Preparing for Winter in the Salmon River Valley

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”

-Abraham Lincoln

I am not sure if Abe just liked a sharp ax, or if he, like me, did everything he could to postpone his chores. Either way, here we are in the final proverbial hours before winter descends, and I am still out here chopping trees. For me, November is a month of preparing my home and mindset for the coming winter months. For my household, this means stocking the woodpile, the freezer, and the wine cellar. For my mindset, it mostly just means preparing to watch the sunset before 6:00 PM for the next three months.

Luckily, I’ve had more than a few hours of woodcutting zen to get in the right headspace. In case you still need some preparing, November and December bring several exciting events to Salmon that will help.

Nov 21 at the Salmon Valley Library
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Despite the early darkness, there are several events worth getting out for. The one I am most excited about is the opportunity this month to take a trip with the dinosaurs. Join the Salmon Valley Library in welcoming Allen Marquette to learn about the triceratops he recently uncovered in the Montana badlands. The event runs from 6:00-9:00 PM on November 21, with programs for children and adults.

As for preparing your household, head over to the Elks’ Lodge for the annual Holiday Marketplace on November 22 and 23. There will be over 30 vendors present offering holiday decorations, gifts, and crafts. If you miss the Marketplace, make sure to check out the annual cheerleaders’ Holiday Bazaar on November 30, from 9:00-2:00, at the high school gym. The event will feature the first annual Christmas cookie contest.

Despite all this talk of preparation, I know that sometimes the best preparation is that done by somebody else. This is where Twin Peaks Guest Ranch comes in—let them do the cooking for Thanksgiving this year. The newly renovated lodge is located 20 miles south of Salmon, and they are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner in the restaurant. Go up for the afternoon, or reserve a cabin and relax for the entire weekend.

Lodge at Twin Peaks Guest Ranch

Whatever the arrival of winter means to you, I hope you have all you need to celebrate and find time to relax. If you’re still out there preparing, I understand because I think I might be chopping wood for the foreseeable future. Make sure to wave when you pass me on the ridge road.

 For information on Twin Peaks and other lodging options in Salmon Valley go to