The Spitzmiller-Scholz family is just one of several valley families that have recently taken trips to the British Isles. Hanz, Lisa, 8-year-old Stella and 10-year-old Gretta spent the first half of June bike touring in Wales.

After flying into London and exploring places like the Museum of Natural History and the Tower of London, the Spitzmiller-Scholzes took the train to Rhyl on the northern coast of Wales and met up with some friends who they had met 20 years earlier at a bike event in England, and who are still avid cyclists despite being in their 80s. After the Spitzmiller-Scholzes unfolded their Bike Friday tandem cycles, they joined their Welsh friends on tours of the historic castles in their area, which include Rhuddlan Castle, Conwy Castle, and Caernarfon Castle, all of which were built by Edward I in the late 13th century around the time of the First Welsh War.

The castles were amazing, Lisa reports, and gave the kids a vision of what it would have been like to live in a village encompassed by castle walls.

The family also toured several restored Victorian homes that were set up with original furniture. The ornateness and lavishness, with every square inch decorated, carved, or adorned, made Downton Abbey “look like a shack,” says Lisa.

After saying goodbye to their friends, the Spitzmiller-Scholzes struck out on their own for a five-day bike tour around Anglesey, which is an island off the northwestern coast of Wales. They cycled along tiny little lanes between hedges with sheep everywhere, emerging into picturesque maritime villages. They had wanted to visit the mountainous region of Snowdonia, which Hanz and Lisa had cycled through 20 years ago, but they ran out of time this trip and have to leave it on the list for another time.

About 25 people showed up for the Kiwanis work party at the future Twisp Sports Complex on Sunday, where the crew, organized by Gary Erickson, spread topsoil and seeded as much field space as possible.

A lot was accomplished but much remains to be done, since this is such a large space, so stay tuned for future work parties. Between the sports fields and the many other enhancements to the recreational facilities for kids in the valley, the Kiwanians have their work cut out for them this summer. I was not one of the 25 people who showed up to help this time so, Kiwanis, I owe you one.