I was sent some snowshoes to test for Backpacker Magazine but we don’t have much snow in the mountains this year. I don’t remember a when we have had such low snow levels. I literally have to hunt the stuff so I can get my testing miles in.
I had been itching to stay in the Rolling Huts near Winthrop, Wash for a couple of years now. The Huts are these cool metal “tiny houses” designed as a modern alternative to camping, or “glamping” as some call it (review coming soon). Since the Methow Valley was one of the only areas in the state that likely had snow, I thought it was a great excuse to finally stay there.
We decided to turn the 5-hour drive into an adventure. We stopped at Washington’s own little version of Smith Rock to stretch our legs, drove through apple country and along the Columbia River, and stopped at the Wells Dam roadside park to take photos of tiny dogs by the huge hydroelectric turbine (can you find them in the picture on the right?)
We arrived in the Methow Valley to find almost no snow there either. The area is renowned for its cross country skiing trails but those were covered only with a very thin layer of packed, icy snow. It rarely rains in the area but, as our luck would have it, it was when we got there. Saturday we hung out in the cabins enjoying the cozy space and view, having some wine, and cuddling with Chester and Gretel.
It was raining Sunday morning too. Regardless, Doggy Daddy was determined to ride his Fatbike on the North Cascades Highway while it was still closed to cars, which was the only place around that did have measurable snow. I wasn’t into snowshoeing with Chester and Gretel in the rain though so I dropped him off at the gate and headed to town. Most of the stores were closed and the heavy rain made walking around miserable. We the dogs and I headed back to the Hut to warm up and hang out.
On the way back, the rained turned to wet snow. It was absolutely dumping. The clumps of snow were the size of silver Dollars!
Determined to get in some snowshoeing, I drove back up to the gate where we had dropped Doggy Daddy off. The falling snow was drier there and about an inch of snow had fell on the ground. I strapped on the snowshoes, bundled up Chester and Gretel, and headed up the road. Except for the lone snowmobile, we had the whole space to ourselves. It was very quiet and peaceful. We got really lucky.
I managed to get in a few miles on the snowshoes before Chester and Gretel got too cold. It looks like we will be spending this weekend hunting more snow.