did we know, they could see them too. This morning there were at least two reports of dogs gone missing during the show but I think both were reunited with their families.

They were not as large and impressive as being in town and there was a thin cloud in between here and town. It made the show a little more interesting.

The hot air balloons came to town this weekend. Yesterday, while the skies weren’t perfectly clear, the balloons got off to a 7 am start and soon filled the sky with their colors and patterns. Unfortunately, the air was not moving down valley very well and only a few got as far as our house. Still, it was a pretty sight and fun to watch them get ready and lift off. Today’s weather was worse and we didn’t see any balloons go airborne. Maybe tomorrow. The forecast looks pretty nice.

Once a year in Winthrop, there is a six-legged race where a dog stays attached to a person wearing skis sponsored by Methow Trails! As you might imagine, it is a fun and exciting event. And if racing isn’t enough, it’s also a costume contest! People in the Methow Valley love to play dress up. The day starts with a costume parade and then the judges confer as to who will be in the finals for best costume. The prize for best costume is the coveted golden poodle, a traveling trophy. Then there are the races. This year there was a kids’ race, a ski joring race, a little dogs race and then the big dogs. There are plenty of big dogs (must be another Methow thing) so there were three heats of big dogs and then a final. And after all the racing, the finalists for the best costume, again parade past the crowd and the winner is decided by who gets the most applause and cheering. There are three highly skilled judges for this. All in all it’s a darned good time!

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