North Central Washington

So You Want A Trophy Home in the Methow?

This page is about a beautiful place with a nice cultural and natural environment, where nature has been doing good business ever since a large chunk of ice melted here about 10,000 years ago.

Methow Valley folks are trying to make this valley a showcase of environmental education and natural science, and to do this, we are exploring ways of enlightening human attitudes toward our neighbors and the natural world, while we still have that fragile and elusive wildness that everyone else is seeking.

Some background. Some time between emerging from the caves and the construction of the empire we call Western Civilization, the west was lost. Westerners do not believe in the Third Law of Thermodynamics, that states the entropy of the universe is always increasing and that nature is irreversible and impermanent. We create our own reality.

Coming to the Methow is a lesson in limits. This page is here to remind prospective visitors to this valley, that looks can be deceiving. Winthrop is a lot more than just a little western town, and it takes time to see behind the false store fronts. Don't be beguiled by the fact that we have four seasons, until you know them by name: Mud, the Blast Furnace, Hunting Season, and Snow Shoveling Season.

For those of you who are thinking of buying land here, I highly recommend a humble attitude about what you think you can do on it. You are probably wondering about the cougars. This is why you should not have an open crawl space. But forget the cougars, it is the deer and the snow and the weeds and the neighbors with guns and dogs that should have you concerned. You would be wise to just sit in a tent for a year or to clean out your hyperactivite thoughts. Otherwise you probably will do some pretty ridiculous things when you move here that you will ultimately regret. The smaller these are the better.

In the old days, there was always time for the locals to clue the newcomers in about how things around here worked. New folks eventually got enough smarts and they could then pass what they learned along to the next homesteader. Nowadays, there are so many new people coming through, that some of the new people don't get it right, and end up misinformed or disappointed. If you got missed by the welcome wagon, then here are a few thoughts:

That's enough for now.