Escape artist | Skiing pianist travels a long way to the Methow
Kathy Lawfer really gets around — on skis, mostly, this time of year. That's her preferred method of travel around the Methow Valley every winter, when she's not playing...
Northwest Weekend editor
Northwest Travel Guides
Kathy Lawfer really gets around — on skis, mostly, this time of year.
That's her preferred method of travel around the Methow Valley every winter, when she's not playing piano in the Sun Mountain Lodge dining room.
The rest of the year, she's home in Cooktown, on the far northern peninsula of Queensland, Australia, where she teaches music.
For years, Lawfer — who grew up in Illinois but is now an Australian citizen — has been like many other "snowbird" types who move north to south depending on the season. The only catch is, she comes to the snow. The Methow Valley won her heart 17 years ago, and she's been returning ever since, to work.
She spends Australia's winter — Washington's summer — teaching and tending her property: 160 acres of rain forest. "I've got a lot of work," quips Lawfer, 50, who sports a tropical tan and an Aussie lilt to her speech.
Why keep returning to the Methow?
"It just keeps getting better and better, with the trail system here. It attracts people who appreciate rather than take from the countryside."
You'll see her in evening dress at the piano on winter evenings. Or during the day, waxing her skis in the ski shop before setting out for a quick trip to town.
Carless, she skis everywhere. Almost.
"Sometimes when I see someone I know who's driving up this way, I'll get a lift" — especially when lugging groceries.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.