Ken Bevis’ birthday party was eagerly anticipated by my daughters this year, as this was to be the first time they were included. They had heard of Ken’s legendary birthday parties in which each guest goes home with a gift selected and procured by Ken himself, and the birthday boy did not disappoint.

The kids came home excited about their new acquisitions and, I hope, with a bit more of the “it’s better to give than receive” philosophy instilled in them.

Mark Waechter and Julie Grialou competed in the High Cascades 100 – a 100-mile mountain bike race near Bend, Ore. The race is part of the National Ultra Endurance Series and is not for the faint of heart (or muscle).

Tens of thousands of feet of elevation loss and gain, heat, hard-core riding, and remote access result in a race where only 80 percent of participants finish (and this is in a field where only the most serious athletes enter in the first place). Julie, representing Methow Cycle & Sport and Blue Star Coffee Roasters, finished first among women 40 and older, coming in nearly a half hour before the second-place racer in this division, while Mark came in 14th in the masters men’s division. If you see those two hobbling around Winthrop this week, you’ll know why.

Winthrop copper artist Jessica Dietz is opening a public studio space in Twisp this week. Held in a rent-free space on Glover Street donated by Lawrence Hooper, Jessica’s studio will be open to the public at regular hours for demonstrations and exhibits. Jessica has been making copper weathervanes since apprenticing with some of the masters in New England in the 1990s, and her weathervanes can be found on homes and businesses throughout the country.

After winning Saturday’s Pentathalon swim meet (each swimmer competes in five individual events – one race of each of the four strokes and one individual medley consisting of either 25 or 50 meters of each stroke), the members of the Methow Valley Killer Whales dragged their parents into the pool for some fun relays. The “Jack and Jill” relay teams had to have both males and females, as well as one adult. Most of the parents rallied to the charge and were able to execute some adequate backstrokes and freestyles; a few – former swimmers themselves – pulled out very respectable breaststrokes and butterflies.