In lieu of fireworks, brats and beers, I spent my Fourth of July in a car – headed out on a road trip to one of my favorite places. While many think that Winthrop, Washington is just a strange, mis-placed faux Western town, I love it. Nestled in the Methow Valley and surrounded by the most beautiful peaks in the Northwest, Winthrop is truly a paradise. The summer heat is just a bit stronger, the smell of pine is intoxicating and everyone seems to be friendly and happy.
So to kick-off summer, the car was packed, bikes were loaded, and we headed out for a weekend of hiking, biking and sun chasing. While I was returning visitor and was looking forward to my favorite cabins, an amazing meal at Arrowleaf and a stellar hike at Rainy Pass – I didn’t expect to find so many new gems.
First up: Pearrygin Lake State Park. While I had written about the park many times for work, I’d never set foot. I expected a beautiful lake. I did not expect to spend my afternoon swimming in bathwater temperatures. I will never pass up the short detour again. Right down the road sits another must-see: The Methow Valley Cider House. Just three years old, the cider makers are already heating up the Seattle market. But for a true Winthrop experience, stop on in for a tasting. Tables and benches are situated right in the center of the apple orchards. The cider is amazing. The views are even better.
Lastly, bikes are a game-changer. Every time I’ve explored a town for the first time on a bike, I’ve seen everything differently. This was no exception. While cruising down country roads, we were greeted by horses galloping in fields, mountains that look even more glorious and a hot breeze that finally convinced me it was summer time.
Cheers to continued road trips and a summer in the Northwest.