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Cold Temps, Good Snow In Methow Valley

By Ron Hoyt

For the 18th year, CONC members traveled to the Methow Valley in Washington for five days of skiing, socializing, and, of course, eating.

Joanne Dalsass, organizer of the trip every year, was hostess to a combination of trip regulars and people new to the trip. This year’s was a larger group than usual with 35 people on the trip.

If there is one word to describe this year’s Methow visit, it would be: “COLD!” Highs were in low 20s every day; lows from below zero to single digits. Because of the temperatures, the daily ski trips generally started later than usual and as late as 11 a.m. and noon. But, it was bright and sunny most of the week with little wind, and the snow was good. The trails at the Methow Valley are groomed for skating and classic skiing every morning.

The Methow is an agricultural valley located about 100 miles north and east of Seattle. In fact, as many of us were heading back to Bend at the end of the trip, we could see tall picking ladders with people on them doing something to the leafless fruit trees. Although the elevation of the valley is only about half the elevation of the Swampy Lakes parking lot, its proximity to Canada allows Canadian weather to invade the valley, bringing cold temperatures and good snow.

The group, as usual, stayed at the Mazama Country Inn in the tiny hamlet of Mazama halfway up the valley. The inn has rooms in the main lodge and in an adjoining building where the CONC pre-dinner happy hour was held every evening.

The meals were varied and hearty. The highlight for most people, I would guess, were the platters of large crab legs that greeted us in the dining room our first evening. That dinner also included crab cakes. So, you could have your crab long and thin, squat and round, or both.

   (Photos by Ron Hoyt, Shari Hogshead and Jeanni Capell)

Editor’s note: Trip organizer Joanne Dalsass calculated how many times some members have gone on this trip. “The numbers were impressive,” she says. “Here are the highlights: Ron Hoyt, 14 times; Nancy Conner, 14; Linda Frost, 11; and Alison Hamway, 10.”