By Ashley Lodato
The other night I was at the four-way stop in Winthrop behind a car with a rear license plate spelling out “GA-ME 1978,” which I imagine indicates that the owner of the car hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in 1978 (and, incidentally, would have been one of about only 100 hikers to do so that year). It’s about a 2,100-mile hike, started by many and completed by relatively few.
Seeing the plates reminded me of a story I heard recently about two Appalachian Trail veterans, Brian and Amy Sweet. The couple, who had been married for about a decade, spent a few months completing the Appalachian Trail a couple of years ago. As is customary on the AT, each person chose a trail name for the journey. Brian’s name was “Movin’ On.” When the duo hit New Hampshire — about 1,600 miles into the expedition — another hiker asked Amy, “how does it feel to have a partner whose name is ‘Movin’ On’?” Without missing a beat Amy answered, “I’m the fourth girl he’s hiked with on this trip.”
A sizeable portion of the Methow Valley Nordic Team kids skied in the Race of the Methow at the McCabe Trails over the weekend, along with teams from Bend, Oregon, Spokane, Leavenworth and Seattle. Huh, Seattle? Yes, Seattle! Coaching the Seattle team — Momentum Northwest — was none other than Sam Naney, who was lured away from the Methow last summer only by the prospect of introducing more young people to the joys of Nordic skiing.
In his new role as head coach and program director of Momentum Northwest, Sam brought a small but dynamic group of young skiers over to race in his hometown and former training grounds, and like all of the other coaches performed the glorious (and critical) role of manning the waxing benches for much of the Race of the Methow.
If all this talk of skiing makes you want to hit the trails, this Friday’s Backyard Ski Day (Jan. 23) presents you with the perfect opportunity, with free trail passes, free equipment rentals, and free beginner ski lessons. Event sponsors Methow Valley Ski School, Winthrop Mountain Sports, Cascades Outdoor Store, Methow Cycle and Sport, and Methow Trails want you to experience the fun of Nordic skiing, so take them up on their offer and get out on the trails on Friday.