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methow mountain mist seeds

Two days after the presidential election showed us how divided we are as a country, more than 700 people came together for an evening of stories, spoken word, photography, parkour and song.

Ever wonder how the blackberry became the plant it is today? This short Coast Salish story is told by Native American artist Roger Fernandes.

Booming Seattle is the antithesis of progress for those trying to navigate it while blind. Crammed within a single half-block of Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, scores of orange diamonds and white rectangles splay themselves out along curbs, sidewalks and streets, forming a confusing kaleidoscope of a city under construction.

Writer Knute Berger looks at the complexity of density

Ampersand Live 2016: Eclectic, funny and unexpectedly cathartic

Nick Hanauer on utopia, and minimum wage jobs.

But as Seattle has boomed, that image of Seattle as my forever home has slipped away. I still get nostalgic when I smell the low tide from downtown or take the walk from the ferry to the baseball stadium or sit near the Seattle Center fountain. (I now rent an apartment in the Central Area). But the truth is, I don’t see how I’d ever afford to own a home here.

Photographer Tom Reese and artist Chandler Woodfin find inspiration from the Duwamish River in South Seattle.

An Urban Adventure: Kayaking a Superfund Site

Ampersand celebrates people and place in the Pacific Northwest. It explores the scientific and the quirky found in our natural and built environments. It highlights the art, ideas and stories that elevate our region.

In this second issue of Ampersand, you’ll find stories that will provoke, inspire and connect you to some of the issues surrounding this place. Our home is changing, transforming at a pace we never imagined. We need to take a look now so we can decide how to best respond.

Methow mountain mist seeds

A view looking down Castle Fork valley

As usual since the start of the trail looked dry I would carry boots and snowshoes while wearing sneakers. It didn’t give me too much of an advantage though as in about 2 km I had to switch the footwear, and another kilometer or so later I had to don snowshoes. The snow was very intermittent but the patches couldn’t support my weight without the ‘shoes. There were fair amount of dead-falls along with lots of boggy sections mixed with some alder bashing. The swamps were actually easier to negotiate with the snowshoes on. There’s one pretty bad stretch right beside a river where the old road was washed out and the new, flagged trail travels beside the bank. After this bits the trail became much more defined although the built has lots of up-and-downs and the plod was very monotonous. It took me about 2 hours 40 minutes to complete the first section of this approach.

Plodding up the very broad north slopes.

Looking over the eastern outlier towards the far eastern peaks in Okanogan.

Another avalanche path that I just crossed.

Finished the forested ascent, now looking ahead.

My inspiration of making an ascent of Mt. Winthrop mainly came from a recent BCMC trip that a group of 4 skiers apparently got it done in 15 hours and did not make back to the parking lot until midnight. This really intrigued me and I also remembered it looked pretty impressive from the nearby Windy Joe Mountain. A couple days after their trip a brief high pressure ridge came back on this Tuesday and weather was strongly in favour of the eastern slopes. Knowing their tracks would probably still be there the decision was easily made, but not wanting to deal with a crazy early start I opted to drive out on Monday evening. I got to the parking lot by around 10 pm, slept right away (tired from the work day), and did not manage to start the plod until 6 am in the following morning.

And then there came the second section of the approach and judging by the map I still had about 4 km to cover. Much of this stage was a long side-hill bash with some consistent, but gentle elevation gain. The trail did see some maintenance but definitely not in this year and there were at least 5 or 6 major dead-falls to negotiate. Not so much of a pain on snowshoes, but skiers would definitely not appreciate them especially on the way down. I had the BCMC party’s GPS track but loading it on the topographic map I had decided to follow neither their skin tracks nor their descent route. Instead, I’d go straight up in between their up and down tracks as snowshoes work far better for “going straight up” as opposed to traversing sideways. And once I made to the point where I was supposed to go uphill I took the first break of the day. By far I was doing really good on time.

Methow mountain mist seeds

You can still take the cure at Rosario Resort & Spa, with a heated “quiet” pool and two summertime outdoor pools. But where Kellogg focused on quackery, Moran—a fan of environmentalist John Muir—lavished his attention on landscaping: hiring the legendary Olmsted Brothers firm to sculpt the grounds, and donating 5,250 resort-adjacent acres of hushed emerald forests and pocket lakes to form Moran State Park. (And yes, there’s also a two-story Aeolian pipe organ in the middle of his mansion.)

Minam’s inaccessibility is part of the charm; here, amenities shine with extra luster. The lodge—a neglected hunter’s retreat—took a tight crew of craftspeople six years (and a fortune in helicopter transport) to rebuild. Furniture was milled and hand-built on-site. The now-cushy main lodge is efficiently warmed by one central fireplace; down a trail, a wood-fired hot tub and sauna are tucked near Minam’s more affordable wall tents. Hikes run in all directions. (Consult the lodge’s own guidebook, penned by Pacific Northwest trail junkie Douglas Lorain.) From cabin porches, night skies rain starlight over the snow-dusted Wallowas: isolated splendor that comes with Terminal Gravity on tap, waterfall showers, and sack lunches on demand. Cove, Ore., summer rates from $195–545 —RD

Safe behind a 12-foot deer fence, Minam’s studiedly chaotic alpine garden has its own full-time gardener, and it shows in every meal dished up by chef Carl Krause (formerly of Portland restaurants like Biwa and Nomad) . In the morning, he spoons huckleberry and thyme compote over sourdough pancakes; for lunch, he makes stock-thickened potato-leek soup and grilled cheese with caramelized garden fennel. Krause stocks a jar of addictive, still-warm ponderosa pine sugar cookies near his open workspace; it’s typically ransacked by teatime. Come dinner, guests cluster around farm tables family-style, for platters of buttery spätzle, grilled scallions, heirloom tomatoes spiked with parsley and lovage, and melting brisket smoked right out back. (Definitely worth toasting with another bottle of Walla Walla’s finest.) —RD

Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge Is for Literary Fly-Fishers

A spa tub at Salish Lodge

Champagne-oil massages, grape-seed scrubs, and “pinot pedicures”remind Allison guests they’re in wine country. Consider lingering overnight after that facial to get access to the guests-only, infinity-edge pool. Newberg, Ore., treatments from $15 (chin wax) to $690 (“Ever-After” bridal package), rooms from $435

Sun Mountain Lodge’s spring wildflowers

Paradise Inn Is an Austere Romance

These comforts aside, Paradise can be, to borrow the manager’s phrase, an austere experience. There’s no pool, fitness center, or spa. And, famously, no Wi-Fi. In the lodge, only the ADA-accessible ground-floor quarters have private bathrooms—though as of May 2019, guests in the lodge’s renovated 79-room annex will enjoy this luxury. The restaurant fare is about what you’d expect for a private concern hawkishly watched by the National Park System: bland, bulk-sourced, and cooked by kids who’d rather be mountain-climbing.

Idaho’s Sun Valley Lodge