A cross-country skier dressed as a slice of bacon holds on for dear life as his dog pulls him around an icy track dressed as an over-easy egg.
The skier is right behind the first-place contender, when the dog stops and assumes the position. The nearby crowd lets out a large groan followed by laughter and the dog’s owner stoops to pick up the dog’s delivery.
When nature calls, nothing is stopping it.
My family and I spent Presidents’ Day weekend cross-country skiing in the Methow Valley. We stayed at a hotel in Winthrop and skied the nearby trail systems over two days.
It was the best skiing I’ve done so far in my limited experience, and the entire trip was enjoyable.
The hotel we stayed at, AbbeyCreek Inn, had a hot tub and sauna and the hot tub was insanely hot. Every person who stepped into it said that immediately, “Wow, this hot tub is insanely hot.” I loved it.
The restaurants in Winthrop were also delicious and we couldn’t help popping into a couple of stores and buying merchandise.
One of the unexpected events that took place on our weekend was the Doggie Dash next to the Winthrop Ice Rink. We arrived at the Winthrop Trail system, when a dog dressed as a lion got out of the car next to us.
Confused, we followed the lion, who was being led by a witch in a wardrobe, down to a large crowd and about two dozen dogs. An announcer then explained that this was an annual race.
The Doggie Dash involves dogs pulling their human owners, who are on a pair of skis, around a track. The purpose of the race is to see what kind of chaos occurs.
We watched the entire thing as a family and it was worth it. We saw a dog dressed as a shark pulling a surfer with a half-eaten surfboard. Another man dressed as a wolf being pulled by a little red riding hood. As well as, one man dressed as Old Saint Nicholas with his reindeer.
The race held several heats and as soon as the dogs took off the promised chaos ensued. Dogs got tangled in leashes, some dogs ran next to their owners forcing them to ski and not one, but two dogs, stopped to use the bathroom near the finish line.
After the race, my family headed off to the Chickadee Trailhead system near the Sun Mountain Lodge Resort. The trailhead is owned by the National Forest Service.
We did several loops in this area from easier ones to more moderate in difficulty. I really enjoyed exploring these trails, because I haven’t had much opportunity to try more hilly cross-country skiing.
I’ve gotten much better at pizzaing my skis and this adventure provided me lots of opportunity to practice. Pizzaing is when a skier makes a triangle with his skis to slow themselves down.
However, Wiley, our 8-year-old son, found some of the hills difficult and my girlfriends’ knee hurt after a while. I am interested in exploring this area more in the future, as there are some three or four mile loops that I think would make for a nice day trip.
After a few hours, we headed to the Big Valley Trailhead, which is halfway between Winthrop and Mazama. The Big Valley area has two loops that skiers can do that add up to about six miles of skiing. This area is almost completely flat as it is located in a big wheat field.
We did only the first loop and having already been skiing it was a bit exhausting. I thought it was a nice enough ski loop for a family trip, but for me it was a bit boring compared to the Chickadee Trailhead system.
After two days of skiing, we barely touched the Methow ski trails. The Methow Trail System has about 130 miles of groomed ski trails and options for any level of difficulty a person would like.
I truly recommend this area and believe it is worth the hype. I myself am excited to explore more of it soon.
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