I’ve always thought the town of Twisp, WA sounded like it belongs inside a Dr. Seuss book. And truly, the idyllic mountain town always seems like a fantasy-land whenever I visit. Having spent very little time there, my distant vantage probably polishes the tangible charm to a spectacularly bright sheen. The Methow valley is sun drenched, yet green, thanks to its proximity to the Cascade Crest (where: West = wet & East = dry) and a steady supply of snow melt from the high peaks. Surely this area has ranked atop lists of best places to retire for eons. I love to head East from our spongey density to this more sparsely forested landscape.This past weekend the fam and I pulled our ’82 Coleman tent trailer over passes only open for 1/2 the year. We found a dreamy campsite along the Twisp River for $12/night which included outhouses, running water, and a sweet little old lady camp-host.
After a refreshing evening of roasted marshmallows, a solid night’s sleep, and a bacon ‘n eggs breakfast, we hit the trail towards Twisp Pass.
The gentle grade made the going quick and relatively easy. In fact, I’m not sure there were more that a handful of switchbacks the entire hike. The precip was spitting at times and the air was cool with occasional sun-breaks.We passed many flower strewn meadows and tall Ponderosa Pines along the way. The berries weren’t yet ripe, but the bugs were completely at bay…miraculously. As usual, the gradual thinning of the forest combined with elevation-granting views makes for continual reward on a constant ascent. The higher I hike, the lighter I feel. I’m convinced now that gravity is relative and somewhat in the mind. One gets energized in such a perfectly symbiotic, biodiverse, and orderly environment that is the alpine zone.
At least I was energized. Gwen and the pups took the tranquility to heart and snoozed on our knoll above the pass while I struck some poses to unlock the tight spots. After our rest and refueling, we both spotted a tarn on the map and decided to go and check it out. Sure enough, a foot path sometimes disappearing underneath large patches of snow lead us to the pristine high-elevation lake. Then…I managed to talk Gwen into yet another Josh-style shortcut which involved a high traverse underneath Lincoln Butte, then a steep meadowed descent to meet up with the trail 1,500 feet below. She graded this one an “A.” (For the record, there have been one or two where I barely passed – much like my recent Neurology final exam.)Pups say A++!Soft-serve anyone?