It seemed crazy to leave behind the 70-degree weather on Christmas day and trade it in for below-freezing temps. And yet, that’s exactly what we did just days before the start of the New Year.
A year prior, we had ended 2015 with a five-day retreat to Washington. It was just the shot of motivation we needed at the time, plus we had our best business year ever following that (strong enough that SVV was able to quit his day job and come work with me full time). I honestly think that much of that was due to starting our year on an empowering note, because our friends Kent and Caanan are the best career coaches, gurus, friends and pro-bono therapists a girl could ask for. We vowed to make this an annual get-together.
Around the same time last year, the boys moved part-time up into the mountains. They started slowly enticing us up their way with breathtaking photos of the North Cascades scattered surreptitiously through their social media feeds and told us on our next return we’d have to come to the cabin in the mountains instead of the one on the Washington coast.
Um, fine. If you insist!
Now, the NVRs are elusive chaps, popping in and out of our lives as they flit from continent to continent (pretty sure they’re actually CIA), and getting asked up to their cabin is akin to receiving an invite to meet with the Pope himself, so we didn’t hesitate: We drained the remainder of our credit card points bank to book end of year flights. So on Dec. 29, off to Seattle SVV, Ella and I went.
Because the daily Alaska Air flight doesn’t land until 9pm and it was delayed due to headwinds and then Sea-Tac was a nightmare taking 45 minutes to get our luggage, we didn’t get out of the airport until nearly midnight. We grabbed a hotel at the airport, got a few hours sleep and set off for our wintry paradise early the next morning (after supply runs to Starbuck’s, Trader Joe’s, REI and Target, of course).
In the summer months, the drive to Methow Valley can take as little as 3.5 hours. In the winter, it was more than five. But we didn’t mind a bit, as the roads were clear and the terrain changed from green to brilliant white as we climbed in altitude.
When we got off the highway and turned toward the Okanogan wine country region, the landscape trended toward desolate, a barren frozen tundra, breathtaking in its stark nature.
We arrived in Winthrop, where we were meeting the boys, just after dusk and settled in for a cocktail and catch-up session at lightning speed before driving the remaining 20 minutes up the mountain to their house.
We immediately dove into the Mazama culture head first with a neighborhood bonfire that night, but really had no idea what our surrounds looked like until we woke up to the sun slowly creeping into our window late, around 8am, and set out by foot for a little fitness and a wander.
I quickly realized I wouldn’t be able to do much running let alone any yoga, er snow-ga, with drifts that deep, but quickly forgot about my attempt at morning fitness when I saw the views from the neighbors’ backyard just across the street.