When that coveted white fluff is slow to fall in Seattle, many snow bunnies find themselves heading farther afoot in attempts of getting their fix. Sometimes heading east over the pass proves successful; many simply find that an escape into the tranquil mountains can do the body – and the soul – some serious good.
Many Seattleites head into Bavarian-themed Leavenworth for a day trip (or a full weekend away), a region where each season brings a bevy of outdoor activities. In winter, nature enthusiasts take advantage of backcountry skiing, ice climbing, snowshoeing and tubing, among other sports. And spring brings new al fresco focuses on cycling, rafting, river surfing and free options like hiking.
Adventurers at Mountain Springs Lodge get a quick tutorial before hopping on their snowmobiles — Photo courtesy of Stephen Brashear/Black Box Wines/Courtesy Fuse Marketing
About 15 minutes from the heart of Leavenworth's compact "downtown," Mountain Springs Lodge hosts overnight guests in alluring spaces that run the gamut from grand lodges to cozy cabins and luxurious suites. Here, guests and non-guests alike benefit from on-site snowmobiling guides who run tours seven days a week, providing an awesome way to dive deep into the woods for snow-tinged explorations.
Tour options with knowledgable and good-spirited leaders range from the one-hour "Suzy's Slip and Slide" to the four-hour "Mile-High Extravaganza," geared toward adventurous spirits interested in heading high into the Cascades and up to Sugarloaf Lookout (at 5,480 feet).
On the "Moonlight Dinner Ride," the adventure concludes with a delectable dinner served in front of the grand river rock fireplace in the Beaver Creek Lodge. The feast features dishes like filet mignon served with a brandy mushroom sauce, house-smoked salmon, glazed carrots, Dauphenois potatoes, salad, bread, cider, dessert and more.
Morning tranquility comes to Mountain Springs Lodge — Photo courtesy of Corinne Whiting
At Mountain Springs Lodge, large parties are welcomed on snowmobile tours, and each adventure comes along with cold weather clothing, helmets and insulated boots. (Drivers must be 16 years or older, and passengers must be at least five years old.) The lodge also facilitates outings like sleigh rides and Nordic ski excursions.
For any snow-accented outings, adventurers might consider packing their own picnic, complemented by vintages from Black Box Wines, an affordable and, more importantly, transportable option for enjoying quality bevvies on the go.
Perks? The lightweight boxes – which stay good for four weeks after being opened – hold the same amount of wine as four 750-milliliter bottles (and at a much lower cost). Glass bottles, be gone!
In 2003, Black Box Wines redefined the category (and stigma) of wine packaged in such a manner by becoming the first U.S. vintner to offer super-premium, appellation-specific, vintage-dated wines in a box.
The company's since expanded its repertoire and earned 40 gold medals in nationwide competitions, and their impressive list now encompasses a Cabernet Sauvignon, complex Malbec, Merlot, Shiraz and velvety Red Elegance blend, plus whites like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and a luscious Moscato.