Archive for the ‘Winter at Bearskin’ Category
What is it about a Kässbohrer Pisten Bully that skiers love? It has to be one of the most ungainly looking vehicles ever made. Coming down the trail, the pisten bully sounds like a space ship has just landed, and especially in the twilight or darkness, it can look like a prop from “Mars Attacks.”
The McCloughan family actually owns 3 pisten bullies. Dave and Barb Tuttle originally bought this one for Bearskin in 1987:
Quinn and I have spent the past 2 days perched on folding chairs in a giant striped vinyl tent near Lake and Hennepin in uptown Minneapolis, talking to hundreds of enthusiastic skiers about Bearskin and the Central Gunflint Ski Trail system. The event was the City of Lakes Loppet, which Bearskin helps to sponsor. Members of our family have regularly participated in this event since its inception in 2003, both as racers and as volunteers, but spending a few days behind our sponsor table at the vendor village left us even more impressed with the Loppet, its participants and its many, many dedicated volunteers.
It’s been a very busy day at Bearskin Lodge. The cookie jar has been emptied to nothing but crumbs, we’re down to the bottom of our second big container of free coffee, and the flames from the fire in the big stone fireplace are slowly dwindling to embers. It was incredibly cold today, with temperatures hovering in double digits below zero all afternoon. I was feeling fairly sorry for people who paid for a lovely cabin or lodge in order to ski over their 3 day vacation, only to end up with bitterly cold weather.
Now that we’re in the winter Nordic ski resort business, I’m routinely informed by almost everyone that I’m supposed to want lots and lots of snow. Of all the difficult transitions that have been made over the past few months, this mindset shift may be one of the toughest for me.
It was a bad morning for birds. Found this little guy hanging upside down in a tree near the staff house, his wiry orange feet still clutching the branch, his beak dripping icicles, his feathers coated with snow and his eyes frozen in an icy orange stare.