Ashley LodatoBy Ashley Lodato

It’s a good week to be an elementary school kid if you like books and reading. The last week of Reading in the Family Month will be recognized with the annual Book Fair, which gives students access to reasonably priced books for purchase at the public school all week, culminating in a family night on Thursday, when students and their families can enjoy a taco dinner and browsing books (and, quite possibly, a mini-Poetry Out Loud performance by some elementary school students).

Despite marginal snow conditions, magic keeps happening out there on the trails. MVSTA ambassador Anne Andersen had two delightfully surprising experiences over the weekend while doing her ambassadorial duties. While at the Mazama Corral trailhead, Anne was checking passes when she heard a familiar voice. She looked up and found herself looking into the faces of a couple that she and Tony knew back in Grand Marais, Mich. The couple had been at a trade show in Seattle, decided to come over and check out the Methow Valley, and had just by coincidence chosen to ski at the very trailhead where the one person they knew in the valley happened to be.

As if that weren’t enough, the following day Anne was doing her ambassador shift at Chickadee and went inside the hut to warm up. She soon found herself in conversation with an older gentleman, who she eventually learned was a former employee of the University of Washington, as was Anne’s father. As the degrees of separation between them rapidly diminished, Anne and the man discovered that not only had the man and Anne’s father known each other, but Anne’s father had actually hired the man into the forestry department and helped him secure funding for a project that eventually led to the sequencing of the genome for the poplar tree.

It’s still magic on the ice, too. Patterson Lake has become the de facto hot spot for freshly groomed snow and those who skied on the 6-kilometer track over the weekend reported that it was quite the social scene, as well as a veritable festival for canines. Meanwhile, the Winthrop Ice & Sports Rink was filled with hockey players from around the Pacific Northwest competing in the Winthrop Winter Classic tournament. Most of the younger players were accompanied by their parents, who showed themselves to be veteran hockey parents by the propane heaters they kept near their toes as they watched from the edges of the rink.