Greetings! Hope all had a great Thanksgiving, and we can all look forward to Christmas.
A white Christmas looks like it has a fair chance of happening, at least for the moment. Snow has certainly arrived, and based on the prediction more is on the way this week. As such, Goeff and Skip are going to be looking for help to finish getting the shelters covered and grooming equipment in place. Not to mention getting gates closed, signs up and snow packing started. In addition, yesterdays wind storm probably brought down a few new trees across the trails. But at least we can thank Scott for his solo efforts at cutting some out a couple of weeks ago. It will definitely make it a little easier on the grooming crew the first time out this season.
To reiterate last month’s message regarding the club meeting location. It will be held at the “Community United Methodist Church”. Which is located at the intersection of Hanley and Ramsey in Coeur d’Alene (Address: 1470 W Hanley). To show our appreciation for free use of the facility, the club has made a $100 donation.
Also, as a remainder, the meeting will be held on the first Tuesday of the December (12/6/2022). We will start at 7:00 PM. Goeff and Skip plan to give us a presentation about the book they recently completed and had published about the 4th of July recreation area history. It should be informative, and might even be inspirational enough to convince some to add it to their libraries. So, be ready to get a history lesson.
This meeting is also the annual cookie exchange event. Otherwise, don’t forget to BRING COOKIES to the meeting. Any that are not eaten will be donated to the IDT folks to thank them for keeping the ski area access and parking area open.
At the last meeting we did a pretty good job of creating a list of activities for the winter, but we still have some work to do. For starters, we still need to get some of the dates finalized. It would be great if the activity leaders that volunteered at the last meeting would be prepared to establish the dates for their activity. Dates are needed for Methow Valley/Winthrop, Palouse Divide, Pine street Woods and the Nordman activities (See the attached list).
We also need to talk about an alternative for Fernan Saddle (Ski/Shoe). Due to a recent development, the road to Fernan Saddle may not be plowed this season. If this occurs we certainly will not be able to reach the route of the proposed activity, by vehicle anyway. The alternative being considered is at Newman Lake, “Mckenzie Conservation Area”. So, if there are any other ideas feel free to share them next Tuesday.
At the last meeting the idea of having a public relations person join the board was raised. In short we are looking for someone who would like to take on the role of coordinating the clubs’ promotional activities for the purpose of recruiting new members. If anyone has thought about it, and would be interested please let one of the board members, or me know. We can give you more details about what we’re looking for.
FYI-The board has started working on preparations for the “Best Hand Ski/Shoe” event. Sign-up sheets will be available for volunteers to help out with registering, handing out cards and/or logistical support. Mike Zagar has graciously taken on the role of trying to get volunteers signed up. Especially for the card
hand out stations and registration. If you can’t find the sign-up sheets, let Mike know you’re interested. He will be able to get you on a sign-up sheet.
If you’ve already signed in to the WEB site and renewed your membership the board wants to thank you. If you haven’t got around to it yet, as a reminder, you are encouraged to do so as soon as you can! The sooner your renewals are taken care of, the earlier a membership list for the year can be completed.
Remember, trying to renew at club meetings is not a good option. Please renew and pay dues via the WEB site. Using the WEB site is much more efficient and it makes it a lot easier to enter information into the membership list.
See you at the club meeting December 6th. 7PM, Community Untied Methodist Church.
As you may have noticed the weather is beginning to change. With any luck it is the beginning of a good skiing and snowshoeing season.
The board got together last week and start discussions regarding what the club should do this season. The major issues discussed included: 1. Meeting Location and frequency 2. Membership Recruitment 3. Club activities and events that should be pursued this season, and 4. Maintenance of the trail system and equipment.
To begin with it was agreed that our first meeting of the season will be held next week. Thanks to the efforts of Nancy and Greg Lewis, the club meetings will be held at the Community United Methodist Church and begin at 7:00 PM. We plan to continue meeting 0n the first Tuesday of each month, through April. COVID is still with us, but at least it is not considered to be as significant as it had been for the past couple of years. But I would encourage everyone to continue to use safe practices to avoid unnecessarily spreading it, or the flu, to others when we meet. I am not sure if the church is requiring masks any more. Nancy and Greg will probably fill us in at the meeting. But just in case, please bring your masks with you to this meeting.
Regarding recruitment of new members, two issues have been raised. First, what methods should the club be trying to use to promote a diverse membership of individuals and families ranging in ages of 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and greater. Second, how should the club get the word out about the Panhandle Nordic Club and its activities. Currently, the board feels that a person with skills in Public Relations is needed. So, if there are any members who possess these skills, or want to try to hone these types of skills, let one of the board members know. We would love to add you and your skills to assist the board.
The board also started talking about activities for the coming season. We have agreed that the “Best Hand” Poker Ski & Shoe, and the Rock Soup events will be held again. But to get things in the works for the future the main topic of next weeks meeting will be to review activities that have occurred in the past. The objective will be to assess level of interest, establish leaders for planning and coordination and to establish schedules if possible.
The board also discussed the trail conditions and status of the grooming equipment, gates, and facilities. Currently, everything is either ready or on track for being ready for the ski and shoe season. This being in part due to the efforts of member volunteers, members of the grooming crew, and the Panhandle National Forest Hotshot crew. The Hotshots volunteer to help us out by clearing over 100 trees from the two miles of the “Ski and Shoe” trail. A letter of thanks was sent to their superintendent via the Forest Supervisor and District Ranger.
As reminder, since it is the beginning of another season the need for folks to renew their membership or join the club is critical to supporting the maintenance of the trails and facilities at 4th of July recreation area. I want to thank everyone who stuck with the club in 2021 regardless of COVID and hope you will renew your membership in 2022.
Please keep in mind that when you are renewing, or joining for the first time, it can be done through the Nordic Club WEB site. When done through the WEB site your member information will be posted to the membership list. Also, the WEB site includes the ability to submit dues. If you have questions, forward them to Randy Brewer via email@example.com
Please sign up as soon as you can. It really helps to get the membership list for the year completed early. Thanks again for your support!
PS – Goeff Harvey may be looking for volunteers in the near future to get the grooming equipment sheds and snowshoe warming hut up. If you have the time to help when requests go out, please let Geoff know. The more the merrier!
Small hand-held radio communicator. Found along trail. Contact Geoff Harvey at 208-762-1246 and leave message to claim. Be prepared to describe unit and make.
A pair of "Burton Gortex mittens and a Wintex Hat" were left at the warming hut. Contact Jim Mclillen @ 208 755 2575 to claim them.
The Nordic Club’s most venerable snow machine is Alice. The 1985 Skidoo Bombardier was dubbed Alice by long time groomer, Van Bennett, but the machine’s history with the club goes back much farther than even Van’s service. The Panhandle Nordic Club was about to take over grooming of the Park N Ski Area in 1990, but had no snow machine to accomplish the work. The State of Idaho gifted the club with Alice to fill the need. Alice went on to groom the area for twelve years until an eighteen-year update of the Bombardier was added to the club’s snowmachine fleet. Willem Huender, his son Spenser, and Van Bennett coaxed and cajoled Alice, holding her together with clamps and baling wire to make the rounds at Fourth of July. With the addition of a third snow machine in 2012, Alice was effectively put out to pasture, called to duty on occasion to groom the odd golf course, but typically kept stored in the Forest Service’s Fernan Station bone yard.
The current season has been a challenge. Early wet snow brought down many trees across the ski and snowshoe trails and a subsequent heavy snow added to the bounty. To make matters worse, the newest snow machine suffered a failure in its electronics that will require a couple weeks to cure. We were down to one machine when we need two. Alice was called up. Of course, she had not budged from her birth in the boneyard for three years minimum and to add to the insult, the old gas poured into her tank contained an over-the-limit ration of water. After a couple days of tender loving care that included drying her out, replumbing her gas lines, and more than a few carburetor adjustments, John Lee managed to bring the old girl back to life. Saturday, Alice rode to the rescue grooming the inner core trails at Fourth of July, while her newer cousin was off on a tree cutting expedition.
Those snowshoers and non-groomed trail skiers who use the snowshoe hut for a rest during their outings at Fourth of July will find a welcome addition to the hut: a new stove. Using a propane tank, some additional materials, his welding skills and following internet instructions, Greg Lewis fashioned the new stove. The hut was set up on Wednesday, December 1st and the new stove was both installed and tested. Unlike the old unit that hugged the ground and was hard to operate, the new stove stands tall, making fire building easy. Its capacity is small for a reason, so fires do not get too large for the hut, however it warms the hut nicely. Currently the stove door must be kept open for it to draw. Greg has a solution for that problem with a damper design, but we will not get it in this year. There is kindling in the in the plastic box and we’ll try to keep the hut “wooded up”, but keep those fires modest and enjoy the heat.