Washington can be a pretty wild place.

If you've ever spent time in the Hoh Rain Forest, and then pointed the wheels East and traveled over the Cascades, you know this for yourself.

For us, a trip up and over Washington Pass landed us in Winthrop for a birthday weekend of lake floating, late night chatting, fly fishing, and stargazing. Staying high up on a hill outside of town landed us some absolute solitude and quiet when we needed it, while still being close enough to town for an evening stroll and tasty vittles.

There is something special about this quirky, touristy town. The drive in on US20, skirting the many dams and their lakes (look outs a-plenty), climbing up to the pass, does a good job to remind you that this place, while close and accessible during the warmer months, the trip becomes a long, round-a-bout travel procedure in the winter.

I think, with a place like Winthrop, you've got to go, and then you know. Beneath the tourism, the just-a-bit-too-pale-to-be-local crowds, and the busyness that it all brings, it's a special place. It's the dry air, the oppressive heat, and the stillness when the sun sets. It's the clear skies, the cold water, and the way the sun feels like it is turned to eleven. It's the sound the earth makes when the sun finally drops behind the mountains, it's the glow that exists for what feels like hours afterwards, and it's the first peeks of sun in the morning.

It's the Methow Valley.

And I'm looking forward to going back.

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