Driving one hour and 45 minutes from Mazama, a pit stop is usually in order. Most Methow Valley residents know the beauty of Lone Pine Fruit & Espresso 4 miles south of the Beebe Bridge. If you have never stopped there, make it a point next time traveling to or from Wenatchee or all points south, west and east. It is worth your while.
Housed inside a 100-plus year old apple packing shed, a charming blend of old meets new. The original hardwood floors creak while free Wi-Fi is available, if you want to sit for a minute to sip a latte made with Twisp’s Blue Star Coffee Roasters or quaff a local microbrew. Store Manager Jenny Robelia is constantly attentive to customers who stop for deli soup and sandwich, local fruits and vegetables, wine or handcrafted gifts.
When Jim Walker purchased the orchards and building more than 20 years ago, it became a labor of love, blood, sweat, tears and coin to get his dream up and running. “Folks thought he was nuts,” Jenny reveals. “The apple industry had taken a turn for the worse and finding a way to diversify had to be on the horizon.”
Lone Pine has since gathered a collection of faithful regular customers. Some stop every year to mark the passage of time by taking photographs with the varied yard art, including an array of bicycles and wooden trucks. Birthday parties have been held by the lily pond — even class reunions and weddings. Eating lunch on a summer day by the water feature is a most pleasant experience.
Longtime Twisp resident Suellen White is an enthusiastic cheerleader for the stand. She purchases a box of apples monthly — her favorite: SugarBee. She corroborates the cheerful attentiveness of Jenny. “She’ll keep you informed of which fruit harvests are going to be the best and timing of availability.” The fruit that Suellen looks forward to yearly are the orchard’s peaches. She says, “They are the best!” Her sister makes the trek from Centralia yearly to pick up peaches for her canning and baking.
The website lonepinefruit.com provides a comprehensive list of harvest dates for a variety of fruits and vegetables, apple availability and use charts, seed starter and days to germinate charts.
If you enjoyed the hearty Pancake Breakfast sponsored by Winthrop Kiwanis on Balloon Roundup weekend, the apples were a product of Lone Pine’s harvest, picked up by chief Kiwanis chef — Suellen.
As with most businesses, the pandemic wreaked havoc for the stand. This season continues to bring challenges, especially staffing. Regular store hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., six days a week (closed Sunday), but sometimes hours are flexible if unexpected situations arise.
This winter that keeps on giving has allowed the ski trails to be kept in shape. The beauty of the upper valley, even while still under a heavy blanket of snow, is at its best on a bluebird day. When working on last year’s photos, I wondered what the date was of a picture of my husband out raking the prior fall’s debris: March 25. I’m not sure we are going to see ground by that date this year. We need a big thaw! Spring cleanup awaits.