By Ashley Lodato

Kids really are a different breed of human. I was reminded of this two weeks ago when a couple of friends and I were skiing between Mazama and Winthrop (utilizing that free Saturday ski bus — have I mentioned what a fabulous service that is?). We passed quite a few families, as well as pods of teenage kids skiing together. After about the fourth mittenless kid crossed our path, we started remarking to each other about this phenomenon: kids in the snow in winter with bare hands. It was 28 degrees — a mild winter day for sure, but not exactly balmy. And yet it was kid after kid, naked fingers, huge smiles, sensory perception obscured by wonder and delight.

Kids also serve as a reminder that things that are so obvious to adults often remain mysteries to them. Around Thanksgiving when there was still no snow on the valley floor, I was skiing with a group of kids along the North Cascades Highway from Silver Star gate, up past Lone Fir campground and the Cutthroat trailhead. We started when the sun was dropping low, illuminating just the peaks of the surrounding ridges and casting the sky in pink and gold.

As we skied back out, the moon was rising, touching the high crests around us but not yet reaching through the trees to light up the trail. We switched on our headlamps, which occasionally threw a beam on the reflective mileage markers as we glided past. After passing several markers, one of the kids asked, “What are those number signs?” I explained about mileage markers, saying that they were related to Highway 20 and generally used to identify locations on the road in case of accidents, etc. There was a moment of perplexed silence, until one of the kids said with utter astonishment “This is a road?”

Danica Ready was recently talking to her kids about Liberty Bell alumni Sadie and Erik Bjornsen competing in the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, and about political tensions with nearby North Korea, and about the omnipresent concern about terrorist attacks at the Olympics. Danica’s 9-year-old son Ben thought about this for a while and asked a few questions about foreign relations and terrorism. And then, mustering up the worst crime against humanity a 9-year-old Methow-raised brain can envision, Ben asked, aghast, “Do you think they might even put klister on the Americans’ skate skis?!”

Oh the horror, the horror!

PREVIOUSLY, IN WINTHROP

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