For nearly two weeks, the skies have been bursting with snow. For those of us who love winter in the Methow, there have been no complaints, but it has been a shoveling, snow-blowing, plow-truck frenzy with hardly a break in-between storms. With all the time and work needed to move snow around there's barely been a moment to get out and enjoy the fresh stuff.
Friday, the clouds parted and bluebird skies appeared. I knew it would be a gorgeous day but I also had a lot of work to do to prepare for the start of the Conservation Course. It would be easy for me to stay in the office and get tasks done. I don't always have the foresight to do something fun and healthy for myself that in the long-run is important to staying productive and focused. That's where Executive Director leadership comes in! Our ED, Jason Paulsen, is always encouraging us to get outside, take time away when we need it, and enjoy the Methow that we work to protect. On Friday, he set a fine example for us and instigated a staff ski into Owl Peak, a stunning property in the Rendezvous that we currently own (and which is for sale!). Heide Andersen, our Stewardship Director, and I went along.
Owl Peak was bequeathed to us by Ann Lennartz, a long-time friend and donor of the Methow Conservancy. For me, it's one of the most breath-taking places in the Valley. Along with it's incredible beauty and amazing views, it's surprisingly hidden (though really not all that remote) and I feel peacefully alone and calm when I'm there. Not lonely, because you have the earth (covered in native plants in the summer), the birds (ravens and woodpeckers and bluebirds galore), the sky (for as far as you can see), the mountains (like you can reach out and touch Mount Gardner), and, when you want them, views of Winthrop and the Valley (and you can totally imagine where and how a glacier carved out what we call home). It's a special place and I feel lucky to be able to soak it in and be a part of it for this moment in time.
So, here are some photos from our Friday afternoon ski to Owl Peak. Enjoy!
|Skinning up the driveway|
|Ski to your front door!|
|I love the little guest cabin.|
|And I love the red tiles in the small, custom-built house.|
|Sastrugi, is a long, wave-like ridge of snow formed by the wind.|
|heading uphill from the house and cabin with Gardner in the background|
|can't go under it; can't go over it (yes, he went around it!).|
|Heide skinning up a ridge with peaks in the Chewuch drainage beyond her.|
|A World with a View (of Winthrop)|
|Heide & Jason skinning up|
|Heide & Jason with Gardner looming large. We stripped skins here and skied down!|
|A sepia-induced sunset on the Owl Peak property. What a way to spend a Friday afternoon!|