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Last weekend my wife and I drove over to the Bayfield, Wisconsin to attend the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race. It was a tense drive over with snow packed and slush covered roads. It was very warm and snowing/raining on the way over and during the race.

The Dogs

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The Mushers

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The people

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More photos from the race can be found on my website.

After breakfast we drove down to the site of the WISSA Races. It was also the Site of the Sturgeon Stampede which was taking place at the same time. It had snowed over night and as we drove along Winnebago Drive the wind was blowing snow off of the lake. The snow was drifting onto the road. When we reached the access to the ice we couldn’t see the race tent on the lake because there was a ground blizzard. We had a little trouble getting onto the ice because of the drifts. The wind was blowing from the north so it was blowing the length of Lake Winnebago before it reached the race site at the south end of the lake. When we reached the WISSA Race site it was almost deserted.

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On the way out we noticed some fat tire bikes gathering for a race that was to be held as part of the Sturgeon Stampede Activities. We decided to drive back to the Registration Tent where the bike race was going to start from. Unfortunately the snow was blowing so hard that we had trouble finding the tent. We finally were able to see it and notice that the race was just starting.

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It was difficult to see the racers because of the blowing snow. I jumped out and took a few photos of the racers heading out into the blizzard. Fortunately they were heading off of the lake. We watched the last of the bikers take off then decided to drive out and see what was happening at the opening day of Sturgeon Spearing.

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We started driving towards Wendt’s on the Lake but noticed another access road going on onto the ice. There was a bridge over the pressure ridge on the road out to the fishing houses. We drove out a little ways but so much snow was blowing that it was impossible to see where the ice fishing houses were located. The road was drifting over so we turned around. There were hundreds of fishing houses out on the lake but we couldn’t find them in the ground blizzard.

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We drove up to Wendt’s and took their access road out to the fishing shacks. We drove out onto the lake for a ways but we could only see a few fishing houses close to the road. The road was drifting shut so we turned around and headed back to shore.

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We stopped at Wendt’s to look around and found that one Sturgeon was hanging up in front of the restaurant. No one was at the registration station. There was a fellow selling fish decoys parked at the boat ramp so I stopped to get a photo of his products. Since not much was going one we decided to head back to Fond du Lac.

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We decided to do a little shopping to kill some time before driving back out to the WISSA Races. Things had improved a bit because they had plowed the road out to the race site.

When we arrived I had trouble getting out of the car because my door opened into the wind. The temperature was about 5 degrees with the wind blowing at 35mph. The wind chill was in the minus 20’s. I made my way to the back of the car to get my ice grippers but as I reached the back of the car I found that I was on ice that the wing and blowing snow had polished to a fine finish. The wind started blowing me past the car but I was able to grab a hold of the car and get into the back where my ice grippers were located. I told my wife to watch it when she got out of the car because it was really slippery.

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Apparently she didn’t hear me. When I got my ice grippers on I walked to the back of the car and found she was being blown down the ice road. I had to retrieve her and get her ice grippers out. Even with the ice grippers it was difficult to walk on the polished ice so we tried to stay on areas that were covered with snow.

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There were a few kite surfers out so we started walking toward them.

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It was really brutal out, probably the worst winter weather I’ve experienced. After taking a few photos of the kite surfers we decided this was one of the dumber things we’ve done and started back to the car. Below are photos of to two dimly lit bulbs.

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On the way I noticed a couple of wind surfers out on the course practicing. I took a few quick shots and we worked our way back to the car.

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We started driving back to shore when I noticed that some of the bikers were returning from the race that had started earlier in the morning. We stopped for a few photographs. I think the race was supposed to end out at the WISSA Race site but the wind was blowing so hard that once the racers returned to the lake they had to get off their bikes and walk into the wind for about 100 feet before they could turn at a right angle to the wind and bike to the finish line.

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After watching a few bikers come in we decided to drive back to Wendt’s to see if any more Sturgeon had been brought into the registration station. According to the Wisconsin DNR over 450 Sturgeon were harvested on Lake Winnebago. Over a dozen fish registered were over 100 pounds. Supposedly there were over 13, 000 Sturgeon fisherman out fishing. This fisherman caught one of the larger fish of the day. We talked to another fellow who had been fishing for fifteen years and this was the first year he speared a fish. I said he hadn’t been in his shack more than five minutes when he got the fish.

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Before we made our trip over to Fond du Lac I called the chamber to find out where to go to see the Sturgeon Fishing. The person who I talked to gave me good directions and indicated that if you hung around Wendt’s you would hear a lot of fish stories. That was sure true. The fishermen were really pumped.

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After walking around Wendt’s landing for a while we decided to head for home with a memorable experience under our belt. Next time we are going to pick a time when the weather is a little better.

More photos from the day can be found on my website.

This past weekend we headed over to Fond du Lac for the WISSA Championship Races. We arrived about noon, checked into our motel and then started looking for the races.

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We found what looked like the race area out on the ice but my wife was reluctant to drive onto the ice. I pointed out that the ice was safe and it was a long walk if she didn’t drive out onto the ice. We noticed a shuttle bus driving by so we followed it out onto the ice.

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When we arrived there wasn’t much going on. It was cool out. the air temperature was around 21 but there was a strong wind blowing down the lake. If you had any exposed skin you got cold quickly.

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I finally stopped and asked someone what events were going to take place. As it turned out he spoke very little English but I finally figured out that they would be doing a slalom race although it wasn’t clear when it would start. There were participants from about a dozen countries participating in the event. This was quite the coup for Fond du Lac. Last year the races were held in Russia. There were a few folks out on the ice practicing.

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Soon more racers started coming out to gear-up. There was a wide variety of gear. Some racers were wearing skates, some of the skates were a foot high. The skaters just held the boards and maneuvered them with their hands. Others were using boards with a sail mounted on the board.

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They seemed to have a block of ice to help at the start so they didn’t blow around. A the drop of a flag they were off.

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I watched them race for a while and then noticed the kite surfers were starting to gear-up so I watched them while they started to get their gear ready.They had an area right by the parking lot that they used to inflate their kits and hook them up. It was windy so it took a couple of people to get the kite up and running.

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It turned out they were doing speed trials. The racers gathered out on the ice and then one of them would take off for the finish line. It looked like they were using a timing gun to check their speed at the finish line.

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I watched them for a while but they were too far out onto the ice to get any close-up photos.

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After the races my wife and I drove back to the motel and inquired about good places for Friday night fish fries. It turned out that Wendt’s on the Lake was highly recommended. This was also the location for one of the weigh in stations for the Sturgeon fishing that would take place the following day. On the drive to Wendt’s we could see hundreds of ice fishing shacks out on Lake Winnebago.

Wendt’s was packed but we only had a short wait because most of the fisherman were at the bar getting fueled up for the start of Sturgeon fishing early the next morning.

When we returned to our hotel we decided to cancel our reservations for the following night. The weather report for the following day was zero degrees and 35 mph winds coming from the north We didn’t think we would stand being out on the ice all day.

More photos from the day can be found on my website.

This past weekend we were in Calumet, Michigan to watch the Copperdog150 Sled Dog Race. We spent most of Friday cross country skiing while we waited for the 7 p.m. start of the race. Bruce Magnusson was the winner of the of the race. He is shown here on his way into Copper Harbor.

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We arrived in downtown Calumet a couple of hours before the start of the race. Most of the mushers were feeding their dogs and laying out their gear prior to hooking up the dogs. Once the dogs are fed they are put back into their motel rooms until just before the start of the race.

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As the race neared we took up a position near the starting line across from the official starters station. It takes quite a few volunteers to get a dog team to the starting line. The dogs are excited and can easily drag the volunteers down the course. Once the command to go is given the dogs leap into action. In a number of cases some of the dogs were caught off guard and were dragged off of their feet by the other dogs.

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The next morning we drove over to Eagle Harbor for the start of the second stage of the race. Even though some of the dogs had been racing until past midnight they were ready to go again the next morning. We watched all of the teams head out for Copper Harbor. The plan was to ski around Eagle Harbor but the ski trail was in tough shape so we drove to Copper Harbor to watch the finish of the second stage of the race.

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There were free drinks and treats in the community center in Copper Harbor so we stopped by for some hot coco and treats. We wandered around town waiting for the dog teams to arrive. They seemed to be late in arriving so we ended up walking up the trail quite a ways. When they did arrive there was some stiff competition as they came down the hill into town. There were a few problems getting into town. The trail was being shared with snowmobiles and there were some sharp turns. The dogs were having problems figuring out where to go. We watched most of the teams arrive before heading back to Calumet.

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The final day of the race was a beautiful sunny day with minus degree temperatures. We decided to spend the morning skiing at Swedetown before returning to town to watch the finish of the race.

There was some stiff competition at the finish line. In one case there were three racers running close together. In another case two racers jumped off of their sleds and ran with their dogs to the finish line. As I mentioned it was a beautiful day. One racer crossed the finish line without a shirt on. As I recall he started out with ten dogs but only has six at the finish of the race so he probably had to work a little harder than some of the other racers.

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Several dogs must have been hurt on the race because they were riding in the sled when the racers finished. Once the racers finish the race they sometimes put their young children in the sled for the ride back to the truck. It was a weekend of cross country skiing and sled dog racing.

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More photos from the CopperDog 150 can be found on my website.

I recently headed out onto the ice of Lake Menomin to photograph some of the ice Shacks that can be found on the lake. This year there were more ice shacks than normal out on the lake. they ranged from the simple clamshell to those with TV and Heat. Some of them are built from scratch and others are purchased from dealers who sell fancy ice shacks with wheels. these shacks can be hauled out onto the ice but moved to another location or lake with relative ease. You will notice that many of the ice shacks contain an name, address and phone number on the door or window. This is a state requirement so the person can be notified contacted by the DNR.

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This winter I’ve notice an unusual number of ice fishing shacks on Lake Menomin in Menomonie, Wisconsin. I had been thinking for some time that I should get out and take some photographs of the activities. This past weekend there was a fishing contest so there was a little more activity than usual on the lake. In addition, we were scheduled to get a big storm the next day so everyone was trying to get their fishing in before the storm hit.

For those of you who don’t live in the northern climates, ice fishing is a major sport in the winter. Usually in early December the ice on the lakes freezes and once the ice is thick enough to support a fisherman’s weight people head out for the fishing season. When it first starts and the ice is thin fishermen usually fish without a shelter or used a portable canvas shelter. As the ice thickens they move their ice shacks out onto the ice creating large villages out on the lake.

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As I walked out onto the lake the first thing I encountered was the Lions Clunker that is parked out on the ice each winter. The local Lions Club holds a raffle each year with participants  attempting to guess when the car will fall through the ice. On person closest to the day and time wins a prize. People have tried to put salt around the car so the ice would melt quicker. One time someone tried to use dynamite to make the car go down.

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Fish-Lake-Menomin-13-2-_1049Fish-Lake-Menomin-13-2-_1015As I walked among the Fishermen it was clear that fishing was very slow. I only found a few people with fish. One fisherman had some small sunfish and croppies. Another fisherman had a perch but it wasn’t much bigger than the bait fish in the bucket.

Ice-Fishing-Lake-Menomin-13-2-_1016Tip-up-Lake-Menomin-13-2-_1033I can tell you from personal experience on of the great thrills of fishing is waiting for the flag on the tip up to go up. You never know what is going to be on the other end on the line. Hear a couple of fellows are checking their line. The tip up is marked with a cone so others out driving on the ice don’t run over it.

Ice-Fishing--Lake-Menomin-13-2-_1047Ice-Fishing--Lake-Menomin-13-2-_1044As I was walking along taking photos someone hollered to me that there was a great picture just around the corner. I was anticipating a fisherman with a large catch but it turned out to be a happy group of young people that just wanted their picture taken. I obliged them after they stumbled out of the tent. When I asked them where the fish were they mumbled something about not having a line in the water. As I walked around the tent I saw why they were so happy and what the main activity of the day was.

In order to fish on the ice you need to drill a hole in the ice. Most people use power augers so they can drill a lot of holes quickly. Unfortunately these fellows just had a manual powered auger and it looks like the ice was fairly deep.

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Ice fishing up north is frequently a family affair. When the fish aren’t biting the kids need to be entertained so a sled ride was in order.

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Not everyone can afford a fishing shack. Some folks just head out to the lake with their lawn chairs. Just another day at the beach only they are on ice and the temperature is in the teens.

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It’s been a tough winter for cross country skiing. Things looked promising in December when we received 18 inches of snow. The trails were groomed and it looked like it was going to be a great season. Then the weather turned warm and it rained. If we can’t ski around here we normally go up to the U.P. of Michigan. Things were off to a slow start up there as well. They had some nice snow early in the season but was also followed by warm weather and rain. It wasn’t until mid January that the snow really started falling. We decided that this might be a good time to head to the U.P. for some skiing before it rained again or the winter was over.

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Our first stop was ABR Ski Trails in Ironwood Michigan. ABR has the most extensive trail system in the western U.P. While we were purchasing our tickets I notice all of the grooming equipment parked by the chalet. ABR is known for its grooming and sells and tests equipment as well as offering training for other groomers. They seem to have a little of everything.

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We had skied ABR a few weeks earlier but really noticed the difference in the amount of snow on the ground. I was a mostly overcast day but the snow was probably the best we have seen it since we skied the area after a three foot snowfall.

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The next morning was a beautiful day but looked like it was going to be warm. We headed over to the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State park to check on conditions. We have skied the Porkies trails several times and usually found them challenging. We typically ski the outer loop and several times have found the trails to be very icy at the lower elevations. Another time there had been strong winds the night before and the trails were littered with debris. As we started out there was a beautiful deep blue ski and not a cloud to be seen.

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A couple of days before the Porkies had received some nice fresh snow and the ranger indicated the groomer was out finishing up grooming the trails. It was starting to get warm and it turned out it reached the mid 30’s by the end of the day.

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The warm weather made for some challenging skiing. Our wax was grabbing even at the start of the day. As we skied the trail we encountered an increasing amount of debris falling from the trees.  Large clumps of heavy wed snow were falling from the trees onto the trail making it difficult to stay in the ski tracks. In addition, large branches were also coming down with the snow. It was a challenge to avoid being hit by falling debris and avoid the large snow clumps on the trail.

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The next day we skied the Swedetown Ski Trails in Calumet, Michigan. Again it was a little warm and the glide was not a good as we would have liked. It was snowing out a bit so there was several inches of fresh snow on the trail. Swedetown always has some of the best snowfall in the U.P.

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Because the winds were supposed to pick up later in the day we decided to ski the trails that were the most open during the morning. After skiing for several hours we took a hot chocolate break at mid day.

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In the afternoon we skied the Back Country Trail. This is our favorite trail to ski. It is packed occasionally and our preference it to ski it with 4-5 inches of fresh snow on it to get more of a back country feel. On this particular day it only had a few inches of fresh snow and another skier had skied part of it. We also encountered an unusual amount of brush at the start of the trail and more debris on the trail than we had on earlier trips.

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While we had some challenging skiing on this trip it was finally great to get out and get some skiing in.

I keep a spreadsheet listing the events I might want to go attend. This past weekend was a big weekend on my list. the options were the Hudson Hot Air Affair, Michigan IceFest and the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race. This year my wife and I chose the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race. Our last visit to this event was in 2011.

Lake-Superior-13-2_0387bWe planned on driving over to the race from Duluth. We rose early and found that it had snowed overnight in spite of a temperature of -9 degrees. We headed out around 7:30 because we wanted to arrive before the race started and soak up some of the excitement generated by the dogs. On the drive over to the race there were some spectacular views of Lake Superior with sunshine on the lake and lake effect snow clouds in the background. The roads were covered with a little lake effect snow and it was snowing along the lake.

Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-13-2_0405When we arrived at the race the temperature was a balmy 6 degrees with sunshine. The starting point of the race is in a gravel pit about 10 miles east of Cornucopia. The gravel pit offers a good place to park for all of the mushers, volunteers and observers. It also provides ample space for a staging area as the mushers attach the dogs to their sleds.

Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-13-2_0101We arrived about a half hour before the start of the race so we had ample time to walk around and watch the mushers getting ready for the race and listen to the growing excitement of the dogs as the start of the race approached. This year there were over 60 dog teams participating in the various classes.

Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-13-2_0431This is a great race to watch because there are so many sled dog teams with various categories from the serious racers to family and youth racers. The crowd is usually small enough that there are plenty of opportunities to observe the race from all sorts of advantage points.

Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-13-2_0433I photographed for a while at the starting gate and then worked my way down the race course to photograph the teams from various vantage points along the course.

Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-13-2_0751Toward the end of the race I returned to the starting gate to photograph some of the younger racers as they started the race.

Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-13-2_0800One can’t say enough about the volunteers. Without them the race could not take place. For the larger teams it takes 4 or 5 volunteers to get the dogs to the starting line and try and keep them calm before they are off and running.

Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-13-2_0308Volunteers will be seen in most of the photos because they are such an integral part of the race. More than a few of them took spills trying to get the dogs to the starting line.

Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-13-2_0234The din at the start of the race is so loud that you literally can hear the person next to you. Most of the dogs are frantic as they reach the starting line. I particularly like the dogs with blue eyes because they show the intensity just before the start the race.

Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-13-2_0250There are a few teams that are really calm. This team was so relaxed that they seemed to be caught off guard when the signal to go was given. They almost fell over one another trying to get started.

Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-13-2_0624One nice thing about this race is that it is an out and back race. So the racers finish at the same place they started. After all of the racers head out onto the course and watch the teams on the course. We did that on our previous visit but this trip we decided to head into Bayfield for some lunch and a little shopping.

Madeline-Island-Windsled-13-2_0024We stopped at the Pickled Herring for some lunch and to check into our motel. They had my favorite meal, chili. I noticed as we walked up to the restaurant that the ferries to Madeline Island were not running and that the Ice road was closed. That could only mean one thing, the windsleds were running. Sure enough our waitress said the windsleds started today. This was something I always wanted to see and photograph. As we had lunch we saw the sled head out to Madeline Island.

Madeline-Island-13-2_0010After lunch we walked down to see check on the sled schedule. On the weekends the schedule is reduced. The last one of the day was at 4:30 and we didn’t think we would be back in time to watch it so I added it to my list of things to do in the morning.

Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-13-2_0790We then headed back out to the sled dog race. We wanted to watch a few of the dog teams finish the race. In contrast to the raucous sounds at the start of the race all is quiet as the dogs return to the finish line. Fortunately it was cold so the dogs seemed to be in good shape at the finish. On an earlier visit it was so warm that the dogs were exhausted at the end of the race.

Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-13-2_0775As we watched the returning mushers my wife notice a couple of people that looked familiar, It’s hard to recognize people  when they are bundled up for the cold. It turned out to be some old friends from Menomonie that are now living in Cornucopia. We chatted with them as we watched the mushers finish.

Lake-Superior-13-2_0836Later in the afternoon we drove down to Meyers Beach to check and see if the Apostle Island Ice Caves were open. They were not open but there were tracks out onto the lake where some adventurous individuals took the risk to walk out onto the ice. Our friends said that people had been walking out to the caves for a couple of weeks in spite of the warnings at Meyers Beach that the ice was not safe. The National Park Service requires that the ice be stable for several weeks before they give the ok to go on the ice. On a previous visit I met several people from the park service checking the thickness of the ice. They were using sounding equipment to check it. We decided to hike the bluff trail and wait for the NPS to certify the ice was safe before our next visit.

Madeline-Island-Windsled-13-2_0043The next morning we had a great breakfast at the Egg Toss Bakery Cafe. Great place for breakfast and their bread is outstanding. After breakfast we walked down to the harbor to watch the windsled arrive from Madeline Island. We then checked out of our motel and headed back out to the sled dog races. We spent most of the morning watching the teams head out. It was -9 degrees and seemed much colder on the second day maybe because the wind was blowing and the sun wasn’t out.

Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-13-2_0133A popular spot on both days was the fire pit. As I mentioned the temperature was in the single digits and there was a wind on the second day so everyone was bundled up.

After the race we planned on doing some skiing but since it was so cold out and we had a long drive we decided to skip the skiing and head home to watch the Super Bowl.

There are several hundred pictures on my website from the two day race.

 

Last Tuesday I noticed a piece on the news about ice boat racing on Lake Pepin in Lake City, Minnesota. I’ve always wanted to see some ice boats in action but never have had the opportunity. I checked on the internet and found that the 2013 Gold Cup World Ice Boating Championships were being held all week.

The next morning I called to see if they were racing. The Visitors Center didn’t know but suggested I call the hotel where many of them were staying. The hotel didn’t know for sure but the racers had left earlier in the morning and hadn’t returned so they thought they were racing.

It was snowing a bit out so I checked the weather to see what it was doing in Lake City. It looked like show showers were moving through but they looked like they would be gone by the time I reached Lake City.  I decided it was a go. Things were fine until south of Durand, Wisconsin where the 20 mp winds were whipping the fresh snow across the road in the open areas. The further south I drove the heaver the snow became. I finally decided to turn around and return home because the roads were getting bad.

The next morning I checked to see if they would be racing but there was no word. Apparently the racers were evaluating several different ice sheets. I decided to take a chance and once again headed for Lake City. Did I mention that the sun was out, with 20 mp winds again and the wind chill was -35.

2013-Gold-Cup-World-ice-Boating-Championships-13-1-_2364When I reached the south end of Lake City I saw quite a few sleds out on the ice and a few people milling around. I should have stopped but I drove to the north side of Lake City where they were evaluating the new ice sheet. There were only a few cars at this location and no ice boats. I headed back through Lake city only to find that most of the boats were sailing north on the lake. Most of the boats were gone before I was able to stop and take a few pictures. I asked the racers what was happening. They said this was a moving day and that all of the boats were moving to the north ice sheet. Most of the boats were sailing up to the new ice sheet. The few remaining boats were being dismantled and loaded into trailers so they could be moved.

2013-Gold-Cup-World-ice-Boating-Championships-13-1-_2366I got back in the car and headed back through Lake city to the north ice sheet. Halfway there I noticed about 15 boats parked by the hotel where most of the boaters were staying. I parked by the hotel and walked back to the lake only to find that I had once again missed them. I took a few shots as the last of the boats headed out. I headed back to the car hopping to reach the north ice sheet before the racers.

2013-Gold-Cup-World-ice-Boating-Championships-13-1-_2379I drove out to the north ice sheet and photographed a few of the boats out on the ice. Soon the group that had sailed, from the south ice sheet, started arriving. It was bitterly cold out and the ground and parking lot were covered with Ice. I decided to put on my ice cleats before walking around to get some more photos. I was able to photograph some of the boats as they sailed in.

2013-Gold-Cup-World-ice-Boating-Championships-13-1-_2382As I walked around I encountered racers from Sweden, Connecticut and a number of Midwestern states. It was probably good they were not racing. With the strong winds and blowing snow I could barely see the boats out on the ice and it was really cold out.

2013-Gold-Cup-World-ice-Boating-Championships-13-1-_2395All in all it was a cold but interesting day and my first opportunity to photograph ice boats in action. I would have liked to return for the weekend races but I was already committed to another event.

A few more shots can be found on my website.

I was rummaging through a drawer the other day and ran across a little packet of materials from the United States Ski Association. Back in the 1970’s the USSA and Kodak established a physical fitness program called Medals for Miles. The essence of the program was that you would record your miles skied, during the winter,  in a logbook and then at the end of the ski season submit the logbook to the USSA and receive an award. The award was a piece of paper and a pin or a patch.

Swedetown Ski Trails

Swedetown Ski Trails

 If you listen to the news these days it seems the only motivating factor in life is greed. I happened to be one of those folks that was always motivated by the challenge whether it be at work or sports. The thought of getting a pin or patch for skiing 150 -1000 miles really excited me.

Miljes Ski Trails

Miljes Ski Trails

 According to Kodak there were about a million cross country skiers in the 1970’s. Unfortunately there were not a lot of established ski trails, at least in our area. I happened to live on a farm so I created my own trail that ran for .7 of a mile out through the fields. Just about every night when I came home I would strap on the skis and ski around my little trail. It was usually dark by the time I made it home from work so I had to use a head lamp. In those days it was connected to a heavy 6 volt battery. I would try and ski about 10 miles every evening. The neighbors probably thought I was nuts.

Swedetown Ski Trails

Swedetown Ski Trails

 On weekends I would ski across fields, on golf courses, snowmobile trails and a few formal trails such as Telemark near Cable, Wisconsin. On each trip I tried to keep track of the miles I skied. It looks like I participated in this activity for about six years. I have several pins for 150 miles, one for 300 and another for 500 miles. There is also a patch for 750 miles and one for 1,000 miles.

Swedetown Ski Trails

Swedetown Ski Trails

 The number of miles skied was dependent upon the winter and the amount of snow we received. About the only year that I remember was the year I skied a 1,000 miles. We had an early snowfall and it stayed most of the winter. That was the year that my girlfriend (later my wife) and I went on an all day ski trip when it was 20 degrees below zero. All I could think of during the day was getting back to Hayward, Wisconsin and having a milk shake. My girlfriend later admitted that she couldn’t feel her feet half way through the day. By mid-march I was near the 1,000 mile mark but most of the snow was gone on the farm. I still had about 20 miles to go. My girlfriend and I drove up to Telemark for one last attempt to complete the 1000 miles. It was really a miserable day. It was warm and I was down to using Klister in order to ski. By the end of the day I was exhausted but had the necessary miles.

Frost - Red Cedar State Trail

Frost – Red Cedar State Trail

 When I mentioned, to my wife, that I had found the metals she reminded me that I had convinced her to participate in the program as well.

ABR Ski Trails

ABR Ski Trails