Ashley LodatoBy Ashley Lodato

A group of skiers from the Methow Valley traveled to Rossland, B.C., over the weekend for the Haywood NorAm and Buff Sprint series Nordic races, with the younger skiers participating in the Kootenay Cup. All the Methow Valley Nordic Team (MVNT) racers were incredibly inspired by watching Erik Bjornsen, Brian and Caitlin Gregg, and Sam Naney (all of whom had parental cheering squads present) racing against many other Nordic hotshots from Canada and the United States.

Had there been an award for the loudest cheering squad, the MVNT surely would have won it, as they lined the sides of the race course, yelling themselves hoarse to cheer on the Greggs, Erik and Sam.

In the junior races, competition fields were small but fierce and young Methow Valley racers cleaned up in many divisions. Award winners are too numerous to list here, but a couple of fun top-three finishes came from Novie McCabe on her birthday and Gretta Scholz a week after her own 12th-year celebration. It’s hard to beat winning a gold medal on your birthday.

Coming back through the U.S. border crossing on Sunday evening, the group was asked if they were bringing anything back to the states from Canada. “Only a bunch of hardware,” they replied, and were allowed back in without further hassle.

In the spirit of natural and local, Glover Street Market’s Molly Patterson set out to make non-artificial food colorings for cookie frostings for the kids to use during the Glover Street Market staff holiday party.

Beet juice provided a nice rich dark fuchsia, which was an acceptable substitute for red, and saffron lent a lushly golden hue to the traditional yellow. Green was the dark horse, with the surprise addition of chlorophyll offering the best Christmas-tree green you could ever hope for (Who knew?! Apparently it works for making green beer, too). But blue had Molly stumped. After experimenting with blueberry juice (too purple), she finally resorted to the faithful ol’ indigo of Blue Dye No. 1, better known as blue food coloring.

Lorrie Fraley Wilson and Children’s Dance Theater dancers should enjoy a well-earned rest this week, after pulling off four performances of The Nutcracker over the weekend. In some fun twists on the classic ballet, Lorrie costumed some of the dancers in cowboy attire, and in what may be the most unexpected juxtaposition of athletic and artistic mediums included a cameo appearance by the Omak High School football team.

That we are all enduring an agonizing wait for snow goes without saying; however, the only consolation so far in this dry but very cold December is the near perfection of the lake and rink ice. Big Twin and Pearrygin lakes have been metaphorical hot spots of activity lately, with everything from under-ice turtle watching (turtles under, humans above!), ice skating and hockey, to fat-tire ice biking.