Monday, November 10, 2008

Methow Valley

Aaaaah, I just got back from a short but very relaxing weekend in the Methow (pronounced Met-how) Valley in Washington state.

When Eric and I left Oregon, we looked into relocating in this area. There are two communities: Twisp and Winthrop. Both are very small and very charming. Many artists, musicians and authors call the area home, so it is full of our kind of people. In fact, when we were leaving yesterday, Anna and I saw two gentlemen, probably in their 60s, holding signs that said "Impeach Bush!!" and "No More War!" I love, love, LOVED it!!! Additionally, the area is just breathtakingly beautiful: huge, towering mountains and the gorgeous river running through the valley. But after living on the Oregon coast for 8 years, I had to admit that I couldn't live year-round in an area so remote: it's a 3.5 hour drive from Spokane on a good day, 5.5 from Seattle. They get a ton of snow in the winter, so it is very hard to even get OUT of the valley in the winter; the road to Seattle closes down for at least 4 months of the year due to snow and avalanche danger. It's a lovely place to visit, but I knew I would go bat-shit crazy living there after many years on the rainy, remote Oregon coast.

Anyway, Anna and I met up with my friend Nichole and her daughter who came over from Seattle, and they brought some friends. So there were 4 women and 4 kids; we all really enjoyed each other. There was great conversation in front of the crackling fire, some exploring along the river, wonderful food, soaking in the hot tub, reading, laughing and lots and lots coloring, painting, glitter and making shrinky-dinks.

We rented this amazingly funky, artsy, whimsical house on the Methow River that is owned by a Seattle film-maker. I want them to adopt me.

The house is a re purposed barn:

View of the Methow River from the kitchen window.
In the summer they have several tee pees on the property, and a river-rock swimming pool.

Outdoor swinging bed, on the porch. This is my dream.

Crazy art and whimsical details are everywhere you look, inside and out.

The "secret" passage-way was a big hit with the kiddos:

It rained most of the weekend, so the kids would get all bundled up, go outside and play, and then come back in and soak in the hot tub.
This is Syringa, Delaney and Anna. Notice that Delaney is wearing a "rain skirt". Because it is darn-near impossible to be a proper princess when you have to tuck your skirt into rain pants. So some genius Waldorf-mommy in Seattle invented "Rain Skirts". As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Brilliant.

The farm next door had some horses and a couple of donkeys.

And a huge, lovable Golden named Honey Bear. Honey Bear LOVED the kids, and he loved to dig for mice. He would dig, dig, dig and then stick his entire head in the hole so that only his ears were resting on the ground. He'd snuffle and snort and then dig a new hole. He entertained us with this for a good 15 minutes. Finally Anna and I saw a terrified little field-mouse pop out of one of the holes and run for his life. Honey Bear was oblivious, still digging. He was a sweetie.

The second day the farmer came down and told us all about the animals and that he and his wife, a social-worker, are starting a animal-therapy group for families. He even let the kids ride on one of the donkeys.

There was even a trampoline. This place was heaven, for the kids AND the moms.

Can't wait to go back when the weather is a bit less soggy, and WITH my hubby.


robyn said...

What a cool place. LOVE that bed. The woolly mammoth chair scares me a bit, though. Like it might bite me in the ass...

jpogue said...

Ok, I was going to put a swinging bed out on our back patio and hang it off the deck of our bedroom and mom said "No way". She thought that was too hillbilly even for us. Hmmmmph.

You find the most interesting places to go - how DO you find them? (and why don't you find them for our girls weekends??? You're in charge for the next one.

kate said...

That's not hillbilly at all! I LOVE that idea. I mean, what could be better than sleeping outside on a warm summer night?

Nichole found this one; actually, she's our trip-planner. But here is the key: (Vacation Rental By Owner). Private homes for rent all over the world. You'll never stay in a hotel again, baby!

Dee said...

The stairway is amazing, beautiful. The chair is wild ! And the house is fabulous ! What a marvelous place, so gorgeous. And of course you would have a great time there. You had a fun bunch of girls !

Sorry I rained on your parade, Jodi.

Linda, aka "Lala" said...

Very cool!

Bob and I had a swinging bed, it was called a hammock... LOL

Fancy Schmancy said...

That place is awesome! I would love to visit!

Imez said...

Oh kate. I've been trying hard to figure out what I want in life, and you just posted a dozen pictures of it. Down to the cabin and the open rainy fields and the happy kids. Dammit, you don't have Pulitzer, too, do you? Then you'd have everything.

Nichole said...

Miss you, love you, mean it! We just don't see you enough!