By Bob Spiwak
The river is still running above normal, and the ponds are still up as we push our way to midsummer. Meanwhile, aside from showers here and there and an occasional frog-strangler, we’ve had no rain in close to two months. The snow is going down fast at Harts Pass with a mere 24.3 inches on the ground at 6,500 feet, and the water content 143 percent of average. The melt is accelerated this year and despite river and ground water levels, there is serious talk of drought in our near future.
We have been irrigating the gardens more than usual for this time of year and this has been exacerbated by the winds. Our own general conclusion is that there have been but a couple of windless days since April began. Last Sunday (June 8) produced the heaviest gusts of the season. I tried to measure the chill factor, but the chart does not measure below 40 degrees. It may be not the lack of water, but rather the wind that is keeping things dry.
Sunday also produced the final day of the electric car rally and poker run through the North Cascades. The eight contestants, all willing and anxious to talk to anyone about their vehicles, checked into the Mazama Country Inn on Friday and culminated their visit with an awards breakfast Sunday morning, said Mary Milka, manager of the inn. There are three charging stations for the Voltwagens at the inn, and others at Pine Near RV Park in Winthrop and places along the route. Needless to say, this was carefully scoped out by the organizers, from lodging to the inn’s marvelous breakfast. First prize was a lapidary on wood piece of art by Mazama’s own Larry McWhirter, second prize a metal sculpture by Manson artist Mark Strain, and the third-place winner got a basket of local and locally purchased items.
The event began at the Pine Near, crossed over the Loup to Omak, south to Pateros and then up the Methow River to Mazama. It seems like more and more road-speed auto rallies and outings by car clubs are coming though the North Cascades highway. Ferraris, Porsches and other exotica along with cars from years, decades, and generations past come by our place, and what a delight to sit and watch them go by.
What with the horrific winter around the United States except for here, the ongoing parade of twisters through the Midwest but not here, and the severe drought in the Southwest, I have been led to a premonition that when those who have just had enough of their particular meteorological maladies take a look at the map for a better place, their eyes and desires will be on the Pacific Northwest. That’s us in part, folks. I offer the hypothesis that if 100 people from each of these areas decide to move (that is 300 of 300 million people) and a percentage of them choose the Methow or Okanogan County, it presents an “interesting” future. Just something to think about.