Sunday January 3rd
The sky was a bright gray and the snow was a crisp white as I skated my way to the lodge from the overflowing parking lot. Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of the Teacup Nordic trail system. The anniversary celebration included lessons for skate and classic skiing and tea from the trails sponsor Stash. It was around 25 degrees outside, while inside the lodge a wood fire stove radiated warmth inviting visitors to sit, snack, and tell stories from the 10 years of Teacup.
I met with Teacup’s president Paul Blackburn an avid skier since college. “Teacup is a joint effort of the US Forest Service, our volunteer board of directors, our 1000+ members, and a dedicated and skilled groomer driving the machine. The overall collaborative community structure that makes it possible.”
Shanda Pickhardt, a seasoned classic skier, was in attendance and said, “The conditions have been amazing! Last year I skiing around mud piles.” She has made an effort to ski twice a week to appreciate the wonderful conditions.
I talked to Harold Fischer the trail groomer, he works to keep the trail in peak condition. It’s his fifth season of grooming. His routine can take about 3-8 hours for the 20km of trails depending on the amount of snow and ice. The trails would be lost without him. Teacup trails have been a long-standing system that will be enjoyed for many years to come.
By Finn Peterson