Friday, August 26, 2011

The Backpacking Chronicles: 3

posted by Melissa
The Ciderhouse Rules!
Our main agenda of being camped near Winthrop was to get to the Methow Valley Ciderhouse.  Amy had been telling me about it for awhile now and she really wanted me to check it out in preparation for our beer and wine making month. (October)  The ciderhouse didn't open until the afternoon and we really had to get in a hike, you know, for the blog.

Satisfaction (I can't get no.)
We found a hike around Patterson Lake near a resort, Sun Mountain Lodge.  As we drove up the steep windy road, I was still wishing we could have been staying in one of the cabins around the lake.  I guess this lame hike listening to the joyful shouts of kids paddling across the lake would have to suffice as my lap of luxury for the weekend.  I say it was lame because, although I dreaded another hike like the one up the mountain, this was more like a 4.5 mile mall walk.  There was no physical challenge to it at all.  Can I never be satisfied?

It was pretty, but after the views from my exposure therapy, it was a bit dull.  Like a kid playing 3D video games all day long, give him a old-school Atari Pong game and sure, he'd likely play but would soon be bored.
Patterson Lake
As soon as the hike was over, we all had no problem quickly making the next choice of our trip.  "To the Ciderhouse!"

Salmon Love

There were only a few people present when we arrived, but it looked like there would be music starting soon.  We ordered our hard cider and sat around under the tent answering Trivial Pursuit questions.  Did you know that the deadliest animal in Africa is the crocodile?

Then the music began.  Ken, a fish and wildlife biologist, started his set and invited Jamie up to play along.  Ken apparently loves what he does for a career, so much so that his music consists of biologically accurate lyrics about many of the subjects he studies.  It was unexpected.

I was already giddy from the cider, and when Ken started hooting like an owl during his song about endangered species, the giggles commenced.  Amy and I were like 12 year old school girls, and I can't remember the last time I laughed so much or so deeply.  I wish I had a video of Amy acting out the part of Billy Chinook's salmon lover.  It wasn't that Ken was funny, I mean, he was funny, in a good way (check out his song about salmon love).  But there was just something in the air that afternoon.  Maybe it was the remnants of all my mountain anxiety finally exploding out of me.
"Ha.  Really?  You don't snort?  Too bad for you."
Another Cider house patron looked over before he left and asked, "Which one of you is the snorter?"

"We both are." Amy and I answered in union, laughing and possibly snorting some more.

"Why?" I inquired, "Are you also a snorter?"

He looked down at us, raised one of his eyebrows and dropped the other in disdain, "" he said, appalled that I had even asked.

Diablo Lake
Jamie (or Jared as he was called at the Ciderhouse) and Ken played Country Roads by John Denver.  I went to West Virginia University, and so this song has a very special place in my heart.  I sang along, a sentimental tear just behind all the snorting.

I share this because it was one of the many, many serendipitous occurrences of the weekend.  We left the cider and headed to the Old Schoolhouse Brewery in Winthrop.  As soon as we sat down at our table, guess what song came on?  Yep.  Country Roads!  It was like that all weekend long, one thing after another, reminding me that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

After one more night under the stars, and perhaps one UFO, we packed up camp and headed west.  Jamie and Bob did a big hike up near the Early Winter Spires.  Amy and I opted for a shorter hike at the Lone Fir campground, our hike started out paved.  I was satisfied, and a little scared.  We left our bear bells in the van and once the pavement ended, the trail became very "bear-y."  We survived.

back home
We also had a blog meeting at the Mazama Store, checked out the Washington Pass overlook and read some poetry along the trail.

All four of us jumped in Diablo Lake on the way home, it was cold and refreshing.  And left me with the memory of how spontaneous the weekend turned out to be.  How perfectly, without conflict, the weekend laid itself before us to follow its lead.


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