Sometimes seen as country bumpkins next to Washington’s sophisticated wines, hard ciders are content to chill. Served frosty, in shades ranging from pale pink to deep amber, ciders beckon with a subtle invitation. But that doesn’t make them simple.
It was September 2012, and I awoke to another Saturday of smoke. The valley was flooded with it, eliminating the possibility of outdoor recreation. Instead, I figured I’d get some work done at the office.
The Eastern foothills of the snow-capped Cascade Mountains slope gently downward into the Yakima Highlands, dry lands thick with sagebrush and bunchgrass, rabbitbrush and wildflowers blooming in season. Here, where this upland desert gives way to the lush green leaves of apple trees growing neatly in rows, sits the city of Tieton, Washington.
To get back to roots. Back to the woods and the mountains, great roaring streams—not roaring, really more like crashing, falling, cascading—yes, the Cascades were calling and we answered. It was time to get back.
It was high time we got downtown and refueled. After a brief stroll on the waterfront we landed at Pybus Market. Surprisingly,
FIELD REPORT No. 20180531AC
COMMENTS: With great excitement we made for the trailhead; it was to be our very first hike of the season. The day was warm and full of optimism. After many stops for "go power," at last we found our way to the top of the hill. And the Wenatchee valley view did not disappoint.
Already the green of spring was passing and the bright blooms of arrowleaf balsamroot were turning dull. The temperature rose as we descended, and was downright hot by the time we were back at the car.
RECOMMENDATIONS: If you're in Wenatchee and looking or a quick and rewarding hike consider the Jacobson Preserve Trail. It makes for a fantastic morning sortie, if you need to get your heart pumping.
The air is like water. It has a current all its own, flowing softly and evenly and we are immersed in it. Surrounding me crisp and cold and it presses up against my face, my legs, and my jacket. Although it’s windproof it feels like it isn’t because the air is pressing up against it, the air that is cold and flows like water, the air that we are immersed in.
The air is fragrant, it smells like pine forrest, and snow, rich and wholesome. When I open my mouth it pours over my tongue and down my throat like ice cold mountain water—the water that is life-giving air. Its coldness fills my lungs and my body consumes it, heats it, and exhales it. The crazy thing is, I don’t think about it at all; it’s second nature.
We’re at Mission Ridge with the family and it’s an average day. By average I mean, awesome snow and a tremendous time. I’m not sure I qualify as a skier. I do ski, however I feel that the term “skier” denotes a certain level of skill and know-how that I most assuredly do not possess.
Last season, a freak accident last cut my learning period short (on day two, to be precise). So this season I’ve had all kinds of hang ups. The first trip down Mimi (green) this season was mental anguish and about halfway down I was ready to quit forever. I cannot describe in words how difficult it was to complete that run. I ended up doing it a couple more times that day and saying things like “I think I’ll just keep keep doing this one until I’m comfortable, maybe all season.”
It’s turns out I was full of crap though because the next time out, the siren song of skiing called me higher up Mission. I was still obsessing over perfectly groomed terrain, complete control at all times, not going too fast, the way my boots felt, the way the skis turned, the pitch of the run, other people nearby, and pretty much anything else you can think of. But I’ve caught the bug— correction— it’s not a bug is more of a drug (in the best sense of the word) and I couldn't get enough.
On this particular day though, the perfectly average amazing cold air day at Mission Ridge with the family it felt like we had the whole hill to ourselves. We did run after run after run (no black diamonds for me, yet) on fresh powder, under blue skies breathing in that life-giving air as we skied. And then something funny happened, I realized I wasn’t thinking about it at all. It felt second nature... mostly.
This time of year we all start to itch for some outdoor adventure free of cold and snow. It's easy to be tempted to violate closed preserves and other no-access lands.
FIELD REPORT No. 20180115DS
COMMENTS: It was just one of those days! A winter storm watch made for a crazy travel day around the region, and lots of folks hunkered down to watch the snow fall, rather than try and fight it. The next day brought clear skies, however and a blue bird day after a storm is hard to beat. Lighter than air powder, the sun beating down, and and my favorite, the golden powder glow seen here when Bridget Shae turns after dropping through the bomber chutes at Mission Ridge.
KEY FEATURES: Arguably the best powder in the state is found in Wenatchee, WA at Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort. It features four chair lifts and 36 designated runs. You'll find trails, chutes, screamers, and bowls with a 2,250 foot vertical drop. The backcountry is easy to access, but do remember to check in with ski-patrol before you head out.
FIELD REPORT NO. 20170619AC
Sage Hills Trail, Home Water Wildlife Preserve, Wenatchee, WA.
With plenty of water and high on optimism we took to the Wenatchee Foothills. Guided by wildlife biologists from the Chelan County PUD, we explored the Home Water Preserve, it's unique and vital place in the local ecosystem and the opportunities and challenges that come with it. Even though we started early, the trip was hot by mid morning and we were all thankful for hydration.
For some of us, most of us, maybe all of us, Friday is a celebration for the end of a long, taxing work week. We count the days, hours, and minutes until our time belongs to us once again.
On Monday night, a hundred-some people showed up at Mela Coffee Roasting Company for a sold-out performance of The Show Ponies, an LA based folksy-rock n’ roll band currently touring their new album in the Northwest.
COMMENTS: I finally did it. I got my trusty road bike out of the shed, tuned her up and went for a ride on the Little Wenatchee River Road...
As a Pacific Northwesterner, I like to think we have a lot in common with the Nordic folks across the globe
COMMENTS: With my wife just finishing another long day of meetings at her teachers' conference, I can tell from her text messages that she's tired.
COMMENTS: A business trip from Spokane offers a chance for my first visit to Wenatchee's famed Pybus Market. Earlier this summer, I was in San Francisco at the historic Ferry Terminal. What happens in San Fran happens in Wenatchee...
COMMENTS: It's not babysitting when you're the dad; that's called parenting. After my wife is all set up at her work conference at the Coast Hotel and Wenatchee Convention Center, it's the girls and me for the next eight hours or so. No sweat, right? Step one: treat yo self.
Field Report No. 20150726TB
COMMENTS: Waking up to a bird’s footsteps on my window sill, with the sun piercing my eyes, I knew today was the day for an adventure. Preparation began with some morning instrumental jams, a cup of freshly pressed coffee, followed by a teakwood and tobacco candle I picked up a few weeks ago from a boutique in a neighboring town. I needed to fuel up so I headed to my local coffee roaster for a double shot of espresso and a hand crafted veggie omelet. After feeling the food hit me, it was time for adventure. The drive to the local trail head was filled with anticipation. The whole time I was thinking about what I was going to encounter. Once arrived, I grabbed my bag, water bottle, and camera, then charged the mountain. The way up was slow. I was so distracted by the natural architecture the forrest had to offer. The way the sun spilled onto the trail through the branches, with every step changed the temperature feeling on the back of neck. From shade to sunlight, this trail felt like it was made for me today. After snapping nearly five hundred pictures, I finally made it to the top. Struck by the beauty of the resting, still water, I had to pull my camera out once more so I could brag about my hike later. I was then on a mission for a flat spot on natures floor, too lay down my blanket for a quick rest. It was hard to sleep because of the busy buzzing bees in my ear. After failing to sleep, I decided it was time to set up my slack line. This was the peak of my adventure today. After falling a few times, it was time to head back down, so I could get some rest. Tomorrow is a new day, and always a new adventure.
KEY FEATURES: Allow yourself a good four hour chunk if you decide to embark on this journey with me.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Caffe Mela, Tumbleweed Bead Co., Posy Handpicked Goods.
F&C: Sure, you do yoga. What else do you like to do with your time?
Bridget: There's other stuff to do besides yoga???!
Well... we really do integrate the mindset and movement of our iLa (inspiring LOVE & authenticity) philosophy into the way that we spend our time. From cooking delicious food with our people (Dakota's the cook in our family!), to biking (mountain and road!!!), stand up paddling, hiking, & climbing, to finding the extraordinary in the familiar activities of everyday life. (Oh! and we are currently opening Wenatchee Valley Brewing Co. in the Pybus with my family)
To answer your question, we LIVE with our time. And what truly living is to us is experiencing each moment--breathing, taking it all in, the beautiful & the challenging, choosing to explore and thrive in our environments--inspiring ourselves and those around us to find and step into the best version of ourselves.
Field Report No. 20150709AH
Topic: Out on a Whim
COMMENTS: The methodology applied by the contributing craftspeople at this neighborhood boutique combine to create an aggregate greater than the sum of its parts. Meaning that the charm and beauty of this place is far greater by having all parties in a shared space rather than each one operating individually. This idea saturates the therapeutic collection of decor available at Out on a Whim.
KEY FEATURES: Well curated, good lighting, great design.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Wedding rentals from OOAW (arches, decor, props, etc.) are a great way to add character to your event.