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DN Western Regionals

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article from http://www.iceboat.org

January 7-8, 2006
Lake Winnebago, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Day 2
What a difference 16 hours can make...  Saturday evening people were pushing their boats back to the pits; Sunday morning the problem was keeping them in one place.  Overnight the wind shifted 180 degrees and increased, with solid mid-teens and gusts up to near 20.  Whoo, Hoo!

This is exactly the kind of conditions where my stiff mast really comes into it's own.  I reset my rig to the settings I'd been using Friday and went out for a quick test-sail before the first gold-fleet race; everything was working together perfectly and the boat felt great.  Dan put on his brand-new insert runners and played around a bit with mast-step position and fore-stay length; he also pronounced his boat "good to go".  Unfortunately Wes Wilcox was battling a way-too-stiff mast and had quite a bit of trouble in the gusty conditions.   more...    

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Ice Sailboat Capsizes on Lake Winnebago

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WBAY

Two Oshkosh men were lucky after their ice sailing boat capsized in open water on Lake Winnebago. The accident happened around 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon on the south end of the lake.

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Department says a passing airplane called in to report two men clinging to a capsized boat in open water.   more...

 



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Ski around a wimpy winter

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ERIC SHARP
http://www.freep.com

Bummer.

A week of above-freezing temperatures and rain has left the cross-country ski trails of the northern Lower Peninsula in fairly rough condition. A few inches of snow are forecast for the weekend, but most trails will probably be marginal when it comes to setting tracks for classical skiing.

So why not turn lemons into lemonade by learning how to skate ski, a technique that doesn't require set tracks and works nearly as well on granular snow as on fresh powder?   more...

 



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2006 Mackinaw Mush Annual Sled Dog Race

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The 17th Annual Mackinaw Mush Sled Dog Race

February 4th & 5th, 2006

This years "MUSH" should prove to be as exciting for the fans as it will be for the Mushers & their teams!

We invite you to join us for a grand weekend of unique entertainment and fun for the entire family!

As the sport of dog sledding becomes increasingly popular as a spectator and participant sport, it creates public awareness of the bond between human and canine companionship.    more...




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Dashing through the snow

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ELLEN CREAGER
http://www.freep.com


McMILLAN, Mich. -- Oof. Ouch. Arf. Arf!

I felt the sled fall and clung precariously to the handlebar. The dogs, five smart Alaskan huskies, felt the drag and stopped. Turned. Tilted their heads at the sight of a lady, one boot missing, snow on her face, the sled on its side.

They paused for one second. Two seconds.

Ran.

Oof. Whoa!

When you take a dogsled vacation, you'll work hard, play hard -- and experience moments that make it vividly worthwhile.



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Bring back the snow

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BY ERIC SHARP
FREE PRESS OUTDOORS WRITER

FREDERIC -- Michigan leads the nation in the number of snowmobiles and miles of snowmobile trails.

But on a day like this, not even the best groomers can do much with snow that has been turned to slush by three days of temperatures in the mid- to high 30s and constant drizzle.

Jim Kostin of Mancelona, a spokesman for the Michigan Snowmobile Association, said a few trails remained ridable through the thaw, but that's not necessarily a good thing.

"What happens is that everybody who wants to ride moves over to those trails, and after a few days they get so rough nobody wants to ride them," Kostin said. "We really need some snow."   more...

 



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Things to know about cross-country skiing:

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article from http://www.freep.com/

Best time to go: When it's 32 or below. If it gets much above freezing, the snow is sticky and frustrating. Avoid days when the snow has thawed and refrozen overnight. That makes the trails icy, and it's hard to control your skis. Three to four inches is enough snow for skiing.

Where to go: Stay in the woods as much as possible. It's prettier there, and you will be protected from the wind. Groomed trails with tracks make skiing easier.

Classic or skating: Start with the classic style, in which the skis remain parallel, as opposed to the skating style. "Classic is the most versatile for most people," said Dick Fultz, owner of the Cross-Country Ski Shop in Grayling. "You can ski anywhere, on groomed trails or not groomed trails."    more...

 



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DNR offers tips on safety, rules of the road

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By Elizabeth Shaw - THE FLINT JOURNAL

Michigan offers more than 6,100 miles of designated snowmobile trails, half of them on private land and the rest within six state and three national forests and other public lands.

Some are groomed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, through the $2.5 million collected annually in snowmobile registration and permit fees. The rest are maintained by clubs, local and civic organizations and individual volunteers, often with DNR grants.

State park and recreation areas with designated snowmobile areas include: Bald Mountain, Coldwater Lake, Craig Lake, Dodge #4, Fort Custer, Hart-Montague Trail, Highland, Holly, Ionia, Island Lake, Kal Haven, Lake Hudson, Mears, Metamora-Hadley, Porcupine Mountains, Mitchell, Muskallonge, Ortonville, Sleepy Hollow, South Higgins Lake, Tahquamenon Falls, Tawas Point, Van Buren, Waterloo, Wetzel, White Pine Trail, Wilderness, Wilson and Yankee Springs. Snowmobiling is also allowed on designated trails at Richfield County Park.



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Take a glide into winter's beauty

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BY OWEN DAVIS
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

Cross-country skiing is more than a way to get exercise outdoors in the winter.

It's good for the soul.

I was reminded of that last winter while skiing along Lake Huron in Presque Isle County. The water was cobalt blue, with mounds of ice rising from the sand and rocks. A few hundred yards out, another line of ice ran parallel to the shore.

No humans or houses were in sight. No sound except for the wind and the waves splashing against the shore. Just snow and ice, rocks and trees and water. The best way to get there was on skis.

Cross-country skiing can take you to places of quiet beauty anywhere with a few inches of snow on the ground. It's not for the snowboarding set -- no acrobatics, no sharp turns carved on a long run down a mountain.  more...

 



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January Thrills

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Zehnder's SnowfestWatch artists chisel away the cold as they create magnificent works of ice sculptures at competitions and festivals across Michigan.

The Plymouth International Ice Sculpture Spectacular 2006 takes place in January 12-16. Witness the ice artists as they use saws, chisels, and picks to transform gigantic blocks of ice into beautiful art work. In the evenings, colored lights turn the clear creations into prisms of sparkling hues.

Held annually in Frankenmuth, Zehnder's Snowfest is a winter tradition steeped in the key joys of the season - chilly outdoor activities and delicious food to warm your tummy. Enjoy a fun-filled event for the whole family January 25-30. The event will feature such time-tested favorites as snow sculpting and ice carving competitions, a children's area, fireworks, entertainment, warming tent and much more. Zehnder's Restaurant, host of Snowfest, is a favorite stop for Frankenmuth visitors.   more...

 



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Winter Activities

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Last year's major influx of great gray owls may repeat itself this winter in Minnesota.

 

Winter's too long to hide out at home, especially when there are so many fun things to do nearby in Minnesota. Browse through this website and get some ideas for your own winter getaway.   more...

 



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Zipping Down the Hill

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Zippping Down the Hill with Confidence!Crystal Mountain is known for expert, friendly instruction.  Group and private lessons teach "newbies" and skiers and boarders of all skill levels and ages. Women can sign up for a number of classes designed just for women. Silver Streak Sessions hone seniors' skills.

Ski magazine has again rated Crystal Mountain Resort tops in the Midwest for family programs, service, lodging and on-site food. And that probably didn't surprise many people in Michigan's northwest Lower Peninsula. Unofficially, Crystal (30 miles southwest of Traverse City) always has rated among the country's top family-oriented ski destinations.

Skiers and boarders spread out over 45 runs, more than half of which are intermediate level. The Crystal Clipper high-speed chair lift races riders back to the top so quickly and efficiently that lift lines are hardly ever a problem. The lift also is beginner- and kid-friendly, loading at a full stop.

The resort's acclaimed kids' program provides ski lessons for children age two and older, and snowboarding for kids age seven and older. There's daycare for infants and kids too young to hit the slopes.   more...

 



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Trail options raise hackles

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St. Paul Pioneer Press
BY DENNIS LIEN

It was a short winter trail, connecting McFarland Lake to South Fowl Lake on the Minnesota-Ontario border. For more than four decades, local snowmobilers zipped across it, eager for the walleye that could be pulled through holes in remote South Fowl's ice.

But three years ago, Superior National Forest officials found out about it, and the fun ended. The trail, it seemed, cut through a small part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, where motors have been banned since 1978, and was shut down.

Now, in a dispute that recalls the clash of interests that occurred decades ago between environmentalists and motor enthusiasts over Boundary Waters access, the Forest Service is considering several options outside the wilderness area for a replacement route.

"I've been looking for something that I can bring groups together on and that works for everybody,'' said Dennis Neitzke, Gunflint District ranger for Superior National Forest. "It hasn't happened.''   more...

 



SNOW  Watersports  

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Snowmobile conditions vary in U.P.

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Associated Press /

MARQUETTE -- Snowmobiling season has opened on designated state trails, but officials say conditions vary widely across the Upper Peninsula.

"We strongly advise people to call first to check with local sources before heading to an area to ride," said Ann Wilson, a Marquette-based spokeswoman for the state Department of Natural Resources.

State trail grooming contracts went into effect Thursday and run through March 31. But trails aren't considered ready until enough snow has fallen for grooming.

"We had some riding going on earlier when we had those two snows during deer season," Wilson told the Mining Journal for a story Friday. "But the rains in the Upper Peninsula were widespread.    more...

 



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Discover Michigan Skiing

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Discover Michigan Skiing this WinterLearn basic ski and snowboard maneuvers with Michigan Snowsports Industries Association's (MSIA) "Discover Michigan Skiing" Program. Again this year, ski areas across the state have teamed up with MSIA and Michigan McDonald's restaurants to offer an exciting and very affordable introduction to the sport of skiing and snowboarding.

The program includes a beginner lesson, ski or snowboard rental equipment and a beginner-area ski lift pass or cross-country trail pass. Twenty-one ski facilities are offering the package January 3 through January 31, 2006.

To participate, interested beginner skiers must have a Discover Michigan Skiing Value Voucher, which are available at participating Michigan McDonald's restaurants and (MSIA) retail ski stores in mid-December while quantities last.

Program times differ from ski area to ski area and skiers must call for reservations. For a list of participating ski areas and program costs and other details, visit MSIA.   more...

 



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