Mazama: A pre-Christmas getaway to a winter wonderland...
1 Time to head back to the snow for some skiing before Christmas! This is an illustration from a favorite Christmas book - Toot and Puddle.
2 The trip out was uneventful except for being stuck on Blewett Pass for 2 hours due to a fatal collision. So sad.
3 The kids kept themselves amused quite well while we took intermittent walks trying to gather some intel...
4 This is Arlo and Frank surveying the lineup.
5 A picturesque river by the roadside made for a good view.
6 Even though we're not at our destination yet - it's still hours away - being in the snow is wonderful!
7 A stop at Anjou Bakery in Cashmere.
8 Finally in Winthrop! We've got a table for 18 thanks to Frank arranging this from Cashmere.
9 So - four families and 10 boys, plus my mom and Richard. All staying in Mazama or Winthrop for 5-7 nights.
10 Arlo and Ellen.
13 Up in the morning, taking a good loo kat all that snow! First time in snow pants and gear for our kids. Dave had to hit REI the day before to get stuff...hoping they don't outgrow it too fast!
14 Grabbing some food at a great general store before hitting a ski bowl at Loup Loup pass.
15 Me and Kumiko :)
16 Carver eating a popsicle :)
17 Carver and Silvio reclining
20 Learning to snowboard!
21 Seven of us took snowboarding lessons! I have never done it before and the learning curve is steep, but it's a lot of fun!
22 Sam really worked hard to figure this out.
25 Ben took a skiing lesson - apparently it's easier to pick up skiing at first, then harder to get good at it. Snowboarding is the opposite - steep initial learning curve, then easier to refine. Well, that's what I'm told.
27 Just beautiful out there.
28 A gorgeous day.
29 Packing snowballs while we return rental gear. It's only 16 degrees out!
30 Moon over Loup Loup.
31 The caravan of cars - Renna, Krug and Johnson's truck driven by the Borgninos.
33 We're staying at North Cascades Basecamp.
34 Nice opportunity to eat in without having to cook.
36 Kai enjoying eggnog in our cabin :)
37 The lodge from our cabin window.
38 Our cabin. The loft upstairs is manland :)
39 Out for some classic skiing (cross country) around the meadows.
41 Not as easy as it looks to get up speed. Ben toppled over quite a bit before getting the hang of it.
42 Hi Dave!
43 Mazama has over 200K of groomed trails - can you believe that? It is truly unreal.
48 Heading out on a longer ski with Frank, Kumiko, Arlo and Dave up to Basecamp then Cow Beach.
49 Skate skiing on the left, and classic tracks run on the right.
51 There we all are!
52 Pond near Basecamp.
55 After I think 9 miles of skiing, this is what the meadow looked like on my return trip. It's snowing - again, or still! - and I'm off to dig out the truck and return rental skis then gather for dinner to celebrate Julian's birthday.
56 At the Renna's for Julian's birthday, and also celebrating Zack's birthday the next day!
57 Tues morning dawned clear and bright. It's time for more Loup Loup downhill time!
58 Goat Wall and the meadow with the Renna's cabin in the foreground.
59 Packing up, and packing snowballs ;)
60 The truck really enjoyed being out in this stuff!
63 Mom and Richard's cabin by the ice rink in Winthrop.
64 At Loup Loup getting ready to try a downhill run. At this moment, having successfully evacuated the chairlift (that's what it felt like), I really cannot believe I'm doing this - it has been more than 20 years since I did any downhill skiing, and even then I think I skiied a handful of times.
65 Arlo and Frank are expert skiers. I'm following them down what they say is a reasonable run. Hmmm...they are athletic. I am...decidedly...NOT!
66 Only one way down, though.
71 Meanwhile, Mom and Richard are out driving around and playing in the snow, too!
72 Ben and Sam are getting pretty good on their ski and snowboard technique. In one of these videos, Sam lands literally with his snowboard between the legs of some man helping his little guy down the hill. Nice work, Sam!
75 Trying to figure out how many tubing passes to buy!
76 This is the tubing run - we had 8 boys over there at the end of the day whooping as they flew down the hill, then dragged the tubes back up. Unfortunately, by this time, the two teens (Kai and Silvio) had been injured on downhill runs and were on their way to Omak for x-rays in the little hospital across the pass.
79 Sunset from the top of the tubing run.
80 Kumiko and Ellen waiting for word about how bad the injuries were.
83 I'm trying to make sure no one ELSE gets injured!
84 I think this is me going down the tubing run :)
85 I like this shot of the four boys going uphill for their last run.
90 Monopoly games lasted literally HOURS! They had such a good time.
91 This is around 10pm I think!
93 Our cabin in the morning light. This is my phone lock screen. I miss the snow :(
94 I even miss cleaning the truck off.
95 Here are a bunch of pictures that Richard took of the boys sledding near their cabin. I'm not editing any out because parents and grandparents will want to see them, and possibly download or print favorites. Thank you, Richard!
105 The sledding went on from 10am until 5pm when we had to HAUL them off the hill for dinner! They literally would NOT come in for food. We had to lure them with cookies.
106 They met other boys on the hill, too.
134 The outdoor rink is ALMOST complete! It should have opened but their chiller wasn't delivered in time.
135 "what's the deal? looks like there's ice out there!"
138 Watching the ice get spread.
140 Fun times!
144 Out looking at some properties and some frozen lakes.
147 Arlo calling the real estate agent to figure out where the lot is.
148 Kind of down in a holler...
150 Back for more sledding!
160 I think this one is me trying downhill skiing on the sledding run. Thinking to myself...if I get hurt..the day before we leave...
163 See how dark it is? They just kept going and going!
165 Getting snow and ice out of jackets and trying to dry gear out in the cabin's dryer before dinner.
166 I really felt like this could be a reality TV show ;) Crammed in our truck - three boys across the back seat.
167 Out to dinner - 14 of us!
168 That light is a little bright. Dave said he felt like he was in a chicken coop.
169 Resourceful Arlo found another bulb and...replaced it!
170 This is the VERY moment the new light came on. Look at Ben's face! And God said...
172 Such fun times. The boys are telling jokes at their end of the table.
175 Icicle light sabres!
178 Watching Star Wars up in manland on the last night.
179 From the kitchen to our bedroom.
180 Last morning in Mazama. Getting breakfast at the general store.
181 I can't bear to leave, so I'm out taking photos and listening to my boots crunch.
182 Grabbing mom and Richard for the drive back.
183 Pateros for gas.
184 Snowy landscape all the way to the passes - a nice way to wean myself off the frostiness, getting to drive through it for several hours.
185 We just need to get across THOSE mountains.
186 Both Snoqualmie and Stevens Pass are closed due to collisions, downed trees and avalanche control. So...we're hoping that Stevens will open as projected by 1pm. It's 12:15 when we pulled into Cashmere, deciding to get some snacks and see if the time slips again. By 12:53 it hadn't gotten bumped out, so we decided to go for it - drive toward the pass until 1:30pm. If it wasn't open by then, we'd turn around and head south to White Pass then north again - a 7 hour extension to the trip. This trip SHOULD be about 5-6 hours with no delays. But that's not what you get in a Washington winter - one must be flexible!
187 Inside the bakery.
188 Throwing the football while we wait for word on the pass.
191 Me trying to cheer Richard up :)
192 Doing some yoga on his hood before conforming to the truck seat again.
194 In Leavenworth, our turnaround point, JUST as we check the DOT website and find out the pass has opened!
195 Woo hoo! We think we're good...
196 Roads are fine...
197 The lucky hat has prevailed...
198 Until...we find we're in a line of cars waiting to get through the pass.
199 We waited for an hour!
200 Finally, finally...after crawling at 4mph for 77 miles, we pull into Monroe WA and hit Safeway for Christmas dinner fixin's 10 min before they close. Can you believe this? Dave can't! He was really not too happy with this epic expedition!
201 SEATTLE! Racing to catch the 8:10 ferry. Only 12 hours after leaving the cabin.
202 Some ferry videos :)
203 I love my travel companions! I dove into the Borgnino's truck to say hello as we drove onto the ferry.
204 Carver hiding.
206 And...finally home!!! Pine boughs around the moon like a wreath.