Sunday December 12, 2010
The Methow Valley Inn Newsletter December 2010
Holiday Time in The Methow Valley
Winter has come early to the Methow Valley and the ground has been continuously white for several weeks, beginning as a stretch of 0 degree days! The days are growing short, people here are staying closer to home and their fireplaces and we are all getting a break from the busyness of the Summer Season. It is also a time to really appreciate what we have here; good friends, an absolutely stunning landscape, the appreciation that some of us are warm with enough to eat, while others are increasingly struggling from the effects of a stagnant economy. It is a time to focus on giving back, giving to others, and sometimes giving permission to ourselves to take care of our own person so we can be more mindful of ways to help our neighbors and community.
We love to share this Valley and its people with guests who stay and the Inn and we are always looking for ways to give our guests the ‘real Valley experience’. The single best way is to have our guests stay for more than one night; it seems that with each passing day, the loveliness of the Valley and its people sink into our beings and one can really feel the ‘specialness’ here.
Grace: A Measure of Grace
I have been totally inspired by Blake Spaulding, a brave young woman who started and runs a restaurant across from an Inn in Southwest Utah. Hell’s Backbone Kitchen gets its name from a local destination land formation which draws Southern Utah Wilderness Park visitors from Spring through Fall, which is when the restaurant is open. Blake partially inspires me because of her wonderful recipes found in her book With a Measure of Grace: The Story and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant. I have recently had the chance to be THE“bakery in Twisp for 3 weeks” while the Cinnamon Twisp Bakery closed for a respite. I used Blake’s Blue Ribbon Bisquits with bacon and cheese which was a huge hit, among other of my favorite recipes. I even hired a local Nordic Olympic Hopeful, Sam Naney, to teach me how to make GOOD cinnamon rolls! I dream of having our Monday Night Supper Club
(see below) at the Inn be of the quality that Blake inspires.
In addition, I find Blake’s Buddhist spirit also very inspirational, how she honors every living being, lives in the present and views service as a natural part of life. She now grows most of the food she serves, and partners with local farmers and ranchers for the rest. She makes her own jams, and cans many fruits and vegetables for use in her restaurant. We try at the Inn. We all need someone who inspires us.
Monday Night Supper Club
Our Supper Club, which we launched in November, is designed to provide a quality restaurant experience on a night of the week, during the seasons of the year we call the shoulder seasons Oct-Dec and Mar-May, during which it is hard to find a meal within 50 miles. Its builds on our hope that the Inn can be a focus for valley community conversation and can also give our guests a unique flavor of the valley when they attend while staying at the Inn. The announcement of our schedule goes out by word of mouth, and now a specific newsletter letting folks know which Monday night and what we will be serving. The usual 4-5 course meal is a fixed prix style with selected wines to go with each meal. We started this concept in November and had no idea if anyone would show up. Further, the three of us InnKeepers (Terry, Raleigh and Peter) serve as the waitstaff for the event which is another skill
to add to our repertoire! Jon Brown, from Winthrop’s Arrowleaf Bistro initiated our Supper Club this past November was the critical ingredient, along with amazing roomfuls of guests. We filled the first night and were sold out well ahead of the second night, with 31 guests. We have just published the January and February nights and themes which are as follows:
• January 17 (Monday of MLK weekend): A Taste of India
•January 31 : A Visit to the Greek Isles
• February 7 (a week early due to Feb 14 Monday being Valentines Day): North African/Morocan Cuisine
• February 21 (Monday of President’s Weekend); Regional Chinese Cuisine
Come have dinner and stay the night. Reserve early as we are already receiving reservations at the time of this printing. More details about the dinner are at www.methowvalleyinn.com. Please E-mail Raleigh at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be on the Methow Valley Inn Monday Night Supper Club E-mail list.
Down Hill Skiing in the Methow Valley
Most visitors to the Methow Valley do not realize what a wonderful down hill ski opportunity there is within 8 miles of Twisp. Located between Twisp and Okanogan on Highway 20, the Loup Loup Pass is just a short trip from the winter play land of the Methow Valley. THE MOUNTAIN: 1,240 vertical feet with 10 runs on Little Buck Mountain (about 300 acres)
LIFTS: 1 fixed grip quad chair, 1 platter surface tow and a rope tow.
FACILITIES: A rustic day lodge with food & beverage, a modern administration building with meeting room & restrooms, an equipment rental shop, a first aid room and facilities for our fantastic patrol & instructors.
1,240 vertical feet, the mountain (Little Buck) is serviced by a quad chair lift, installed in 1998. A platter surface tow and a beginner rope tow give sliders a chance to practice their skills without going to the top. Runs are groomed nightly with modern Bombardier snow cats.
The Loup Loup Ski Bowl also has 23 kilometers of groomed and track set Nordic trails on Bear Mountain, with another 50k two miles away at the Washington State Parks South Summit Sno-park.
There are snow tube rentals for your enjoyment on the weekends and holiday periods, tube lane with a walk up lane makes for exhilarating exercise.
Beginners of any age will appreciate the un-crowded gentle slopes and the fully certified ski school with all levels of Alpine, snowboarding and Nordic lessons.
The equipment rental shop offers snowboards, alpine skis and kids equipment rental.
The day lodge has a rock fire place and a cafeteria with hot food.
Weather permitting, the Loup's typical season runs from mid-December to mid-March. Standard days' of operation are open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:00AM to 3:45PM. Snow pack permitting the Loup Loup is open straight through the week before Christmas until the week after Christmas, with the exception of Christmas day. Loup Loup is also open all week for President's holiday in February and Martin Luther King Day in January.
Other Inn Activities 2011 in the planning stages
The following are some events the Inn is in the process of planning for 2011. Please contact us if you have ideas, suggestions or questions. We will post details and dates as soon as they are available
• Monday Night Supper Club: Jan-May
• Quilting Workshop with The Hive in Twisp
• Trail Runners Workshop: Second weekend in May (Thurs-Sun); details forthcoming
• Therapuetic Yoga Retreat with Melanie: Spring 2011
• Om Town Yoga Retreat with Wendy: October 2011
• Canning Workshop and Retreat: possibly August 2011
• Plein Air Weekend in collaboration with the Confluence Gallery, Fall 2011