Thanks goodness we got a ton of snow in December! Three weeks’ worth of warm weather didn’t help our snowpack here in Harbor Springs, but it didn’t hurt it too much, either. The cross country skiing in the woods is still light and fluffy in areas, and there is snow in the air! Ullr, the Norse snow god, is smiling on us now. I hope.
We just had our 26th (or 30th) annual Outfitter – Crow’s Nest Loppet last Sunday – what a perfect day! The Loppet route runs from a local farm four miles north of town through a mix of private and public land all the way up to the Crow’s Nest restaraunt in Cross Village. The exact route changes annually, avoiding logging operations, wet spots and snowmobile trails, and is kept secret up until the morning of the ski. The only two people who know before hand are my dad, John, and his good friend, Andy. They know because they prep the trail – clearing back pricker bushes, scouting out possible ravines and, yes, flyovers. Andy is a pilot who loves nothing more than to get up in the air and take a look down.
Some folks think it is a race – it is anything but a race, I can tell you. Adventure ski tour, more like it. Balancing on the center part of a skidder trail for 100 yards followed by 1/4 mile of old railroad grade that ends with a pallet-enhanced crossing of a stream bed tends to slow folks down to a nice, leisurely pace. Passing someone on the trail usually takes about a minute as you recognize the person or introduce yourself, talk about the trail and far it is till Middle Village Road, see how they are doing, then head on. It is an absolute joy.
The skiing is great both in the woods and on the slopes – I am headiong out this weekend. Hope to see you out there!
Josh and Molly Baker own The Outfitter in Harbor Springs