Headed up for Ironwood, MI on Friday, Jan 15. The temperatures had been on the mild side all week with no significant snowfall, thus thanks to a timely departure at 14:45 hrs. and the clear roads, we made it to Dream Catcher at #609 Snowflake St. by 19:30 hrs.
For Saturday, consensus was to drop off the kids at the Big Powderhorn Ski Area and then head for the ABR trails. Realizing that it would take considerable time to get the younger skiers off the ground I offered to be the vanguard to ABR, doing my long run and meet the others for some classic skiing when they arrived. I was a little concerned about finding the place as the directions on Google Maps seemed quite convoluted. Fortunately, there was a big sign on Hwy 2 saying to turn left at the Holiday station. From there, it was pretty much a straight shot, even though I couldn't for the world figure out how this differed from what I had seen on Google. I made it, and after a five-minute chat with the ticket sales man in his little booth,
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I got going. Super snow, freshly groomed! Lots of trails to chose from: in succession I did River Trail, Bachelor's Loop, Sulo's Loop, Hautanen's Highland interrupted by Coyote Canyon and back via the remainders of Sulo's Loop and River Trail, not without asking for directions at the River Trail-Blueberry Bluff trail merger. Somehow, they forgot to put the "You are here" markers on the map, and the place is a maze. How did I do? I had a grand time out, not as fast as I would have liked, but there were a few rather steep hills. River Trail a good warm-up stretch, Bachelor's loop a nice step up. Sulo's loop, another moment to work on technique. Hautanen's Highlands interrupted by Coyote Highlands were definitely my challenge for today.
When I returned, I checked for my companions. As luck would have it they were just pulling in, having the obligatory chat with the gate keeper. Left some time for me to switch to classic gear. Went with my lovely wife Lynn and our good friend Peggy and did part of the River and Hemlock Trails, mostly without using my poles. Got to exercise that kick and weight transfer! Liz and Craig took a lesson offered by ABR.
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