Major Trails at The Fourth of July Ski & Snowshoe Area Clear
Last winter's heavy wet snows that started our season brought down many trees and tree tops. These were removed on most trails to allow the groomers to get through, but a good deal of material was under the snow or not fully cleared. Crews have been working through mid-spring to early summer to clear the trails. Most crews have been Nordic Club members but the Back Country Horsemen cleared Jeanettes Jaunt. Clearing is complete on the main trails and can be used without dodging the dead fall. Some trails over on the Twisted Klister area, Spenser's Ss and Jeanettes Alternate (likely) require additional clearing. We will get to these as time allows during the summer. Our thanks for all the hard work the crewman who helped out contributed.
Spring is here and it would appear that the season has started to come to an end! I hope everyone was able to get out and get a few more kilometers of skiing or snowshoeing in over the past few weeks.
As of the end of this week the grooming crew will begin the business of transitioning the area from skiing and snowshoeing to spring and summer uses. If you plan to visit the area next week just be aware that gates that have been closed all winter may be open. As such, the trails will probably no longer be groomed and may have foot prints or tire tracks in them where there is still snow.
FYI, I recently was made aware that the annual Coeur d’Alene Earth day event is going to take place on April 23rd. What I didn’t realize was the deadline for letting the organizers know that the club would want a booth is March 23rd, (i.e., tomorrow). Unfortunately, based on my inquiry to the board no one, including myself, was available to take the lead and an application has not been sent in. So, I am asking if any of you members would be willing to make the contact, by tomorrow, and take the lead at covering a booth for the club. If so please let me know and I will forward you the message Nancy Lewis sent me. The application form may be an attachment to the message. If you are interested, please call “Charlene Beach (listed as a member of the event planning team)” @ 208 769-2315” by tomorrow. You should let them know the application will be in the mail soon.
The agenda for the final meeting of the season will be the development of a summer activities list. Hopefully, since it was mentioned at the March meeting that we would be making the list everyone has been thinking about ideas. All ideas are welcome. So come prepared with ideas like float trips, hiking or biking.
Finally, for the April meeting it was decided that we would meet for pizza and beer, or soda pop. In the past we have held the meeting at the Pizza Factory. But to make sure of where we will meet it will be discussed at the board meeting coming up next Tuesday (the 29th) and a message be will sent out and posted on the WEB with the details on location and time. Be sure to check for the follow up message later next week.
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.
Since we are getting close to the end of the season it is time again to get ready for the I-du-ski and snowshoe award presentations. As always the March club meeting has served as the club’s awards presentation and Roberta Truscott has taken the lead at tallying accomplishments and preparing certificates. Hopefully everyone has been keeping track of your skiing and snowshoeing accomplishments and are ready to get them to Roberta.
In order for there to be enough time to tally accomplishments and complete certificates before next week’s meeting please email them to her by Friday, February 25th. Send them to: email@example.com. If you do not have the capability to scan and/or email documents, you can drop them off at Truscott’s residence at 3774 N Sutters Way, CDA 83815, or as a last resort bring them with you to the meeting. Please try to get your accomplishments to Roberta by no later than the February 28th .
The Ski area has finally received a little more snow this week, and hopefully there is more on the way. If we’re lucky skiing and snowshoeing conditions will hang in there for a few more weeks. I encourage you to take advantage of it as long as a you can.
As far as the trail grooming conditions go most of the ski trails are cleared and are being groomed on a regular weekly schedule. The exceptions include the last quarter mile or so of Elderberry and all of Eagle Run. From reports skiing these routes is possible but due to trees that have only been partially cleared it can be a challenging experience. Since the end of the season is rapidly approaching the decision was made to hold off on finishing the clearing of these trails until we can drive them with a vehicle other than a snowmobile.
Finally, we will still be meeting at the same location (Community United Methodist Church). The meeting is Tuesday, March 1st and will start at 7:00 PM. Hope you all can make it! PS – please remember to bring your masks and please wear them properly (i.e., cover your nose and mouth) while in the building. We appreciate being allowed to use the church facility at no cost to the club. So we want to continue abiding by their safety requirements.
Greetings! Nearly half the winter season is gone and quite the season it’s been. Storms that brought down lots of trees, and snow the piles up then fades away. All said and done, it still hasn’t been too bad for winter sports. A little slick perhaps!
We were able to finally pull off the Best Hand event. The weather couldn’t have been better, as it turned out to be a nice day. No Rain, No wind and a pleasant temperature. Only issue, trails were a little faster than a lot of folks would have preferred. The event its self was very successful, around 40 skiers and snowshoers participated and the club was able to add some funding to the trail and facility maintenance program. I want to reiterate my thanks to all those who participated and helped in making the day a success.
Most of you have probably seen the grooming reports that Geoff has put out. If not, progress is being made on getting the trails in shape again. But there is a lot of down trees to remove before everything can be routinely groomed again. At least it was possible to get the inner loop and Loose Moose cleared and ready for the Best Hand event. If you are planning to use Elderberry or Eagle run in the near future, just be aware that you may run into a few down trees. Likewise, if you want to head out towards Rose Saddle you may encounter a few in the last mile or so.
Some windfall clearing has been accomplished on the snowshoe trails. But users should expect to run into some trees that haven’t been removed yet. From what I hear, unless there are recently fallen trees, it is possible to get over or around most of the windfalls that haven’t been removed yet.
If anyone wants to help out, let Goeff know so he can work you into the weekly plans. Otherwise, the groomer gang will keep hammering away at it till we catch up.
Since the Best Hand event was delayed, the calendar of events has been pushed a bit closer together. As a reminder, Rock Soup is scheduled for February 5th. Guess what, that’s next Saturday! Hope a lot of you can make it. The board members will try to have the cooking stoves and pots ready to go for whatever ingredients folks want to add to the soup/s. For those who want to stick with vegetable soup only, there will be a pot dedicated to vegetables only. Since the monthly club meeting is this coming Tuesday (February 1st) It gives us an opportunity to talk about the plan for the event in advance. Hope to see you there!
The board is still looking for ideas for other outing ideas for February and/or March. If anyone would like scheduled one let a member know. We’ll do our part to get the word out so it can happen.
As a reminder there may still be a chance to sign up for the Palouse Divide weekend. If you haven’t already contacted her, give Marty McCain a call @ 208 819 0403 or see her at the club meeting on Tuesday.
For the presentation this month, Nancy and Greg Lewis volunteered to give us a show about Alaska. Sounds like it might be very interesting. Hope everyone can make.
See You Tuesday Night at 7.
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.
Happy New Year! Hope everyone is still in good health.
We finally got snow and a lot of it. If you haven’t ventured out yet due to the cold temperatures, you’re missing a winter wonderland up at 4th of July. Granted its cold but dressing up to beat it is worth the effort. It may be some of the best conditions there could be for skiing and snowshoeing. Deep fine powder, and it’s possible to stay pretty dry. The only draw back at the moment is the snow is so powdery the conditions are not very good for grooming. But as of this week the inner loop ski trails were packed down with the snow machines, so when temps warm up, they will be ready for grooming. Goeff will be leading the charge to catch up with packing and grooming as conditions prevail.
The groomer gang has also been busy clearing down trees off the trails. The weight of the snow has knocked down quite a few and blocked the trails. There is still a lot of work to do, but the gang got the inner loop ski trails open this week and will be working on the others in the near future. FYI – in case you want to ski it, Loose Moose didn’t have any down trees but does have a lot of smaller trees bent down over it. Hopefully when the snow melts some of them will pop up again. The gang will be going through with saws soon, for those that don’t pop back up.
If you hadn’t put it on your calendar yet the BEST HAND FUN SKI and SNOWSHOE event is scheduled for the January 8th, or one week from New Year’s Day. For those that may not be familiar with the event, the purpose is the clubs annual fund raiser to help cover the cost of maintaining the facilities at 4th of July and keeping the trails groomed and cleared of down trees. More information about this event is posted on the WEB site, so encourage your friends to check it out and join us. As a reminder if you would like to help out with registration of handing out cards and didn’t sign up at the last club meeting, see Nancy Lewis at this week’s club meeting. Also, if you have anything you would like to donate for a prize bring it with you on the 8th and we gather them up at the registration tent.
Finally, we will be meeting this month at the same location as last month (Community United Methodist Church). The meeting is Tuesday, January 4th and will start at 7:00 PM. Hope you all can make it! PS – please bring your masks and please wear them properly (i.e., cover your nose and mouth) while in the building. The Church is allowing us to use the facility at no charge, but they do require all of us to adhere to their mask rules. We’re afraid that if they see our members not complying, we will be asked to stop using the building.
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.