Bob Spiwak Monkey MazamaBy Bob Spiwak

Good morning, or whatever time it is when you read this. It is an egotistic assumption that it will be read. The snow has been coming down for three hours, and after it was predicted to begin “after 7 a.m.,” it started exactly at 7 a.m.

It’s difficult to determine just what this will lead to in the week coming as the forecasts are for a smorgasbord of snow, rain, freezing rain, sleet and winter mix. Looking around the United States, we can count our blessings here in the valley that we do not have rush hour traffic, other than when three people leave the Hank’s Harvest Foods parking lot at the same time.

The Doggie Dash scheduled for Sunday (Feb. 16) has been cancelled for this year. Not enough snow at the Winthrop Town Trailhead for skiing, says Steve Oulman on behalf of the Methow Valley Nordic Club, which puts on the annual Presidents Day show, probably the most colorful and humorous event of the year, as we see it. But in addition to nature’s contributions there is a large contingent of humans who volunteer in roles ranging from announcing the play-by-play to prize presenters, dog food providers and other unsung acts. A pat on the back to Oulman for providing the volunteers and others with up-to-date reports prior to and the final word of cancellation.

Since the beginning of the human-canine coalition years ago, the Winthrop Gallery has concurrently had a photo contest. Originally just for dog pictures, it was expanded to include cats as well. The deadline for entries has closed, but the show is still a lot of fun, with some fine photography on display. It opens Wednesday (Feb. 12), continuing through Feb. 24, and there will be a free reception on Sunday (Feb. 16) from 11 a.m – 3 p.m., with refreshments.

OK. Here’s a mouthful: Methow Valley Nordic Ski Education Foundation. Having that information, call it MVNSEF. All to introduce this worthy organization to those who are as ignorant as I of its existence, it is joining up with the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association and North Cascades Basecamp to put on the Tour Of The Methow ski day. Starting date is Saturday (Feb. 15), which this year is also the ending date. It features loops of 10 kilometers and 20 kilometers, with a luau at wi-Cow-ki Beach and trailside brats and brew at the Basecamp. Costumes are encouraged, even if dressed-up dogs are probably more photogenic and entertaining.

We can’t close without applause for Brian Gregg, Sadie Bjornsen and Erik Bjornsen, who participated in cross country ski competitions at the Olympics. We caught a glimpse of Brian at the opening ceremony and thereby probably the other two of the valley’s stars. And thanks to Jim Gregg for updates. Luckily he and Jan made their flight, temporarily thwarted by the 12th Man parade in Seattle. Bravissimo, all. Or, as we say in Parooski, horosho, moi droogas. Well — that’s how I say it.