Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Winter Adventure in Winthrop, WA

Being a teacher has many perks and one of which is getting to enjoy three-day weekends! DFJ and I went on a winter adventure weekend in Winthrop. It is an adorable little town in the Okanogan County in Washington. When I met my friend, Emily, for dinner last month, she mentioned how much she loves Winthrop. If there’s anyone who loves the outdoors the most and knows the best places for adventures, that would be Emily. I woke up early on Saturday morning feeling listless and bored, so I started looking up Winthrop and had the greatest desire to go cross country skiing. Since I tried downhill skiing last year and didn’t really enjoy it, I wanted to give winter sports another shot and thought maybe something less nerve-racking, like cross country skiing might be my thing. Plans were made and we decided to drive to Winthrop early Sunday morning, stay the night, snowshoe, cross country ski, eat, drink, and have fun!   

First stop was at Sun Mountain Lodge to rent snowshoes. We snowshoed around the Sun Mountain trails for two hours and absolutely enjoyed it. The view of the surrounding mountains heavily blanketed in snow with clear, blue skies and orange-pink sunset hues was breathtaking!

Snowshoeing requires some resolution to just put on your boots, strap them into your snow shoes, and brave the cold and the snow. Only then will you realize how pleasant and calming it is, just like hiking. I love how snowshoeing allows me to trudge along, uphill and downhill, in deep snow without slipping and sliding. 

After the long drive and playing around in the snow, we finally checked in at our hotel, Duck Brand Inn. Our room was very cozy, charming, and clean. I love the red doors and the wooden staircase that leads to the parking lot. 

We had dinner at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery. This place is pretty awesome! They have delicious burgers and great beer. Be prepared to enter with a very hungry belly because the servings are giant.

The next day started out freezing cold and we had a sweet breakfast at the Rocking Horse Bakery, which was right across our hotel. Their coffee is very good and so are all the breakfast treats! I wish my stomach had room for everything but my bran muffin was a very good choice.

After breakfast, we dressed in our ski gear and drove to the Community Trail Park and did some practice runs around the track for an hour. DFJ and I are both beginners at this sport and since we were on our own, practicing really helped us understand what we were doing (or so we think). 
We headed off to Big Valley Ranch afterwards for 5 miles of cross country skiing (sans trail pass fees!). I have never had so much fun while getting a great workout at the same time! Despite the pain and the soreness that I’m suffering through right now, I realized that cross country skiing is something that I really enjoyed and look forward to doing more often in the next couple of years. Working hard in the bitter cold felt invigorating and gliding through the woods with sparkling snow everywhere made me feel at peace with the world.

DFJ and I were exhausted at the end of the loop and we both just wanted to get out of our sweaty gear and grab some food. After we returned our skis and changed into fresh clothes, we stopped for a late lunch at East 20 Pizza before our long drive home. Their pizza is amazing! One half was the sausage with spicy pineapple and the other was portabella with goat cheese… yummm! East 20 pizzas are heavy with toppings yet the crust remains nice and crispy. Every bite was simply delightful! 

Before we drove off, we went back into town to look around for a bit and grab some coffee for the road. After that, everything was a blur as I spent a good part of the drive home sleeping my tiredness away. DFJ is the best chauffer.

Winthrop is a winter wonderland! It offers all the cold weather outdoor activities you could dream of doing. During these trying times in our lives, the snow covered hills and mountains of Winthrop showed us that being one with the earth is the perfect way to rejuvenate our souls. 

Cheers to the first of our 2013 adventures DFJ!         

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome snow weekend! You definitely put that three day weekend to good use!


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