A Winter Retreat to Washington's Cascade Mountains

Peace and Quiet in the North Cascade Mountains

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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 Winter Retreat to Washington's Cascade Mountains

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.

A Winter Retreat to Washington's Cascade Mountains

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.

A Winter Retreat to Washington's Cascade Mountains

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.

A Winter Retreat to Washington's Cascade Mountains

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).

A Winter Retreat to Washington's Cascade Mountains

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.

A Winter Retreat to Washington's Cascade Mountains

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.

A Winter Retreat to Washington's Cascade Mountains

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.

A Winter Retreat to Washington's Cascade Mountains

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.

A Winter Retreat to Washington's Cascade Mountains

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.

A Winter Retreat to Washington's Cascade Mountains

This would do. Yes, this would do just fine.


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Peace and Quiet in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington
Peace and Quiet in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington
Peace and Quiet in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington
COMMENTS
  • February 7, 2017

    Looks like you’re very comfortable in your Snow-yoga. How does it feel? Hope to try it sometimes. Btw, your photos are amazing.

    • February 18, 2017

      With snow gear on, it’s much harder than it looks!

  • February 8, 2017

    I can’t get enough of snow-covered mountains. I think that’s the Dutchie in me, anything flat just reminds me of home 🙂
    Dominique recently posted..Montreux – Captivated by Château de ChillonMy Profile

    • February 18, 2017

      The Southerner in me would have to agree! Though you guys get a fair amount of snow in winter, right?

  • February 11, 2017

    Such a beautiful and relatively uncrowded part of the country! The Freestone Inn in Mazama actually made my all-time favorite hotels list! I’m pretty sure I’ll be kicking off my 6 month road trip in Winthrop in August 🙂
    Leigh | Campfires & Concierges recently posted..Kayak Camping in Baja MexicoMy Profile

    • February 16, 2017

      We used to stay at the Freestone before we starting living up there part time. Love that place!

    • February 18, 2017

      We had beers there with the boys! So so cute!

      Can’t wait to read about your sojourn in Winthrop =)

  • February 12, 2017

    You made some breath-taking photos, Kristin! It feels like I’ve been there with you.
    Agness of a TukTuk recently posted..How to NOT Get Robbed Abroad – Tips for Staying Safe while TravelingMy Profile

    • February 18, 2017

      Thank you, Agness! It’s an area that’s impossible to make ugly 😉 Nature is stunning!

  • February 16, 2017

    You document our lives better than we do. xxxooo

    • February 18, 2017

      Maybe you should keep me around more often 😉

  • February 18, 2017

    This wonderful place certainly brings a lot of peace and tranquility and a lot of motivation for any person, congratulations
    Rodrigo ramos recently posted..Curso de Pompoarismo – As Melhores Técnicas e ExercíciosMy Profile

    • February 18, 2017

      Have you ever been to Washington, Rodrigo?

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