Tux and Clayton
I often say that after the ideal weekend I like to be mentally refreshed and physically exhausted. Mission accomplished!
This past Holiday weekend was so busy it required four full days to accomplish but it was worth it. Hottie and Tux scooped me up from work early Thursday afternoon and we were at the cabin in time for dinner. We rode and played Friday and Saturday. On Saturday evening my daughter arrived with her husband and their kids.
Kyson using the (non) step to wash his hands..
It was a whirlwind with the cabin full of small sticky people. We did all the cabin things from hiking and swimming to scones, waffles and s’mores around the campfire. The wildlife put on a show and the temperatures were pretty close to perfect. I think the best way to illustrate the chaos is to tell you that when the kids left for home on Monday afternoon Tux had peanut butter on his back.
On a gravel ride later that day a few golden leaves fluttered down through the air formalizing the approach of fall. The mornings were crisp with overnight low temperatures dropping about ten degrees from just a week or two ago. We welcomed the morning with coffee in hand and long sleeves on our arms.
Hottie commented that she felt like the fires took away the heart of the summer this year. We talked with a neighbor who mentioned that when his scheduled vacation came and he arrived in Winthrop planning to stay for a week but the smoke was so bad he went back home the next day.
Care for a smoke ?
The disappointment of losing days or weeks to the fires is miniscule compared to the relief at having our respective retreats spared by the horrific fires. To my unexpected delight, I noted that some of the hillsides that were absolutely scorched earth two weeks ago had a faint green haze when seen from a distance. Up close there were clumps of green grass emerging from the ashes. The trees will take decades to return but the area is slowly on the mend. I am not sure what the new normal will look like.
See the faint green ?
This fall, winter and spring will have more problems as rain and snow fall on blackened hillsides void of vegetation. If what we have seen thus far is any indication; the tragedy will continue into next summer. The valley is resilient and is preparing to have an event they are calling, “We are DONE Burning, Man”.
The Methow valley is an exceptional place with exceptional people.