Methow Valley getaway

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*** Warning, this post is going to be long. But the good news is that it will have lots of pretty pictures and while there will be talk about riding bikes, there are also amusing anecdotes about other topics. ***

We were spending the weekend at Jenn & Bryan’s cabin. Because the week was a bit of wash with the 4th of July in the middle, we hit the road Thursday afternoon and took Friday off. (You can imagine how productive the work week has been… ) Jenn & Bryan did a ton of renovations after our winter visit and the place looks amazing. We brought the boys along with us and (amazingly) they were very well-behaved with Greta and Tyr.

We kicked off Friday morning with a five mile trail run leaving from the cabin. We took all of the dogs (and plenty of water.) The girls launched into a good solid pace from the start and we were off. The combo of the heat, dryness and my lack of trail conditioning had me back in the dust pretty quickly. But the rest of the crew were nice enough to wait for me to catch up at various intervals. The first such interval was when we saw some cows off the trail. A mom was on one side with her two calves on the other, so she half-charged at Wally, who was VERY interested in the cows. But we retreated enough for her to rejoin her babies and no one was harmed. I tried to get a picture of the free-range cows:

It was definitely warm and I was huffing and puffing. I had to take a few strategic photo stopping breaks (not to mention more than a few walk breaks). Unfortunately, I had to put up with this terrible scenery and crowded trail. ;-P

And just after this bend, there was an amazing vista where you could see the cabin in the distance:

Smokey Joe had a hard time accepting that he’s not a youngster any more and he tried to keep up with Greta and Tyr, who are way more high energy (and in better shape.) So, he had to be forced to stay back with me and toward the end I just forced him to walk it in. Here was the post-run carnage:

I love tired dogs. They’re the best. Plus we felt absolutely no guilt sticking them in their crates and heading into Twisp for some lunch and a short bike ride for T & I. We had a great lunch at a natural foods place in Twisp and then T and I suited up for our ride. Twisp is an adorable little town:

We didn’t have a solid plan other than to ride out Twisp River Road for a while and then turn around. Naturally, there were plenty of hills and it was nice and toasty. Initially, I just felt slow (but it turned out that we were actually on a slight incline.) I didn’t love the lack of shoulder on the road, but there weren’t that many cars (and the ones that we saw were very courteous.) Did I mention the climbing?

But there were gorgeous views once you got to the top (or the half-way turnout as the case may be… )

And I stalled a little longer by taking a picture of the boy…

And a self-portrait of the two of us:

We arrived back in town safe and sound. We had to stop at the local supermarket for some milk and was entertained by their decor. Nothing makes me want to buy groceries more than random dead stuffed animals. (City supermarkets are so boring by comparison!)

When we got home, we had a little time to chill out and then took the dogs for a little swim. Except for the rednecks and their unleashed dogs sending Wally into a barking frenzy, it was a nice outing. We hung out on the deck while the dogs dried off. Jenn is a dog magnet (it may also have been the dog treats she had with her… )

Here’s a completely random (but adorable) shot of Wally:

After a very delicious dinner of flank steak tacos, we settled in for a game of Mexican Train dominos. After T won five games in a row, we decided that he needed a handicap…

…Of tequilla shots. We didn’t have the lime, so they were more hardcore than usual.

It took about three to even the playing field. Then more shots got added to the rules. I think Mexican Dominos is about to become a drinking game. And get a lot more “racist.”

T still beat us, but not nearly by as wide a margin as he’d had initially. And all of that was on day one! Crazy epic weekend!

Lest this blog post become even more ridiculously long, I’ll give a quick synopsis of the rest of the weekend (since I’ve run out of pretty pictures.) On Saturday, T & I went on a crazy long bike ride. It was insanely hot, but we got to ride the route that we’ve done on previous visits which involves a lot of climbing, but a nearly empty mountain road and gorgeous scenery. Jenn had a horseback riding lesson and then she and Bryan went on a hike (apparently they passed us in the car, but we were in the zone and didn’t see them.) We had a chill evening with another delicious dinner. None of us had the energy for another epic round of dominos, so no rematch for us.

Our drive home was filled with blue skies and delicious food. We stopped at the store in Mazama and picked up a loaf of bread and the best chicken sandwich I’ve had in a while. We also stopped for ice cream at Cascadian Farm for ice cream. We picked up some meats, cheeses, and deli salads at Whole Foods for a nice simple low-key dinner. It was still nice and warm in Seattle, so we were able to relax in the backyard for a while. What a great weekend! Many, many thanks to our hosts Jenn & Bryan for inviting us. I think the boys are going to need a few days to recover from all of the fun they had.

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