You truly never know how tested you are until everything changes, and your world flips, and what you thought to be true one moment is no longer true the next. It is at those times when you make your hardest choices and decide what matters most. I took these pictures in the Methow Valley in August 2014, when the world changed for some. (Click on each photograph to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)
It is not a great ski year for the Pacific Northwest. Snowpack is seriously below seasonal averages. Skate skiing this season is mostly a bust in western Oregon. So I thought about past trips, including one I took to the Methow Valley in December 2010, and that turned out to be a great trip because I reconnected with someone who I had not seen in years who showed me the trails. This weekend, the Methow Valley is predicting warmish weather for their annual Tour of the Methow, a great race with many distances, including 80 km.! This is a lovely place, and I always tell my good friends who have not been there, try and go once during ski season.
Skate skiing is one of the most phenomenal physical activities I know, and the GoPro Hero 3 video camera is the first camera I know that can capture the pure joy of the sport. I strapped my GoPro to my head and captured the eye-popping scenery of the Methow in mid-February with my friend who lives there. Uphill is great for the lungs and legs, but downhill is what appeals to the brain’s chemistry.