Every year the opening of Highway 20 through the North Cascades National Park heralds a phase transition in the population density of the Methow Valley. From our home in Seattle to Winthrop this is the difference between 247 miles and 202 miles. For beautiful pictures of this years plowing of the road, see the WSDOT’s flickr page. Since the opening of the pass brings business, and busyness, locales like to try to predict the date it will open. So when will it open this year?
Here is a plot of the day of the year the road opened, and snow depth at the Swamp Creek snotel station on 3/1 of that year:
I’ve also calculated a least squares fit and plotted value of this fit for the given snow depth. Using this fit, and the fact that on 3/1 of this year there was 73 inches of snow, I can therefore predict, with absolute certainty (ha!) that Highway 20 will open on day 132 of this year, or May 12. A very late opening.
March trip. Lots and lots of progress…for the first time you can really get a feel for how things are fitting together. Here is the south side…steel siding is being rusted by a combination of vinegar and salt.
East wall is more rusted:
Inside the view is amazing even through the plastic still on the windows:
So glad we have two doors to open up this area onto the big patio they will be pouring:
Wall of windows:
Test Dog creek wasn’t running, but second seasonal creek was
Google auto awesome shows Gusty surveying the land
Siding with cedar has begun
But lots more to go:
Hot cold faucet… Love the metal surround
More siding detail:
Building is complicated:
This is working out to be one of my favorite views. Its hard to see Mt Garner against the white of the clouds here, but this black metal frames it like a picture and its awe inspiring:
Installation of the entry awning. So much more snow than when we were over last.
Three athletes with roots in the Methow Valley are on the U.S. Olympic team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics,:the brother and sister duo of Sadie and Erik Bjornsen, and Brian Gregg, who grew up in the valley but now resides in Minnesota. What are the odds?
There 230 members of the U.S. Olympic team. The population of the United States is about 310 million. So the odds of a single person selected at random from the U.S. being a 2014 U.S. Olympic athlete is 230/310000000 or about one in every one and a half million people. Call this probability p.
There are about 5000 people in the Methow Valley. Then the probability of there being exactly one U.S. Olympic athlete in the Methow Valley is 5000*p*(1-p)^4999 or about 0.0037. One in 270 ish, not that crazy.
The probability of there being exactly two U.S. Olympic athletes in the Methow Valley is 5000*4999*p^2*(1-p)^4998 or about 0.000014. One in about 730000. Nearly the same odds as a dealt royal straight flush in five card poker.
The probability of there being exactly three U.S. Olympic athletes in the Methow Valley is 5000*4999*4998*p^3(1-p)^4997 or about 0.00000005 or one in twenty million. This is just less than the odds of winning a lottery where you have to correctly choose 6 numbers between 1 and 49. Congrats Methow Valley on winning the U.S. Olympic lottery
Best of the NW video on Methow cross country skiing:
2013 was one of the better snow seasons over in the Methow valley in quite a few years. When we visited last year in January I definitely wish I’d had my skis with me. Last night I stumbled upon a video on Amazon Instant of some skiing from last year: Frontcountry Dreams – Ski Touring Out Your Front Door in the Methow Valley The section of the video starting at about 4:45 is basically skiing into the backyard of New Caelifera (southwest Lewis Butte). Thanks Dr Telemark!