Past Newsletters



Letter from the Bondi's

This summer's wildfires, including the Carlton Complex and Signal Hill wildfires, have had a profound effect upon everybody in the Methow Valley.  We at the Basecamp like others in the upper Methow Valley lost only 8 days worth of electricity, phone, and internet; many others in the mid to lower Methow Valley lost a whole lot more.  During the evacuations from the Twisp and Winthrop areas we hosted several families and friends here in Mazama- refugees from our own Valley.  It has been heart-breaking to see good friends and local families lose homes and property.   This community is strong, however, and the rebuilding has started for many. 

Strangely, Mazama and the Washington Pass corridor continue to be i
n a blissful state- blue skies, clear air, cool evening temperatures, and cold river/lake dips.  And now, thanks to the hard work of firefighters and utility personnel, Mazama is fully operational again- thank you for your patience if you called or emailed us at the Basecamp these last few weeks to no avail!  Local businesses are back up and running from Twisp to Mazama, and of course are welcoming visitors.   We sincerely missed the groups that we were unable to host during the power outages.  Looking forward, we are excited to sharing the rest of the summer with many of you. 
In This Issue
  • Letter from the Bondi's
  • Up and Coming
    • Summer-Fall Programs
  • Reflections
    • Fire Updates
    • After the fires...
    • How can you help?
    • Habitat Camp
    • Garden
    • Recipes
  • Testimonials
  • Employees Corner
  • Resident Wildlife
  • Mica's Musings
  • Local Roots

Up and Coming

All our upcoming seasonal programs and registration information are listed on our website's Upcoming Events page.  Make sure to refresh your browser to see the most up-to-date info on our site.

Kidz Summer Art & Nature Day Camps
When:  August 5-7  Habitat! Habitat!
              August 12-14  Native Flowers, Plants, Leaves &Trees
              August 19-21  In the Garden

During August, 7-12 yr olds are invited to join art teacher Deirdre Cassidy, biologist Kim Romain-Bondi, and intern Raechel Youngberg for one to three sessions of nature-based art camps and summer fun at the Basecamp!  Cost:  $90/session (+tax).

Last few spots open in each camp- Sign up NOW!  Download the Registration Form here 

Vertical World Rock-Climbing:  Mazama Outdoor Camp
When:  August 18-22, 2014

For new and experienced climbers 10-16 yrs of age, this overnight camp features four days of outdoor climbing, outdoor games and activities, and transportation from/to Seattle provided by Vertical World Climbing Gym in Seattle, and lodging/ food provided by the Basecamp for camp participants. 

For more information, see their brochure link here, for registration contact Vertical World - Seattle Office  206.283.4497, or email

Methow Endurance's 4th Annual Women's Trail Running and Yoga Retreat 
with Alison Naney

When:  October 2-5, 2014

Join Methow Endurance for a weekend getaway where you can
mazama_trails.jpgenjoy an invigorating and relaxing several days running through the changing leaves, eating gourmet food, practicing yoga, and meeting new friends.  Whether you just started trail running or are a seasoned veteran, there is something for everyone.  Register online at  Email alison@methowendurance with any questions. 

Awaken to Nature- Fall Yoga Weekend Retreat with Beth Kreitl and Kathleen Dowd-Gailey
When:  October 10-12, 2014

Experience the beautiful North Cascades as the leaves start to change colors on this introspective and playful fall yoga retreat.  Beth and Kathleen will lead a weekend of practices and experiences designed to deepen awareness and cultivate a connection to your own true nature and the community through inward and outward reflection.  The retreat will include several hours of yoga practice per day in our naturally lit beautiful Ecology Center classroom, seated and walking meditation, and writing and community sharing, all interwoven with other yoga practices and philosophy.

Early Bird Special ends in 1 week!  Register here at: 

Fall Colors in the Mountains : Watercolor Retreat with
Paula Christen

When:  October 23-26, 2014

Come experience watercolors focusing on
solid basic skills using the autumn landscape for inspiration.  Paula's retreats are for  beginners as well as the experienced watercolorists; Three full days of instruction including time in our naturally lit spacious classroom setting as well outside in the natural landscape, demonstration, and critique, as well as individual time to paint, good food and companionship. 

For more information, rates or to register, contact Paula at or 509.996.2598, or register online here.  For more info on accommodations, please contact the North Cascades Basecamp at 509.996.2334 or


Carlton Complex and Signal Hill Fire Updates
Basecamp sends our thanks to all the over 3,000 fire fighters and countless volunteers who have tirelessly dedicated themselves to battling the wildfires throughout the middle and lower valley. Crews are still working every day to protect homes and stop the spread of these and other fires.  Local and national support has been a overwhelming and is greatly appreciated.

How can I help?
There have been numerous people asking what they can to to help those in need right now and for the long haul!  Financial donations to help get folks back on their feet are is the most important gift at this time.  Here are a few local organizations disseminating information about relief efforts. 

Room One is a Methow based service organization providing aid to locals effected by the fire, learn more about them in our local roots sections below.

The Methow Conservancy has links on their websites detailing different aid organizations accepting donations.

Here is an update article by the Methow Valley News detailing current conditions of the fire and the last three weeks of craziness.

After the Fire...While these fire have been catastrophic to the human landscape, there is another part of the story still to be discovered.  In the natural landscape, this was not a "forest fire", yet a lower elevation fire in the shrub-steppe and open Ponderosa pine of eastern Washington. Over 70% of the fire was on non-forested lands, and just about 40% on private lands.  Shrub steppe historically burned approximately every 30 years, and in the Ponderosa pine forest, even more frequently.  These landscapes are adapted to fire; they depend on fire for seed germination, soil nutrients, and thinning of the plant communities.  Moving forward, we all have the opportunity to watch and learn about the resiliency of our native plant communities.  Here's another way to watch your native landscape heal with photopoints (see our blog attached here)! 
Kids Art and Nature Camp- Session 1
We just finished up the first of 3 sessions of camps here at the Basecamp during the month of August.  Habitat Habitat Habitat! had day campers come together to create a wonderful scene of children playing educational games in the grass, learning about native wildlife and their habitats of the Methow Valley, creation of artistic nature-journals and imaginative paper mache animals, and water play where kids could just be kids in the outdoors during the heat of the summer.  See our blog about Habitat camp with more photos, and our Up and Coming section above if you are interested in your child attending one of the next two camps.  

Grown from the garden
The summer bounty has arrived in full force!  Numerous types of kale punctuate a garden full of swiss chard, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, beets, peppers, herbs, peas, and beautiful flowers.  The raspberries are ripe, tangy, and delicious and the hedges are absent of ripe berries within a children’s reach.  To go along with the abundance of plant life there has also been some new animal additions to the garden.  Our new Holland Loppett bunny named, appropriately enough, Loppett lives in a borrow hutch (thanks, Dinham family) in the garden and is constantly being held and played with by the children.  Also are two clutches of eggs just hatched (crazy when multiple mamas go broody at the same time).  So we have 16 soft and fluffy baby chicks to hold right now.  Kim's honey bee hives are busy as, well, bees.  The honey is going to be oh-so-sweet!  We can't wait to share this garden goodness with you all as this season's goodness (and next) are put away for the winter as we write!).

Keep updated on our  Blogsite- RECIPESto find recent delights from the Basecamp kitchen, such as Homemade Apricot Honey Fruit Leather.


"Thanks for great hospitality, conversation and comfy accommodations. This was our third night of our bike journey from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. You have given us friendship and energy to keep on pedaling."
~David and Emi Williams

"With wildfires raging all around the area, I wasn't quite sure what to expect when arriving at the Basecamp for the first time. Within minutes I knew this was the perfect place to be. So warm, inviting, and peaceful! We've made many memories this weekend. I've been spoiled by this first time visit"
~Monica Senker and Ron Kappes

"Thank you for welcoming our group so generously with your warmth, hospitality and many talents"
~Marilyn and Dave of Los Alamos Mountaineers

Employee's Corner

Joey and Raechel have joined the Basecamp team for the summer.  They are both recent graduates of Western Washington University and are interested in biology and ecology.  Both of them spent time in Mazama during the winter cross country skiing every winter as kids, Raechel and her family fondly stayed at the basecamp for her first 18 Christmases.  Raechel and Joey both enjoy trail running, hiking, backpacking, and are ecstatic about exploring the beautiful North Cascades this summer. 

Thus far, their internships have assisted in wildlife population studies in the Methow Valley focusing on
hair-sampling for western gray squirrels and camera-run-pole sets for wolverines.  Raechel will be helping teach the ecology portion of the kids art and nature camps during the month of August. 

Resident Wildlife
There have been quite a few visits from local wildlife this season.  They are enjoying the bounty of ripe service berries and tasty leaves.  A number of snowshoe hairs have set up camp underneath the lodge deck due to the nicely watered lawn and flower planters around.  A very cute baby snowshoe hare has even found its way in through the fenced off vegetable garden to nibble on some fresh greens.  A barred owl has set up a roost in the cedar grove adjacent to the lodge, it can be seen in the twilight hours and its calls of “who-cooks-for-you; who-cooks-for-you-all” punctuate the crisp air.  A black bear (not Mica) stopped by in the late spring to investigate the honey bee hives behind the garden, knocking one of them over.  Luckily Steve heard the ruckus and confronted the bear and sacrificed Emmet’s soccer ball to help try to spook it away and it hasn’t been back since.

Up the Chewuch River only a couple weeks ago, we had the surprise of seeing a cow and calf moose near the campground.  We have seen their signs way up towards 30 mile, but near to 8 mile was a new treat. Another great find on a short backpacking trip in the area was spruce grouse, both mamas with babes, and one male with his glorious eyebrows.
Mica's Musings

What does it mean to lose power?  I can't figure it out.  The moon and stars still shine at night; the spring ponds by the lodge make for awesome cooling quick dips; the sun continues to feed the garden greens; and kibbles appear in my bowl every morning and evening.  What's wrong with being powerless especially when you've debuted as 'Superdog' and have felt powerfull in the Doggie Dash in the past?

Well, I enjoyed my family and the lodge staff more, probably because they sat on the floor playing cards a lot, were not doing lodge chores that required electricity, and were in the garden (hand watering) all the time.  But I missed the guests- many were turned away ("turned off?"- ha! ha!) by the lack of power- who usually gave me
belly rubs.  So went July.

But now August is upon us.  I just received an epic belly rub (yup, guests and these camp kids are back!).  Time to go to the ponds to cool off...

Local Roots at the Basecamp 

Room One is a nonprofit health and social services center which advocates for the health and well-being of all people living in the Methow Valley. Their programs and staff are amazing- and their meaningful voice has played a critical role in obtaining vital resources for our rural community.  In wake of the recent fire activities, Room One has organized a comprehensive relief effort for disaster victims. Please make your donations here.


Copyright © 2013 North Cascades Basecamp, All rights reserved.

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp