Friday, May 18, 2018

Red Lodge/ Easter 2018 >58 Days of Skiing

Easter break we ventured out to Red Lodge again. Like every year the group varied and we even had Sully dog along! (eyeing a deer below) We had great weather, snow and fun times like usual. 
The crew before departure. We left a day early with storm coming in which seems kind of crazy but a 10 hour drive turned to 20 not fun on the interstate and kids needing to get back to school.
Stop at the Wurst Shop in Dickinson, ND. which has become traditional. Great eats!
Got into puzzles big time this trip.

Easter morning shanagains. Easy Anna.

The trip coincided with 31 days of skiing. After alpine/telemark skiing the first few days of the trip, I ventured out for a solo ski in the backcountry for the final day along Ingles Creek.
Froze down hard the night before making for great crust skiing.

Making a turn on the way down. Would be a fun trail to mountain bike in the summer!
Venturing off the main trail on to a side slope for some turns.
Lift service skiing with the boys on the first day.
Carving through the trees.
Skiing with Jonell the second day.

The day we got home we returned to full on winter. Since we were still in Red Lodge the start of April, logged a ski on the first. Decided to keep the daily skiing going and kicked off day 33 skiing with the family.
Fun ski, testing out some new skin skis as well.
Skiing continued into April and managed to make it 58 days straight. Crust cruising with Denny on area lake.
Still great skiing into the end of April, incredible silky corn snow corduroy on April 28th with Peder Arneson.
Fun ski with Jon when he was home from college for spring break.

Spring skiing can't be beat with good snow, sunshine and long days. Highlights were skiing with the family. Can't remember such a cold April before the the weather records reflect.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

2018 Section 8 Nordic Ski Championships

Once again we hosted the Section 8 Nordic Ski Championships at Maplelag. Section 8 is scheduled for Camp Ripley but low snow in that area forced at change to Maplelag. I always keep in the back of my mind we might host sections so I stay on top of the grooming for the courses, snow farming etc. and brush clipping and clearing, thanks mainly to Denny Barry.

As long as there are events at Maplelag, there will always be tag board used.
Defending boys Section 8 champ Hunter Zupko ready for the day. Cold temps forced an hour delay, not surprising consider the cold winter we had.
Jack ready for his final ski race in High School.

Skate race was first. Climbing the last long hill with Zupko.
Giving pursuit in the classic race.
Coaches Nikki, Dan and Jim. Thanks for your help guys!

Big shout out to friend Denny Barry who did an incredible amount of work clipping brush and than helping on race day with marshaling. One volunteer of the year, appropriately. 

Last high school race of career! Combined with Jake, think it was 9 consecutive years of Sections. Nice job Jack on finishing it out, proud of you!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Super Bowl Live Wednesday Night Skate Sprints

When I saw the World Masters were going to be held in Minneapolis this year at Theodore Wirth Park, I thought it would be fun to attend. With many of the races during the week, it looked like it would work to go down.  As it turned out, we ended up hosting a conference ski meet and Section 8 Nordic Ski Championships so I wasn't able to sneak away as daily trail prep was required to have the courses as good as possible the week and weeks later. One of the ski weekends I was talking to long time guest Becky Alexander who was at Maplelag with the MPLS Washburn ski team helping coach. She mentioned the craziness of the Masters, Loppet and the down town sprints. I didn't know much about the sprints so I looked on and happened to see registration closing that night! I signed up for the Wednesday night sprints and hoped that it would work out to go.

The morning of was just like any other morning. Grooming.

Bemidji Nordic ski team came out in the morning for training on the Section course.

I had been talking to Bemidji coach Mark Walters about grooming and what not earlier in the year and found out the Bemidji Ski Club that grooms the area trails up there was looking to move a old Skandic as they acquired new equipment this year. Mark brought the sled down and I was a new owner of a used two stroke! They had done some tweaking for grooming and was just what I was looking for early season/low snow grooming. After grooming and taking care of some other chores, I headed down to the cities. Seemed strange to leave mid afternoon to go and race but my first heat wasn't scheduled until 7:30.
To make a trip out of it, I went to Theodore Wirth to get a hour ski in before the races. I knew there wasn't any place to warm up, not that it mattered much, but figured be good to ski out the car legs. The ambient light from the city with snow falling made for a awesome ski.
I took Uber to the start area as I didn't want to monkey around with driving. The driver wasn't able to get me to the start area so I had to walk 3 blocks...with my ski boots, skis over the shoulder among a couple thousand people. It was such a surreal experience for me from basically being in the woods all winter. The big lights highlighting the snow falling was extremely cool.
One of the first persons I bumped into was the girlfriend of Jakes's girlfriends brother Ben. Kate was on the super bowl committee.

I made my way to the start line after some direction from my good friend Bruce Adelsman who was taking pictures for his site. Again, it was an incredible atmosphere to see skiers racing downtown Minneapolis with people lined up watching along the sides.

The racing was short and intense and managed to be in the top 2 in my first wave to make it to the final.
Racing under the city lights, fresh snow doesn't get any more epic.
Definitely one of the highlights of ski racing for me. Kudos to the Loppet folks, the Birkie folks for pulling it off. Pretty crazy they brought the Birkie bridge to the city, closed off a street and had people racing on it.
My finish wasn't the most graceful but held on to third in the final to make the podium.

After the race I hooked up with Bruce and he brought me back to Theodore Wirth.

Thanks Bruce!
As I left Wirth, the full moon was just coming through lighting up the city even more. Drove straight home buzzing on adrenaline. What a trip!!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Merry Christmas Happy New Year 2018

It was great to have everyone together for Christmas. The days we are together are less and less. Its always busy the Holiday season so we try to enjoy them the most we can.
Ready for Christmas Eve service!
Morning ski with the boys. Definitely the best ski so far this season!
Jack cornering Kamikaze hill.
Jens and Jake
All the cousins Christmas Eve.
Jonell and I celebrated a quarter century of marriage in December. Every year keeps getting better!
Doesn't take along to go through a bottle of Aquavit like it used to. Think the first bottle took seven years.
Mom and daughters.
Christmas day puck with the boys. Another great moment and memory.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Bismarck Tourney

The other weekend Jens and his Bantam A team were in Bismarck for a tourney. It was the first time in all the years of hockey both Jonell and I went to a tournament. It ended up being a lot of firsts on the weekend. 

Jens in the circle for the ceremonial face-off for first game ever in the new Wachter arena.
 8am game in the VFW arena.
 Full moon over the ally before pre game adult beverage.
 We stopped as a whole family at Arnaldo's on way to Red Lodge one year. Authentic family Mexican restaurant.  A must stop off the interstate if passing through not just for the food but total experience.

First time I've seen a game played on a half zamboni sheet of ice!
 Saturday night we went to the Bismarck Bobcat and Austin Bruins JR hockey game. Jon played for Austin last year and a half dozen players still on the team this year.
 DL Bantams cheering on the Bruins after a goal. It was a crazy game as middle of the third period, something happened I've never seen before, the coach started throwing sticks in protest of the officiating. Took about 20 minutes until play resumed. The officials didn't want to pick up the sticks and finally a few players went and picked them up.
Catching up with goalie Al Schilling after the game.