Our first night in Holden Village, we set the sauna on fire. My buddies and I had come to this tiny village 200 miles east of Seattle, accessible only by ferry or floatplane, to ski the surrounding 9,000-foot peaks, and now we were standing out in the snow, barefoot and in swim trunks, watching the Holden fire brigade suit up and roll out a hose. We thought we had overstoked the stove—turns out a ball cap someone left on it had ignited—and a frantic villager dragged us out to the clang of the fire alarm. Fewer than 12 hours from our arrival, I thought the trip was ruined, our warm welcome revoked, and our lodgings transitioned into the woods. I stared at my feet. Then a woman in pajamas with two energized kids in tow stopped to face us and asked very genuinely if we were OK, without any hint of judgement or blame. We realized then that Holden, a former copper mine turned Lutheran retreat, is an example of community in its purest form. Which is to say that as long as we were here, we were part of it—and we could still go skiing.