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Fire! Water! Ice!

On the way to Winthrop, Washington, Danny spotted smoke up ahead. As we drove, we saw that we were driving right towards the smoke that was billowing in front of us.

Then we saw the fire right across the river from us. When we saw the police road block, I had this sinking feeling that we would never get to Winthrop. The police (well, the sheriff) detoured us to an upper road along the Methow River. We stopped and watched a helicopter scoop up water with a bucket from the river and then fly it back to pour over the fire.

It actually made Yahoo news, said Jay.

But we finally made it safely to Winthrop, an adorable Western town outside of North Cascades National Park. It’s super popular among people from Seattle. We were practically the only ones we met not from Seattle.

Did you ever hear of Winthrop Washington? You should DEFINITELY check it out. We loved it!

We did the following things in Winthrop: Tubing down the Methow River (way upstream from the fire). Notice I still have nail polish remnants on my toes.

Walked along the wooden sidewalks of the town

Jay and I ate great Mexican food on the deck overlooking the river, while Danny and Jeremy went and did their own thing.

Went to this open-air museum called the Shafer Museum, which was an historic look at the town and its founding. Fascinating study on the early settlers to the town and how they lived. Those pioneers were tough people.

Stayed at a top-notch motel called Mt. Gardner Inn. I’d definitely recommend it. Walking back to the town we crossed a bridge and had a great view of the river and saw many bats swooping around munching on the mosquitoes. It was great to see those damned mosquitoes being eaten up!

Went outside when it was finally dark (About 10:30) and looked at the stars, Jupiter, Neptune, and the Milky Way. AWESOME!!!!!

The next day we went to North Cascades National Park: It was really beautiful. Different from lots of other parks in that all the trails are found along two main roads that bisect the park. The hike we did was nice but we rated it number 4 of the 4 hikes we have done. so far.

Did you know there was an actual animal called a marmot? We saw one. The reason we know that creature was a marmot was because this one family was ahead of us and the dad kept saying to the kids, “Do you see that marmot? That marmot is right over there on the rock” and so we also looked, and there it was.

And again, no bears. Thank g-d. Just rumors that others had seen a bear on a nearby trail. And we met a guy who carried a gun and said he had had to use it one time to shoot an attacking cougar. That made us feel real safe. This time we didn’t have bear spray with us so we were happy when the hike was over and we got safely back into the car and enjoyed the awesome drive with lots of amazing views.

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