By Don Nelson
It’s OK to feel a little bit voyeuristic on the annual Methow Valley Home Tour. After all, it’s an opportunity to take an up-close look at distinct valley homes — many of them hidden from general view — that you might not otherwise see.
And according to Louise Stevens, one of the organizers of this year’s tour, many visitors are looking for ideas about how to imagine and eventually build their own Methow home.
“It’s an opportunity to see some amazing houses, and some of the best views in the valley,” Stevens said. “You’ll find a plethora of ideas.”
The 2015 tour on Saturday (Aug. 8) takes a geographical approach with its eight homes. It’s called “A River Runs Through It” and includes only homes in the Chewuch River valley corridor.
“In the past, some people have said they wanted a more compact tour so they didn’t have to drive all over the valley,” Stevens said.
This 14th annual tour includes an artisan-crafted yurt, a remodeled historic home that Stevens calls a “high art house,” a modern cabin suitable for a single person, and what Stevens called an “economically feasible” house that demonstrates the range of diversity Methow inhabitants — or potential inhabitants — embrace.
“It’s quite a revelation to us to realize how rich in architecture the Chewuch Valley is,” Stevens said.
And as usual, the tour offers a chance to explore “where even the locals haven’t been,” Stevens said.
Barbara Newman, Vicki Caldwell and Stevens were co-chairs for this year’s tour, which is sponsored by Confluence Gallery in Twisp. The tour has always been a major fundraiser for the gallery, Stevens said.
The tour route is bicycle-friendly and participants are encouraged to bring their bikes or rent from local bike shops. The total mileage for the tour is about 18 miles.
Stevens noted that there are two homes at the top of steep gravel driveways that may be difficult to reach by bike, so cyclists may choose to park their bikes in racks that will be provided.
The tour will be from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person; or $20 per person for carpools of at least four, and those taking the tour on bikes. Tickets can be purchased at Confluence Gallery this week, or at Rocking Horse Bakery in Winthrop on Saturday.
Drivers are asked to avoid parking in areas with high dry grass because of fire conditions in the valley.
For more information, call 997-2787.