“Whenever someone mentions Winthrop we always tell the about the time. Well here lies the problem-you can’t tell one story. There are so many.
The beginning of our trip always begins the same with packing up the bags for the dogs and I but the adventure is never the same. The dogs see the bags and know the time has come to go over the North Cascades to see Pops. The excitement builds coming over the pass but once we get to Rendezvous they are whining and howling as they know where they are. In the Methow Valley, in Winthrop. Where pups and people play. As we drive up, I stop and open the doors and the two dogs bounce out first to find Pops, the second to see the horses. They know an adventure awaits us.
A favorite time is always saddling up the horses and going for a ride. The smell is invigorating and grounding. You know the one,where your horse starts to warm up with the ride and the heat of the morning mixes with sweat and the smell of sagebrush. Mix it together and it’s intoxicating. What will you see today? Grouse, ring neck pheasant or quail or maybe deer? A memory I will forever cherish, stopping to watch two bear cubs frolic in the meadow while pops and I watched in silence on our horses. Watching the two little ones chasing each other and tumbling through the field without a care in the world. Not to be forgotten, good ride is always followed by the swimming hole on the Chewuch River.
One thing is clear, it’s the people that bring you back. Being a city girl we don’t watch out for each other typically, only ourselves. You can walk into Tenderfoot General Store and see the locals having coffee shooting the breeze. Always helping each other out or swapping stories. One example is when the fires get close. Everyone pitches in. Ask any local where the fires are and they know where they are and who might need help and are there to offer a helping hand.
Shopping is always fun. Looking for treasures at the antique shop. Shotgun Nellies is always a favorite, stopping to watch the art of glass blowing, picking up fishing supplies at The Outdoorsman. Certainly can’t go home without East 20 Pizza, not being a pizza lover that says something. Wonderful food and great service. Three Fingered Jack’s Saloon is another favorite after all being in a western town you can’t miss the opportunity to wander into an old saloon.
This year has had some firsts for me. I am here experiencing my first Christmas at the End of the Road. Another first, 49ers Days, absolutely perfect celebration for a Western town. The town fills up to enjoy a real cowboy and pioneer celebration. Seeing pack trains and wagons going thru this little western town makes you imagine what it was like. Memorial and Labor Day weekends are a set date to go to the rodeo. The rodeos are a family event consisting of a picnic lunch and great entertainment for the day, at a price any family can afford.
So see, when you ask me about Winthrop, there is never just one story. The townspeople with a warm smile and a story to tell you about the town that’s always told with pride is an experience you’ll never forget.”