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Re-raising the Barn

WNPA Journalism Award for General Feature, Long


From its origins as a Quonset-style wooden structure built in the 1930s to its current state as a gambrel-roofed local landmark, the Winthrop Auditorium — often referred to as “the big red barn” or just “the Barn” — has filled a role critical to the intimacy of the Methow Valley community: It gives people a place to gather. For tiny four-season communities like the Methow Valley, in the days before the internet gathering spots like the Barn were vital to combatting feelings of boredom and isolation. And despite the abundance of ways to occupy our time in the digital age, such gathering spots are arguably even more critical now for preventing loneliness. Because places like the Barn give us a sense of belonging.


Cross that bridge

appeared in Methow Valley News Summer Guide 2012


There’s something undeniably appealing about a bridge. Bridges invite us from one location to another, and as prosaic as the actual crossing might be, somehow the act of traveling over an open expanse of water registers as exceptional. A foot-traffic-only bridge merely adds to the allure, and the upper Methow Valley is lucky enough to have three such bridges barely off the beaten path: the Tawlks-Foster Suspension Bridge, the Sa Teekh Wa Bridge, and the Spring Creek Bridge. All warrant a visit, and a hot summer afternoon is the perfect time to take a tour of the cable bridges of Okanogan County.


Methow River Poems

appeared in Methow Arts magazine Summer 2020


Settled in scenic spots along the Methow River from Pateros to Washington Pass, the Methow River Poems invite readers to feel the grandeur of the watershed’s stark beauty through the words of the late Poet Laureate William Stafford. Seeking an alternative to the natural history interpretive signs the United States Forest Service typically employed to connect forest visitors to the places they visited, in the Methow Valley Ranger District asked Stafford to write a series of poems that would honor the landscape and character of the North Cascades. A year before his death in 1993, Stafford wrote the seven Methow River Poems, capturing the spirit of this special valley.


Art Outside

appeared in Methow Valley News Summer Guide 2013

As if the  splendor of the surrounding North Cascades were not enough to satisfy the senses, the Methow Valley is filled with wonderful pieces of public art, complementing the natural environment we so cherish and providing an opportunity for people to experience art in the course of  daily life. The valley’s array of public art is also a testament to the creative vision of local artists and the value the community places on art in public spaces. If the great outdoors is so enticing that you simply can’t bear to set foot indoors, you can still enjoy much of the art the valley has to offer.


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