February 23. 2014 5:40PM

It’s vacation week: Put those skis on

On Friday, 23-year-old U.S. skier Julia Ford made her Olympic debut in Sochi. If you were a regular skier of Cannon Mountain a few years ago, you might have encountered Ford, who grew up skiing there. If you ski or snowboard anywhere in New Hampshire, you might well have crossed paths with a local Olympian, including Bodi Miller, Hannah Kearney, Scotty Lago, Mikaela Shiffrin, Dylan Ferguson or Kris Freeman, to name only a handful.

New Hampshire school vacation week starts today, and the mountains and hills are covered in snow. On those peaks and slopes, opportunity awaits. Why not take the kids for a day on the snow?

There is something so exhilarating, so freeing about cruising down a powdery mountainside. It is not as hard as the Olympics make it look. Once you have your balance, you pick your trail level and go at your own pace. It’s pretty easy. And if you have ever seen small children do it, you can see the joy it produces. There is nothing like it.

Don’t have the budget for downhill skiing? There are plenty of other choices. Cross-country skiing, pond hockey, ice skating. New Hampshire’s state parks are covered in trails open to the public for snowshoeing or hiking.

As for the Olympics, well, why not encourage the kids to dream a little? As Julia Ford said recently, “Anything is possible that you put your mind to and work hard at, whether in ski racing or in life.”