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4 days of Nordic Ski Trip at Methow Valley, Mazama, WA
(18-21 Jan 2013)
A very special place in the Winter in Washington State !!!
The event was a Peninsular Wilderness Club (PWC) event sponsored by a multiple people, primarily by Paul and Emily. The event has become an established yearly tradition for the PWCers and their friends over the MLK weekend. This was my third straight year. On the first 2 years, we had about 17-18 participants and rented 2 lodges. However, this time we had about 37 participants and rented 5 lodges !!! Much thanks to those people who coordinated the trip for their time and efforts in planning and coordinating the trip, and thanks to the car (AWD or 4x4) owners for carpooling. And thanks to all the participants who together had a great time skiing, snowshoeing, sharing snacks & food & drinks, and socializing. Many of the participants were retirees, their friends, and the long time PWCers who were having a great time enjoying their lives. For me, I wanted to classic ski, possibly, the different areas from the previous year's, and enjoy the area. For sure, I want to go back there again. Someday, I would like to take my family (my wife and kids) there for a vacation.
Trip Background (mostly copied from 2011 trip): Link to 2011
Methow Valley is located at Mazama, WA. We stayed at the Timberline lodges. It is about 300 miles driving distances from Bremerton, WA. and the counties we drove through or stopped by were Kitsap, Pierce, King, Chelan, and Okanogan. The place was truly a Cross Country (XC) trail mega that had about 120 miles of groomed XC ski trails: for example, Methow Community Trail (19 miles, easiest), Sun Mountain Trails (32 miles, most difficult), Mazama Trails (20 miles, moderate), and Rendezvous Trails (29 miles, difficult). Its place is considered one of the Top 10 XC ski centers in North America !
Food and misc information during the trip (the similar setup as the year
2011. One major difference was Free Wifi Internet Access):
a. All breakfast & lunch and Fri night meals were up to each individual. For Sat, Sun, & Mon breakfast, most of us ate the leftovers from dinner.
b. On Saturday night, potluck dinner at 2 lodges. Since we had 5 lodges, there were 2 potluck dinner.
c. On Sunday night, it was up to each lodge. We ended up hosting a potluck at our lodge from a couple of lodges. All were very tasty and memorable dishes.
d. Free WiFi Internet was AVAILABLE. Unlike the 2012, I did not bother to update the trip status on the Kitsap Hikers group on the Facebook.
e. There were no cell coverage at the loges but had cell phone coverage at the Mazama and Winthrop towns.
f. No cable or public TV channel was available, but had a DVD player with many DVD movies.
Cost for the trip:
Total of $273: 3 nights of lodging: $140. Car pool expenses: $35. 2 days ski Pass: $48. Food & drinks: $50.
Summary of daily activities (XC skied 54 miles total for 4 days (8 miles + 22 miles + 15 miles + 8 miles)):
Day 1 (Fri): Paul (car owner), Jackie, Barney, and I carpooled. Tom H and Greg H (car owner) car pooled together. We drove together. Arrived at the Aspen Lodge, Mazama at 1510. Temp was high 10s. Skied 8 miles in 2 hours at the Mazama trail. We (Paul, Barney, Tom, Greg, and I) skied the last 4 miles with the head lamps. Jackie skied shorter miles.
Day 2 (Sat): Cross Country skied all day (1020-1600, 21 miles with elev changes from 1700- 2100 ft) at the Rendezvous Trail. Temp was 6-15F. Most of us (Paul, Tom, Greg, Nancy, Kevin, and I) skied from the Cup Creek Trailhead to the lodge. Used Paul and Greg's car. For the last 2 years, on Saturday, I classic skied from Winthrop to Mazama but I wanted to ski a different trail that I have not skied before if possible. It was quite tough. From the beginning, on a xxx mile stretch, it was 1000 ft elev gain. Then, there were up and downs two times that totaled xx miles with about 2500 ft elev gain. When I retuned to the lodge, I was so tired and took a nap for 20 minutes. Both legs were in pain. Potluck dinner was excellent prepared by people from 3 lodges. There was another potluck dinner by 2 lodges. After our potluck dinner, I visited the potluck dinner and greeted the rest of people that I have not seen for 2 months (that I missed the last two consecutive PWC meeting.) Back in our lodge, some played Domino with help and instructions from the master Domino player, Tom R. I opted not to play and sleep little earlier.
Day 3 (Sun): Corss Country skiied all day (1030-1510, 16 miles with elev changes from 2600-3600 ft) at the Sun Mountain Trail. Temp was 7-18F. XC skied at the Sun Mountain Trail. Potluck dinner at our lodge was excellent. Tom R cooked chilies, Tom H cooked yakisoba, and Paul cooked chicken curry. The potluck was joined by 2 other lodges. Potluck was great, and had some leftovers for breakfast. Some of us played the Domino while I surfed the Internet.
Day 4 (Mon): Tom H, Greg H, and Barney, and I XC skied from the Lodge to Brown's Farm (8) miles) one way, part of the Methow Valley Community Trail. It was a bit cold near temp 4F. Thankfully, Paul picked us up at 1020 and drove back home. As usual, we stopped by at a Taco Del Mar for a lunch/dinner. All of the Passes (Swauk, Snoqualmie, and Tiger) were in good condition unlike the last year. We arrived back home safely. On Tue, on FB, Steve O mentioned that his car had an issue at Wenachee and spent another day there. Sorry to hear that but they retuned safely on Tue. Other than that, looks like everybody returned home safely. Looking forward to the next year's trip.
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