Bob Spiwak Monkey MazamaBy Bob Spiwak

We’re early this week, and next week as well, to be able to get into print and not miss Santa’s visit. It’s Sunday, cloudy but no precipitation is coming down here, although the sky cam on Patterson Mountain earlier showed the white stuff coming down.

It appears we are in for a rainy and/or snowy period sometime after Christmas. There was also information, I don’t remember the source, that the remainder of the winter here should be “normal.” Aside from a lot more snow, I cannot define that word as it applies to the upper Methow.

There was a minute amount of conjecture based on something found on Google about a celebration in Mazama commemorating what was portrayed as the coldest day in Mazama history, 28 below zero many years ago. Checking with a dozen or so local denizens, nobody knew a thing about it. And, as local historian Doug Devin pointed out, the coldest was 52 below. But maybe in Mazama it was warmer.

Anyhow, in a quest for knowledge I went to the world’s source of information, Google, and asked the question. There were many entries for “Mazama,” but few had anything to do with us. Some were obscure, but the Mazamas in Oregon (an outdoor organization) were there, and Mount Mazama was there for blowing up and creating Crater Lake. The entry that really struck my fancy contained two Methow names, which were located, oh, about 2,000 miles away. The Google entry had a squib about The Mazama Coffee Company in Dripping Springs, Texas. For those who are unfamiliar with it, Dripping Springs Road is the lane to the car park at the Big Valley Ranch ski-hike-bike and hi-yo-horsey trails.

It is now 11:30 a.m. and the snow is coming down here in West Boesel. A few part-timers arrived earlier and others will be drifting in for the holiday, among them our kids and their kids. There will be precious little skiing on this visit, unless they pause at Stevens Pass.

Looking ahead post Christmas Day, on Saturday (Dec. 28) the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association will sponsor the family-friendly Ski Rodeo at the Mazama Community Center. It’ll cost $30 to $40.

Again at the community center, on Tuesday, New Year’s Eve, there’ll be a party at 6:30 p.m. It’s a potluck, it’s free and all you need to do is bring yourself and a dish to share. That is, the dish is to share, sharing yourself is up to you. And on Jan. 2, you can recover from New Year’s reveling at the North Cascades Basecamp, where entomologist Connie Mehmel will give a talk on whitebark pine at 6 p.m. If you want some repast, half an hour before the talk you can join the soup line for $8 single or $10 for two.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Jolly Kwanzaa.