Past Newsletters



North Cascades Basecamp
Letter from the Bondi's

It has been a fabulous spring in Mazama this year, and the Basecamp lodge and cabin are open for business!  Mother Nature is unleashing her power with random thunder storms, cool evening temperatures, mild day temperatures during the days, high river flows, saturated soils and landslides, and still lots of snow in the nearby mountains.  We are thoroughly enjoying the changing seasons, but anxious for a long awaited summer to begin.  This was our first spring on site full-time at the Basecamp and our naturalist journal is quickly filling up with the sites and sounds around us.  Plant phenology is about 3-4 weeks behind normal which means it is true that the Arrowleaf balsamroot is still flowering!  The veery and Swainson thrush just arrived here in Mazama this week, and finally the high elevation trails are opening up for exploration. With all the rain, it has been a great mushrooming season in the cottonwood galleries.  The vegetable and flower gardens and laying hens are also feeling the waxing warmth, giving us delicious freshtables for Basecamp guests.  We have hosted 3 group retreats, one wedding, and numerous families, friends, and individuals so far this spring, and are excited for this summers offerings at the Basecamp! 
In This Issue
  • Letter from the Bondi's
  • Reflections
  • Up and Coming
  • Employees Corner
  • Testamonials
  • Local Roots
  • Mica's Musings


Spring Migration Festival at the Basecamp
May 14-15th

We celebrated International Bird Migration Day with a weekend of festivities at the Basecamp.  The Methow Valley Communty School 3-4th graders started off the weekend with bird tours, bird-related educational activites, Oliver Wendell beat poetry, and their own artwork, all relating to migratory birds in our neighborhood.  Even on a rainy day, the kids were enthusiastic and created a fun and festive atmosphere for all.  Especially empressive were the bird mosaics they created, which were hung and presented on the day of the festival.  Come visit these beautiful pieces of art on our Audubon Trails, higlighting upland birds at the summer trailhead, and wetland and riparian birds in their habitat by the beaver ponds.  A special thank you to Hana Baker (their teach
er) for all her hard work and creativity!

Libby Mills led a group of folks on Sunday for birding and breakfast to finish off the weekend of activities.  Great conversation about conservation and migration, along with sneak previews of Townsends , Wilson, and Nashville warblers.  We were introduced to 18 new species of aviafauna on our moorning birding adventure.  Thank you Libby for your expertise!
Up and Coming

Cooking with Wild Foraged Foods and Fish
June 24-26th
Becky Selengut, Dana Visalli, Steve Bondi, and Kevin VanBueren
Mushroom identification, field trips collecting wild herbs, mushrooms, root delicacies, and trout fishing. Cooking class using our foraged goods.  Only 3 spots left- register now!

Fall Colors- Plein Air Watercolor Retreat
September 30-October 2nd
Maria Coryell-Martin
Explore the vivid hues of autumn in the Methow Valley; techniques for color mixing as well as painting elements of the landscape. Field trips to inspiring locations.

Botanical Illustrations Weekend Workshop
October TBA
Quinn Fitzpatrick, Kim Romain-Bondi
Explore the flora on the east side of the Cascades while learning botanical anatomy and drawing skills.  Quick sketching techniques in pencil, pen and color pencil.

Thursday Campfire Presentations
all summer long, May-October
$5/person, kids FREE for presentation- includes homemade dessert
Potluck begins at 5:30pm, presentation begin at 6:15pm

Summer Schedule:

26 May:  Soils and Life Underground
2 June: "Riding with Reindeer" biking through Finland to the Artic
23 June: Frogs and Salamanders

30 June: Riparian areas for birds and small mammals
7 July: Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail
14 July: Western Gray Squirrel Research and Conservation
21 July: Edible and medicinal plants of the Methow 
4 August: Bats of North Central WA 
11 August: Geology of Goat Wall 
18 August: Live Raptors 
25 August: Mating Systems of Grouse 
1, 8 September: TBA
15 September: Music and Dance at the Campfire 
6 Oct: Fire Ecology

Thank you for taking Basecamp to its next chapter.  The hospitality, knowledge and connection to the environment are wonderful and the food is great!  
-Ellen and Kumada

The Basecamp is amazing and I am so thankful for places like this that help to educate others about the incredible beauty of the Pacific Northwest! 
-Steph Davidson

Thank you for sharing your beautiful homestead with me.  You are gracious hosts- offering comfort, excellent food and fabulous hiking advice. 
-Katy Dunlap

From the House

We welcome Bernie & Stacey this summer as live-in helpers at the Basecamp.  They can be frequently found on the Mazama trails, taking nature photos or engulfed in art projects, in the garden, and generally helping around the lodge and cabin.   Both are returning to the Methow for a second stint of Valley life after hiking the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trails.  They have a wealth of natural history stories to share.

Meet Katherine Ellsworth. She is joining our team as an Ecology Center Intern this summer and will be working on Basecamp programs, helping in day to day operations, and experiencing a diversity of conservation projects throughout the Methow Valley.  She is studying Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.  A passion for hiking and the outdoors brought Katherine to us last summer with her family and back again in 2011.

News from the Basecamp

Staff at the North Cascades Basecamp have started a blog site and entered the world of Facebook.  To keep our community abreast of the antics and ongoings in our natural world and upcoming programs at the Basecamp, "Like"  our Facebook page and "follow" our Blogspot.  If you have stayed with us before, we would also love your positive reviews on TripAdvisor

Local Roots at the Basecamp 

Bluebird Grain Farms
Bluebird Grain Farms is a plow to package grain farm, right here in the Methow Valley.  They do everything themselves from farming the grains, to milling and packaging, working with nature each step of the way.  We love Bluebird Grain Farm products and use their flours almost exclusively.  As a guest at the Basecamp you may have had our Basecamp Emmer waffles, whole grain muffins, or emmer-farro as a side dish.  Another treat is their Old World Cereal Blend and Cracked Emmer Porridge that we regularly serve for breakfast.  We now sell an assortment of their products in 1# bags because we had so many requests and compliments.  Thank you to the Lucy family for such a wonderful product!

Hope to see you all this summer!

Mica's Musings

You'll often times find Mica lounging in the shade, acting as a door mat at the entrance of the lodge, or maybe cooling off with a drink and swim in the beaver ponds. Her new laying comfort spot is under the rope ladder and rings on our new KIDS PLAY AREA (she is only there when children are swinging however).  A Basecamp prize will be awarded to the best Mica story about her underfootings! Email with your short story.  Contest ends and will be reveiled in the fall newsletter release in October. 

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