The summer weather we have all been eagerly anticipating hit in full force over the weekend –quite literally! One house in our neighborhood got a direct lightning strike on Saturday afternoon, which blew out the home’s stereo speakers, took down the Internet, and exploded a large boulder in the yard. Another strike in my neighborhood started a small fire low on the flanks of Patterson Mountain, but was extinguished before it became a major concern.

Valley visitors Sue Blackadar and Steve Walker were hiking on Tiffany Mountain with their friends Kim and Robert and things got pretty exciting. Several members of this hiking party have had – like many avid outdoorspeople – various ligament surgeries on their knees. But old injuries notwithstanding, they were able to scamper down from the top of Tiffany at record speeds when they had lightning bolts striking at their heels.

Meanwhile, I and the other swim team families were sitting in our steamy cars in the parking lot of the Brewster swimming pool, waiting out the lightning storm that shut down Saturday’s swim meet for about 30 minutes.

At first when the call came to evacuate the pool we all huddled under our pop-up tents to get out of the rain, which gave us the illusion of safety but which, with the pop-ups’ metal frames, was thought to be just a cluster of lightning magnets. We eventually moved to the cars in the parking lot, which was theoretically much safer but certainly a lot more humid.

The atmosphere was charged on Sunday, too, but this time with the excitement of the Methow Valley Pridefest. Clad in either the official parade uniform of rainbow-striped clothing and flowery leis, or the unofficial go-to Methow costumes of hot pink Spandex body suits, tutus, sequins and hot pants, or any other random flamboyant outfit, parade participants marched, cycled, roller skated, belly-danced, and pogo-sticked from the River’s Edge Resort to the Winthrop park, shutting down one lane of traffic for the duration of the parade – which was probably about eight minutes. (That’s one of the many great things about the Methow – you can be in a parade but it doesn’t have to take all day and no one is really inconvenienced.)

The Methow Valley’s gay pride parade and festival was neither as large nor as grand as those happening in big cities all over the world on Sunday, but it spoke just as loudly.


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