The end of the winter season is rapidly approaching. Earlier this week Goeff reported that the grooming was still intact and skiable or good for snowshoeing. With the current weather we’re getting, there might be a chance that it may even last for another week or so.
Needless to say, it is that time of the year when the grooming will be discontinued and the gates will be opened or closed for the summer season. By the end of next week, or at least by the first of April, Forest Service Road 614 (Skywalker) will be open to motorized vehicles again and all the side roads will be closed. The crew will also be moving the grooming equipment into the summer storage. So get out and take advantage of the remaining snow while you can, as it won’t be long before we’re in to hiking, biking and horseback riding season at 4th of July.
A bit of good news. At the last Club meeting I’d mentioned that it may be necessary to look into finding a new venue for the club meetings next year. An inquiry was made with the current vendor for the 4th of July recreation area liability policy to see what it might cost to add the church. As it turns out the liability coverage for meeting at the church can be added with no additional expense. So, next Fall we will plan to continue meeting at the Community Methodist Church.
As a reminder, the April 4th club meeting (i.e. the last club meeting for this season) will be held at the Pizza Factory at 503 West Appleway Ave., Coeur d’Alene. The room is reserved from 6-8 PM. It is strongly suggested that you order in advance to minimize the wait time for your pizza.
There are two we hope to accomplish at this meeting. First, following a presentation by a member of the trails working group the Skip and Goeff participate on, there will be a membership vote to determine if our club should join other clubs’ collaboration for trail development/maintenance grants. Second, we will develop the summer activity list. Please come prepared to offer activity ideas that you’d like to try and get a group together for. Such as hikes, bike trips, float trips, barbecues, cider making, etc. We’ll put together a list just like we did for the winter activities.
To give potential volunteers time to consider it, the board is asking for volunteers to join us next Fall. The current board, being composed of members that have served or re-served as officers for many years means sometime in the future they will be stepping down. Before this occurs we think an opportunity for corporate knowledge to be shared needs to be offered. To be prepared for the future transitions, the objective is to allow time for new volunteers to become familiar with the details of maintaining and managing the area, and the current board members roles. The continued existence of the 4th of July Recreation Area is dependent on the future continuation of the club and its board. As such the continuity of the club board can’t be over stated. For the future of the 4th of July Recreation Area, the board asks you to consider joining us next Fall. If you would be interested, please let any of the current board members know. Thanks!
Hope to see a good turnout at April club meeting, with lots of ideas for summer activities. In closing, our first club meeting for the ’23-24 winter season will be on the first Tuesday of November. I encourage you to invite your friends and neighbors who might be interested in cross country skiing and
snowshoeing to come and join us. At the least help spread the word that the 4th of July Recreation Area exits and is open to the public to use.
This will be the final newsletter for this season. So have a good summer!
P.S. - If you are interested in participating, as soon as possible the Summer Activities list generated at Aprils club meeting will be posted on the WEB Site and sent out to the membership list
The ski and snowshoe area received up to six inches of new snow over the last week. However temperatures are rising making it difficult to groom the snow we are receiving. The groomers ran today, grooming and setting track on all the inner loop trails except Loose Moose. Skateaway was groomed and track set. Skywalker was groomed and track set from the trailhead out to Eagle Run. Eagle Run was groomed and track set. On the way back in the groomers covered the first part of Elderberry out to Treetop View and Treetop View. By 11:30 Am the snow was getting so warm it was clinging to the equipment, which can overload and overheat the machines. Conditions for snowshoeing remain excellent area wide. The added fresh snow has further covered bare spot.
Snow is forecast for tomorrow followed by weather that will be too warm to groom. With rising temperatures as March progresses our opportunities to groom are few or none. Nevertheless, there is a good snowpack over the area and the ski trails have packed snow at their core. Good skiing and snowshoe conditions should persist out to the end of the month providing the opportunity for some memorable spring skis and snowshoes
The snow is hanging in there at 4th of July, with any luck there will be a little more before the Spring melt begins. Hopefully it, and future additions, will be enough so that it sticks around through March.
FYI – we’ve learned that the Methodist Church may soon be asking groups that use the facility to secure liability insurance. Since this would no doubt result in additional costs for the club, the subject will be brought up at the March club meeting. We will be looking for a vote to see what everyone thinks about the idea of getting a policy or looking for a new venue. So don’t be surprised if the subject is brought up after the presentation.
For March the Club meeting will still be held at the Community Methodist Church. It will start a 7:00 PM Tuesday, March 7th.
Speaking of this month’s presentation, Phil Hough will be filling us in on the latest about the plans for the Scotchman Peak roadless area. For those not familiar with it, Scotchman Peak is located on the north end of Pend d’ Oreille Lake. It is noted for a trail system that climbs up to a Forest Service Lookout. Sometimes there are mountain goats hanging around along the trail or near the lookout. If you’re not already familiar with the area, this is your chance to hear more about it.
For those of you who have been or want to participate in the YA-I-DU-SKI AND SNOWSHOE activity, Roberta Truscott will be looking for your tally sheets at or before the March club meeting. If you need one, the Tally sheet is located on the Members Page in the WEB site. If you haven’t started one, but have been keeping track of your skiing or snowshoe accomplishments, you should make a copy of the sheet and fill it in. Then, either email it to Roberta at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or bring it to the March Club meeting.
You may notice that the title on the accomplishment tally sheet shows “2020-2021 Ski Season”. Don’t worry about it. Just cross it out and enter 2022-2023. Someday we’ll get it updated to the current years.
FYI – the upcoming event for March is the annual trip up to Nordman Airstrip (@ Priest Lake) for Cross Country Skiing. The event is currently scheduled for Saturday, March 11th. Scott Goddard, who volunteered to lead the event, will probably be sending out a message about signing-up for the event or changes in plans if necessary soon. His availability may have changed for being able to lead or participate by the 11th. Stay tuned for more news about this event.
Based on the list we created at the beginning of the season, Nordman is the final group event the club had schedule for this season. Since there may still be enough snow through March for skiing or snowshoeing, If anyone wants to lead one more event later in the month let the board know. We’ll try to help you get the word out.
See you on the 7th!
PS – if you hadn’t seen other notices. Jim McMillen received and was trying to pass on that the Palouse Divide Nordic Club was promoting a Loppet at Bald mountain this weekend.
Hanna Flats (Nordman) XC Ski Outing, Saturday March 11, 2023.
Meet at 9 AM at the Hayden Super 1 at the east end of the parking lot.
The Hanna Flats Nordic trails are relatively gentle, in a meadow and forest setting on the west side of Priest Lake. Several different trail routes and distances are available. I am planning to ski the route covering approximately 4 miles.
I also plan to stop for a late lunch before the trip home at the Moose Knuckle in nearby Colin, ID
Hanna Flats XC Ski Trails are ~4 miles north of the town of Priest River on State Route 57. Drive time from Hayden is 1hr-45 minutes.
Please RSVP to Scott Gossard at email@example.com if you plan to participate. I can also be reached at (208)-661-9523 if you have any questions.
The ski and snowshoe area received an inch and a half of powdery snow from the storm earlier in the week. The snow fell on a hard frozen compacted base. The bitter cold wind chills experienced the past few days halted any grooming until today. The grooming this morning was limited for the sake of our grooming personnel driving snow machines in still quite cold temperatures. The inner core trails were groomed with the exception of Loose Moose. Elderberry was groomed only to Treetop View. Skateaway and lower Skywalker were groomed. The remaining ski trails have a hard base with and inch and a half up to three inches on that pack.
Snowshoeing remains good area wide and in fact the pack is sufficiently congealed that one can use snowshoes with little effort area wide on or off trails. The latest snow is, but a thin coating over an icy surface. The trail up from the parking lot to Skywalker is quite icy under the trees with little new snow. Most of the new snow was intercepted by the trees. Similar situations are likely area wide under thick forest cover.
We still have snow at 4th of July and more is on the way. Hopefully it, and future additions, will be enough so that it sticks around through March.
As you may already be aware Rock Soup is planned for this coming weekend (Saturday, January 28th). For those that can make it, here is the plan:
Cooking (inside the warming hut) will begin around 11:00 AM. As in the past, the idea is for folks to bring vegetables (canned or fresh), pasta, or whatever (as long as it is edible) along with you to the event. Meat is okay, but if you choose to bring that up please have it cook before bringing it up. Those involved with stirring the pots, so to speak, will add the contributions to the pots. In the past one has ended up being like a Mulligan Stew; the other will be a vegetable soup without meat.
Before or between, the start of the soup cooking and the serving, everyone is encouraged to go skiing or snowshoeing to work up an appetite.
Serving will begin around 1-2:00 PM and go until at least 4 PM or when we run out of soup. To avoid creating large crowds inside the warming hut there will be a table set up outside to serve up the concoction of your choice. There will be some bowls and plastic spoons available, but everyone is encouraged to bring your own. There will also be a fire burning in the outside pit, to help warm up the lower extremities while the soup does the upper.
If you want, contributions to the menu are always welcome. If you’d like something to go along with the soup, feel free to bring rolls; chips or other snacks. There should be hot chocolate available, but feel free to BYOB!
As far as other activities go, January’s events went really well. If you hadn’t heard Best Hand event brought in $931 to help cover grooming costs. Eight folks turned out for the Round Lake snowshoe trek, and it didn’t rain on us. Nancy’s Farragut day was a great success. She had more participation than she expected. But she was able to do some quick logistical coordination and everything work out fine.
For future reference, Nancy wanted it reiterated that it is very important for safety and travel coordination that folks who want to participate in an event make sure to inform the leader in advance. For folks that are new to the club, this usually involves getting your name on the sign-up sheet at club meetings. The other options include contacting the leader by phone or message, or checking in with the leader at the designated meeting place before traveling to the event.
For February there are three events coming up. The date for the Palouse Divide, being led by Dwight and Marty McCain is coming up on the weekend of February 17th. If you are interested, but haven’t contact McCain’s to let them know, you might want to do it real soon.
Found on Fourth of July Ski Trails
A pair of Head Ski Gloves. These appear to be for a small hands perhaps a woman’s hands. Contact Geoff Harvey 208-762-1246
Merry Christmas! Hope everyone will have a Happy New Year as well.
Last month I mentioned that it may be possible that we would have a white Christmas. Well, that came true. But we also had the makings of an ice storm to go along with it. So far, the observations made at 4th of July suggest that the effects of the ice, rain and wind did not make a big mess of the trail grooming and clearing accomplished so far. But stay tuned for Goeff’s grooming reports, so you know what to expect if you are heading up to use the trails. The grooming crews are out this week trying to get things back into shape before the weekend, so I am fairly sure we will see a report very soon.
For those readers who may not have previously attended a club meeting. The club meets on the first Tuesday of every month from November thru April. The meetings are held at the “Community United Methodist Church” located at the intersection of Hanley and Ramsey in Coeur d’Alene (Address: 1470 W Hanley). Our next meeting will be on January 3rd at 7:00 PM.
This month, Nancy and Greg Lewis are going to give us a travel presentation. They do get around in the summer, so they graciously agreed to show us where and what they have been up too!
Also, at the club meeting we will go over the plans for the “Best Hand Fun Ski n’ Shoe”. As a reminder, January 7th. is a free ski day. Which means for 4th of July, parking stickers are not needed to park in the ski area parking lot. Registration and getting your first card will start at 10:30 AM, and prizes will be awarded at 1:30 PM.
FYI - There is still one vacancy for a volunteer to help distribute cards on the snowshoe route. Mike Zagar will be asking at the next club meeting to see if he can find a volunteer who wants to help.
We have been successful at getting donations for prizes from local stores. But we can always use more to help entice more people to participate in the club’s event in the future. If anyone wants to make a last-minute donation, please give it to Glenn Truscott at the warming hut on Saturday (Jan. 7th) morning. Donations do not need to be from stores. They can consist of home cooked dinners, outings on boats, rides on snowmobiles, fishing trips, or things you have made (like pies, cookies, hats, gloves, scarves). So, think about it. The more folks that get a prize that happier the crowd could be!
There will be hot chocolate and oranges available at the warming hut. But everyone is welcome to contribute snacks if they wish. If you want to bring along your own liquid refreshment that’s alright with us.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone in advance for helping make this year’s event happen. Since we always have fun doing it, this event is always successful no matter how many folks participate. I hope everyone will be there to enjoy a day of skiing and snowshoeing and hopefully leave with a prize.
See you at the club meeting January 3th. 7PM, Community United Methodist Church.
PS – Keep in mind “Rock Soup” event is also coming up in January. Mark your calendars for January 28th.
If you are not familiar with this event. It is when participants bring their favorite ingredient to the warming hut on Saturday morning, to be added to one of two pots to make soups. One pot contains only
vegetables. Then they go skiing or shoeing while the soups cook then return later to hot soup for lunch or brunch.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!