My 10-year-old granddaughter went swishing by on her cross-country skis.

“This trail has a fun downhill on it, let’s go this way,” she said.

She and her 8-year-old brother were showing me the ski trails on Dakota Ridge — a ski/snowshoe/snowmobile area in the mountains near Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia. My sweetheart and I were visiting our Canadian offspring for the holidays, and uncharacteristically for the area, the snow was coming down and not stopping.

My oldest daughter and her family live along the British Columbia coast where there are endless forests of massive evergreens a hundred feet tall and nonstop rain — at least compared to eastern Idaho. They get about 85 inches of annual rainfall. But on this late December visit, the rain had turned to snow.

Each morning starts out with a walk on the region’s hiking trails — rain or shine. Some of the trails lead down to the ocean a few blocks away. The new dog needs his exercise. After the walk, we drove up into the nearby mountains until the dirt roads became snow-covered. After a few miles, we arrived at a nearly full parking area with dozens of skiers, snowshoers and folks sledding. There was a large warming hut that looked like a small potato barn.

My grandkids are old pros at skiing the trails here.

“Grandpa, this one isn’t too steep, I think you’ll like it,” my granddaughter said. She was worried I might be intimidated by the uphill. Her parents signed her up for classic and skate ski lessons this winter. Most of the trails were fairly mellow and groomed for classic and skate skiing. It reminded me of the South Trails near Victor.

The trails were managed by the “region” parks and rec which I learned was the equivalent of a county parks and rec in Idaho. It got me to thinking of areas in Bonneville County and elsewhere that could be managed and turned into great public recreation areas. At Dakota Ridge, there was a box to collect fees to pay for heating the warming hut and running the groomers.

I also enjoyed seeing the love of the outdoors and outdoor recreation passed on to the next generation. My mom and dad instilled it in me. Almost all family vacations involved camping and playing outdoors. I continued the tradition with my children, and they married like-minded spouses. Now their kids are all getting a heavy dose of playing outside. They are learning to ski, bike, climb, backpack, canoe, fish and hunt.

The reaction of the Canadians to a huge unexpected snowstorm and a few electrical brown outs reminded me of the folks in Whoville in Dr. Suess’ story of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” There was no whining and complaining, just, “Hey, let’s go sledding on the hills nearby.”

We walked down to the elementary school and found many of the neighbors bouncing down hills on sleds and tubes, children laughing and shouting and dogs darting about. We also brought our skis to explore local trails leading out from the schoolyard. For three days, the snow rarely stopped falling. Normally this is the heart of the rainy season along the British Columbia coast, the ocean is up against Half Moon Bay, but this year everything is snow-covered. I think we have an excuse for not making it home anytime soon.

Here’s another reminder to send in your photos for the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour contest that the Post Register is running. Tickets for this year’s festival showing at the Colonial Theater Jan. 27, 28 and 29 are now on sale. As of last week, there were still plenty of nice seats available.

The Post Register is giving away five pairs of tickets to the festival. Enter to win by emailing a high-resolution photo of outdoor recreation fun to jerrypainter00@gmail.com in the next few weeks.

We’re hoping to get photos of people doing things, rather than portraits or selfies.

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