As you may or may not know, my goal for 2014 is to choose different things to do in and around Waupaca County, and not just to blog about them. So my adventure of choice for the month of February was to try my luck (and I use the term loosely) at cross country skiing. We do have some of the loveliest spots to cross country ski here in Waupaca County, one of them being the Iola Winter Sports Club. For those of you that are not familiar with Iola, Wisconsin; it is steeped in Nordic history and have become one of the communities in Waupaca County that has embraced their history from Vidar of Iola, the wooden viking statue that stands proudly to Lutefisk suppers, Iola is a charming community full of people that are proud of their Nordic heritage. So it is in this place that we find ourselves today. As we pull up to the Winter Sports Club and walk into the Chalet, we are greeted by two of the many volunteers that man the Chalet. Ann, Diana and I let them know that this is our first time skiing and they get us outfitted with ski boots, poles and skis. Once we have the boots on and the rest of our gear, we head outside to get a quick run down of how to put the skis on and get the poles, stick to the tracks and a bit of trail etiquette,and we’re off. As Ann, Diana and I are getting the hang of “sliding” on the skis, (and for myself I really am using the term loosely) we face a choice, whether to go to the left or to the right. Diana wisely informs me that “they said to stay to the left” and of course what do I say? You guessed it, oh let’s just keep to the right, that hill doesn’t look that bad. Never judge a book by its cover is wisdom, even when deciding, which trail to take when cross country skiing, because just let me say there were more after that, and no I am not talking mountains, however when you are out for the first time, probably a bit more then you want to contend with right away. I have to say Diana was a natural, she picked up the whole gliding, sliding motion really quickly. Ann, did really well, she and I did take off our ski’s at one point and walk a bit and even when she was out of sight and all I could hear was a lengthy scream, she stayed standing and on her skis. They are both so much fun and a joy to be around. Last but certainly not least is me, I did enjoy the cross country skiing, but have to admit that I might of spent as much time perfecting the art of falling (and perfecting is in the eye of the beholder) as I did on the skis. It really doesn’t matter from my standpoint, if you fall backwards, forward or to the side, I must say I found all of them equally humbling. The upside of it was, I really knew how to get those ski’s on and off by the end of the trail.
We have had guests at our Inn that have come simply for the outdoors in winter, and some have chosen the cross country skiing at the Iola Winter Sports Club with 8 miles of trails, and 4 1/2 miles which are lit for night skiing it is a beautiful place to see and be a part of even if on a sunny albeit windy day in February. We were told that the conditions were “challenging” today, because of the past few days of weather. It was fun to be outdoors, with friends and trying something I had never done before. Not quite sure what next month will bring, but you will see it here as we learn together more about Waupaca County and the many things there are to experience.
And to quote Don Pardo the voice of the sports bloopers segment on the Today Show….”Until next time……if there is a next time”!
Diana up on her ski’s and yours truly on the ground, and Ann bringing up the rear with the camera, love it!
The 49th Iola Winter Carnival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, February 6-7, 2010. Many activities will take place in this small Norwegian community.
The Winter Carnival Weekend kicks off Saturday, February 6th at 8:00 a.m. with an Ice Sculpture Contest—everyone is welcome to enter. Contact Marsha Mueller by calling 715-445-2411 at the Iola-Scandinavia High School Art Department, to register.
The Iola Lake District will sponsor an Ice Fishing Contest on Saturday for children ages 16 and under. The event will run from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Lake Iola.
The annual Badger State Games Ski Jumping competition is held in conjunction with the Iola Winter Carnival. Opening ceremonies are slated for Saturday at 12 noon. Food and refreshments are available.
Other activities for Saturday include a Norwegian Lutefisk Supper and Indoor Craft Sale at the Iola-Scandinavia High School from 1:00 – 6:30 p.m. The lutefisk and fresh cod with drawn butter will be served family style, along with meatballs, potatoes, vegetable, lefse, and Norwegian pastries. Tickets are $12.00 each and $5.00 for children under 12.
On Sunday February 7th at 9:30 a.m. the Nordic Combined cross-country race will start. At 12:00 noon the Central USSA Ski Jumping event will take place. Admission is charged for a souvenir button. Food and refreshments will be available. All ski events are located at the Iola Ski Jumping Complex located at E398 County Rd. MM—five miles northwest of the Village of Iola.
There is a raffle during the weekend that is sponsored by Iola Lions, American Legion Post 14 and the Iola Winter Sports Club. Prizes being offered include $1,000, $500, $250, $250, 3 – $100.00 cash prizes and 2 – $100.00 Savings Bonds as well as numerous merchandise prizes. Drawing will take place Sunday, February 7th and winners need not be present to win.
Plan your weekend now for a fun winter event at the Iola Winter Carnival, February 6-7, 2010. For more information you can write/call PO Box 1, Iola, WI 54945. 715-445-4005.