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Tag Archives: Winthrop

Yesterday a friend and I skied Methow Trails’ Community Trail from Mazama to the Town Trailhead in Winthrop – a distance of thirty kilometers or more than eighteen miles! For some people that’s not a long ways but it is for me. It was sunny and cold. Colder than I usually like to ski. My water bottles froze shut and had to be forced open. Brrrrr. My feet and fingers suffered some, but in the end I was refreshed and exhilarated.

The trail winds through the forest and across fields and along the river. It crosses the Methow River and several streams – Goat Creek, Wolf Creek, Spring Creek and some side channels. With all the cold weather we’ve had, the ice formations are fascinating. Cold weather also makes the skiing slower and more challenging and squeaky too! We did it in almost exactly four hours with one twenty minute break at a warming hut and several shorter breaks.

And there’s another month gone by.

Yesterday was a lovely day to visit Falls Creek Falls. It is a short drive from Winthrop and I love to see it in any season. Never mind that the temperature was probably hovering around ten or that the sun had already descended beyond the mountains. The falls were incredibly beautiful and partially frozen and we could drive to the trail. So far there is not enough snow to close the road although there is enough that you might want four wheel drive.

Each section of the falls presented its own little vignette of ice and water. It was hard to decide where to point my camera next and when to stop. Part of the time, my feet in their warm pack boots, were partially submerged in the edge of the creek. My tripod had ice up to the top of the first section when I was done! Cold hands brought me to a finish before I was ready to be done.

Here is another view of the falls in winter when we had to ski to the trailhead.

Around here, we worry about wild fires. These fears have been confirmed this week. On Monday a small lightning storm went through north central Washington leaving behind small fires in the tinder dry grass and ponderosa pines. One fire quickly flared, south of here in Texas Creek causing mandatory evacuations. It grew quickly and yesterday it crossed the highway and the Methow River at the bottom of Libby Creek. As I understand, it is now burning south towards Gold Creek.

Another fire, directly across the valley from our house, burned slowly. It was named Cougar Flats for the area where it started. Tuesday afternoon the wind picked up and it grew quickly on state and federal land. Yesterday it grew by leaps and bounds and last night it made a run south towards homes and farms. More evacuations this morning.

Here are some photos I made last night from my porch. I think the glowing horizon is the timber in Pipestone Canyon.

As of this time, we are in no immediate danger. I worry about those that are.

Here are a few, maybe a few too many, wildflower images from a dog walk last week.

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