If you have a weather app on your phone and follow different cities, you no doubt have at least one city that consistently shows a bright yellow sun on more days than not — maybe Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, or Sacramento. No surprise that these cities are among the top 25 sunniest cities in the U.S. The sun shines in Phoenix and Tucson 85% of the time; sounds wonderful, except there are also an average of 110 days in Phoenix that reach triple digit temperatures. Las Vegas enjoys an average of 292 of sun while Sacramento comes in with 265. Seattle, which is drop dead gorgeous when the sun is shining, only enjoys 152 days of the yellow orb in a year.
With an average of 190 days of sunshine, Mazama is not far off the national average of 205 days. When any one of those 190 days shows up, our mood elevates. No surprise, since scientifically proven, sunshine has numerous benefits for our bodies: improves sleep, reduces stress, maintains strong bones and strengthens the immune system (thank you, vitamin D), and combats depression. Some studies even reveal that those who spent more time in the sun lived longer than those with less sun exposure.
While we await more sunny days, it is no secret that exercise is also a mood elevator with health benefits. With an average yearly snowfall hovering around 120 inches, Mazama is a hub for winter sports activities. On Saturday (Feb. 11), hundreds of cross-country skiers will Ski to the Sun in Methow Trails and Methow Valley Nordic Ski Education Foundation’s fifth annual marathon and relay. The course begins in Mazama and covers 40 kilometers before reaching the finish line at Sun Mountain Lodge. Skiers of all ages and abilities participate. Watch for those skiers training on the trails this week. In the blink of an eye, the Sunflower Run will be here (April 29)!
Skiers, visitors and locals currently have several options for food and drink in Mazama. Check the online schedules for Jack’s Hut and Sandy Butte Bistro at the Freestone Inn, Mountain Meals at The Inn at Mazama, Mazama Store, Mazama Public House, Woodstone Pizzeria, and home delivery by Methow Fresh. Tasty morsels and refreshing beverages will keep our spirits up till the sun shines again!
How did 40 degrees feel? Balmy?