BY: JOSIAH DEAN Winter made a brief appearance. Fields were dusted with snow, the roads are clear and the mountain is out! The sunny, dry weather has been a blessing after the snowy deluge last year. Josiah calls it, “the perfect snow”: just enough to look beautiful but not enough to make getting here difficult. We now have snowshoes for you to borrow, so you can tromp around up at the SnoPark. We know it helps to get away to have something inspirational, deep, educational or adventurous to shake the dust loose and refill your well. We’ve been curating a juicy Spring Retreat and Workshop series with something for just about everyone. (You can scroll down and see below) We wanted to give you plenty to heads up so you can plan these into your busy calendars. But why do a retreat or a weekend workshop? Retreats and workshops are magical spaces of possibility, time out of time, to reset and reconnect with yourself and those around you. They’re bring us places we might not go on our own, and are much more interesting and fun in the company of others. We know you value getting away to rejuvenate. There are so many ways to do that. We’re aiming for the right mix of experiences to satiate your curiosity, kindle your sense of adventure, aid reflection and contemplation–that’s just what your heart desires. So if you’re in need of some time away to recharge, check out the tours, adventures and experiences below or HERE. Here’s what we just heard from Barbara, “I just love coming to these. This is my third one and even though I live nearby and can do this on my own, I love the company and having everything put together so nicely for us.” (She just signed up for Wildflowers & Wine.) And there’s Melanie, who came to a women’s self-care retreat that Claire led last year. She said, “Great, magical, transformative retreat. I enjoyed every minute of it.” (She plans to be here again in April.) Perhaps you’re craving more time for yourself, for creative expression, soul-care, or more meaningful connection with your beloved. Or more adventure, activities to explore new horizons and meet new people. Maybe you like intellectual stimulation, and time to connect with Nature. Or if you’re wanting to explore your creativity, try painting “plein air” or writing poetry. Who wants to go wine-tasting solo?? Maybe your beloved doesn’t, but you do. Or you paint while she goes hiking. Everybody is happy! One retreat guest, Savana said it was life changing! “I just want to thank you again for that retreat. It literally changed my life. I came home a changed person and I haven’t gone back. I was so busy working, it was sucking the life out of me. I’d lost touch with myself and I was so unhappy. I reconnected to the magical visionary part of me (and dropped a lot of baggage, too.)” If you’re not into “the group thing,” you might like the customized private experiences we’ve been offering. One way is with our popular “Buy 2 Get 3” Winter Getaway Special—so you can linger longer to explore and rest—without it costing a fortune. Book directly on our website or call 541.467.2277 to reserve rooms and spa sessions. And if you’re looking to hit the big powder that’s piling up on Mt Hood, we have a great Stay and Play Ski Package (with discounted lift tickets!) and spend the night! Regardless, think of us when you’re ready. We’ve got a cozy room with a view, dinner and a spa/wellness session waiting. We’ve been consistently upleveling the restaurant so you can expect to have dinner here, and made spa experiences more enticing. Sip hot tea or winter wine as you curl up with a good book, your journal or sketchbook. Walk or snowshoe the barren fields. Write poems or make art! Visit wineries and museums nearby. Honor your impulses, during this quiet (and not yet snowy) time. Either way, take time for yourself. You really matter. Pencil it in and make it happen, Claire, Josiah & Team Balch P.S. Can we brag for a minute? We were recently rated #1 Favorite Travel Destination in the Columbia Gorge and # 7 in Oregon! Given that this is based on your Trip Advisor, Yelp and Google reviews of over 9000 properties, we couldn’t be happier!