Blue Hills Trail CONDITIONS
Sunday - morning update
Packed powder conditions, very good skating, excellent striding.
A very destructive December ice storm (visit our blog for photos etc) initially shut down our skiing. Despite the December ice storm, about half of our East Side trails are open; Excelsior Road is open on the West Side. Click here for helpful maps that show our open trails.
Snowshoers: we prefer you use the Ridges Snowshoe Trail as your first option. If snowshoeing on the groomed ski trail, please snowshoe well to the side. On January 26, a great new loop was added to the Ridges Trail - the 'Highland Loop' - it climbs to the Ridgeline near intersection #12. The 'Highland Loop' doesn't yet show on our maps, but it's well marked in the field.
Autumn 2022, loggers cut a large timber sale on the East Side in the vicinity of the Otter Slide and Far East trails (those trails are the furthest 'east' trails). In late January, when the ground is well frozen, loggers will haul those logs to market using a route to the east and mostly separate from the ski trails. Click here for a map showing the involved trails.
January 27: 2" fine grained dry snow
grooming & MOWING
Grooming Report / Plans --- note: due to December 15 extensive ice storm damage, grooming is currently limited to about half of the East Side trails and Excelsior Road on the West Side. These are some of our favorite trails. Click here to see where we're grooming.
January 28 evening: touched up the skate deck
January 27 evening: groomed all the open trails - including fresh classic track
Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.
May 26, 2021 6:00 PM
Meeting called to order
by Sam Behrends, president, at 6:07 p.m. at the warming house of the Blue Hills Trail
Officers: Sam Behrends, Tom Paulsen, John Waldron
Members: Jan Paulsen
Motion by John Waldron, second by Jan Paulsen, to dispense with reading of the prior minutes of May 2020 and to accept the May 2020 minutes without changes. Unanimously carried.
The fiscal year runs September 1 to August 31 inclusive. An interim budget report was presented by Tom Paulsen. Revenue ($30103.96) exceeded expenses ($24539.40) by $5564.56. Overall expenses were above budget due to $9400 for equipment repair (close to $4300 for various Gator repairs and preventive maintenance) and equipment replacement ($2645 for purchase of a new Yellowstone Track Systems roller); cleaning and staining of the warming house; West Side bridge and culvert work; new metal signs for West Side; and a pay increase for grooming. Revenue was above budget thanks to steady support from business/individual donations, a record number of memberships, good banquet fundraising, and record trailhead receipts. Our bottom line shows a positive balance on April 1 (available cash) of $53489.61. Budget for 2021-22 presented. Discussion was held. Motion was made by Jan Paulsen to approve the Treasurer's report as presented, and seconded by John Waldron. Unanimously carried.
- Election of officers
- Old Business
- Membership Fees
- New Business
- Designate committee members for the upcoming year
Election of Officers
Sam Behrends has completed 2 years as president, and is willing to serve as president this next year. John Waldron has completed 1 year as vice president, and is willing to serve as vice president this next year. Tom Paulsen agreed to serve another one-year term as secretary/treasurer. Jan Paulsen nominated Sam Behrends for president, John Waldron for vice president, and Tom Paulsen for secretary/treasurer, seconded by Tom Paulsen, and passed unanimously.
Fall banquet: due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the annual fall fundraising banquet was canceled. Instead, we held an online auction that lasted one week and was fairly successful as judged by monies raised ($2252) and member participation.
Fundraising: fundraising was again very successful this past year. Donations from businesses ($5720) and individuals ($6153) were either at or above budget. Trailhead donations ($5564) set a record – a reflection of the pandemic pushing people to the outdoors, good grooming, favorable weather conditions during most weekends, the new revised website, and growing popularity of skiing on Excelsior Road. Memberships ($8502) increased by 25 to a record number of 133 households. Sales of raffle tickets ($1380) increased by 30%. The revenue from the online silent auction items ($2252) was adequate. Interest income decreased significantly to $367 (current interest rates are very poor).
Winter Fun Day: due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there were no attempted group gatherings.
- 2014 Gator – in addition to costly annual maintenance ($1475), multiple unexpected repairs totaled almost $3000 during the winter grooming season. In the past, we decided to sell the Gator as it approached 2000 hours on the odometer. With ~1700 hours on the odometer, we decided to start looking for a replacement – and decided to purchase a 2020 Honda Pioneer 1000 from Zacho Sports Center in Chippewa Falls. Instead of continuing to use Camso tracks, we researched options for more industrial strength tracks, and purchased Mattracks to be installed by Dan Schauder in Winter, WI. Overall, the new Honda plus Mattracks will cost us close to $40,000. In April 2021, we sold the Gator to a private party for $13,500.
- 2017 Bearcat snowmobile – in January it tipped on its side, became inoperable and was towed to the trailhead, then trailered to Day’s Power Sports in Bloomer where repairs cost $414. Annual preventive maintenance at Day’s Power Sports in March 2021 = $330. The Bearcat is in good shape.
- At the end of the winter, we sold our ABR roller and purchased a new Yellowstone Track Systems roller/compactor – nearly identical to the Yellowstone roller we’ve enjoyed using since 2007. That roller was purchased for $1000 in 2007. The new roller cost $2200 plus another $445 for shipping.
- Throughout the year, a lot of the equipment repair & preventive maintenance was done on site using volunteer labor – big savings. During the grooming season, monthly periodic service of the Gator was handled on site in our heated storage shed by volunteers and/or Ron Beebe.
- Ron Beebe’s mechanical expertise has been very helpful.
- Sam Behrends uses our small G2 (G2-4) and tracksetter for grooming a trail for the Bruce High School team. Various parts were replaced 2017. If we run into a situation where we need a backup, Sam will return the G2-4 to our trailhead.
- Bob Wieckowicz provided his welding expertise to help remove a Camso hub bearing bolt that snapped off during preventive maintenance. Thanks Bob!
- Last summer, we again used our portable pressure washer (low pressure) and cleaned the tracks after each summer mowing operation. This added extra time to each mowing operation, but obviously was helpful in keeping the tracks and brakes cleaner. We are using a 50-gallon drum (blue plastic) to store water outside the storage shed. Members of the mowing crew bring 10+ gallons of water for each mowing operation – the extra water is added to the tank. Bleach is added to the tank to suppress algae etc. Batteries for the pressure washer are either recharged in the shed, or by Tom taking them home.
- For the third year in a row, we were fortunate that heavy rain and wind events mostly missed the trail system last summer. However, the rapid meltdown in March 2021 was followed by a heavy rain event that triggered erosion on the downhills (the Elevator Trail is one example).
- As you may recall, in 2017 Tom P and Jerry S scouted (flagged) new Eastside trails to provide a new Far East loop. In 2018, Tom walked those routes with Jeremy Koslowski (Forestry Department) and Gary Sarauer (DNR dozer operator) to finalize the anticipated routes and mark trees for removal. C6-C7 was dozed and seeded summer 2019 and has good grass cover, and provides very good skiing. The segment from 18-C4 is within a timber sale that awaits cutting – it will be dozed after the logging is done. Once that same timber sale is completed, the eroded segment of C3-C2 will need to be repaired.
- Because of erosion problems south of C3, we never groomed C3-C2 this past winter. The Eastside trail that runs from C3-C4-C5-C6-C7-C1 (the Far East Trail) received frequent skier traffic.
- Erosion blankets were placed in two locations on the East Side summer 2019: just north of #4, and between #6-#7. Last summer those blankets helped control erosion. It’ll be interesting to further assess the results this summer.
- On the East Side, there was no significant illicit motorized traffic this past year.
- In mid summer 2020, a badly eroded section of trail was repaired north and south of intersection #5 (East Side). This was dozed by Gary Sarauer (DNR), then seeded. An important part of the Core Loop, this made for easier grooming and good skiing this past winter.
- County Forestry Dept mowed the Westside and limited parts of the Eastside where trails were dry enough to withstand the weight of their tractor mower; softer Eastside trails were mowed using the Gator and our trail mower. The Gator with Camoplast tracks easily floated over soft/damp/muddy areas without leaving much of an imprint. The mowing crew of BHTA volunteer members saves about $1000 in contracted labor costs.
- The work day in late September was attended by 11 volunteers. Among other things, they brushed the trail margins, brushed out much of the snowshoe trail, performed chainsaw work on the West Side, and replaced two cable barriers along Rut Road.
- Beaver problems again were an issue during summer 2020. The beavers plugged a culvert on the East Side between #23 and Letter L. On the West Side, beavers flooded the low spot between J-K. Most of the beaver activity was controlled through services contracted by the Forestry Department; the plugged culvert on the East Side was reopened by two of our volunteers (thanks Steve P and Jerry S). We expect the beaver problems on the West Side trails to remain an ongoing challenge.
- In October 2020, a small bridge was constructed to allow easier access across a deep trench a few hundred meters west of Letter I. Concrete pads (barn cookies) were set in place, stringers were set on the concrete pads, then 2x8 decking was screwed in place. Materials cost ~ $450. Thanks to Jan Paulsen, Tom Paulsen, Steve Porn, and John Waldron for their labors.
- In October 2020, a failing culvert was replaced on the West Side. This was located at the bottom of the steep drop between J-K. The County Forestry Department donated a used metal culvert (bigger than the damaged culvert), and we paid $490 for Scott Gudis to do the work using his big backhoe.
- In October 2017 Tom P and Steve P created a PVC ford on the small creek on the Westside southeast of Letter F. Six 4" diameter heavy walled PVC pipes (10' in length) were cabled together to create a corduroy crossing that would permit water to flow through the pipes and snow to accumulate on top. Each summer we now reposition the PVC pipes after spring snowmelt and rains shove it downstream.
- October snows totaled 10 inches, but that disappeared. November was dry, most of December was dry, and we were finally able to start grooming on December 24th. Subtracting the October snows, realistically we only received about 35 inches of snow from mid December until early March. This was enough to keep our groomers busy, and our skiers happy. Much of the grooming was done in the evening -- producing nice firm trails to start the day. Trails were in great shape at Birkie time. Then very warm weather moved in during early March. The last grooming was March 6, and we were pretty much done skiing by mid March.
- We groomed a total of 48 times this past winter. 7 times in December, 24 times in January, 13 times in February, and 4 times in March.
- Ron Beebe again was the head groomer, this was his second season. He received assistance primarily from Ahmyn Masci, Ryan Vreeland, Steve Porn and Sam Behrends. Ron was very willing to try different techniques, and performed far more evening grooming than at any time in the past - this allowed the grooming to set up by the time skiers arrived in the morning. The classic track was in generally good shape most of the winter - Ron responding to input from some of our most enthusiastic classic skiers. Thank you Ron!
- The ABR compaction drag (the 'Blue Thing') also was used more frequently this past winter. It was especially helpful removing high spots in the center of the trail, and when the trails needed a quick light touch-up of the skate lane.
- Logging along Rut Road kept us from grooming that part of the East Side Core Loop the entire winter.
- One of the real pluses this past winter again was the use of Excelsior Road on the West Side for grooming and skiing. Once we started grooming in late December, a berm was plowed to block off traffic at the east end of Excelsior Road. We then groomed the entire 3 km length of Excelsior Road, and skiers and their dogs uniformly enjoyed the results.
Signage: the plastic yellow West Side directional signs were replaced with metal signs that we purchased from the Department of Corrections – the cost was about $200. Similarly, we replaced the plastic blue kilometer markers on the East Side Core Loop with metal signs.
Snowshoe trail: maintained and expanded by Dan Bjugstad and John Kann. Visitors clearly enjoy these snowshoe trails, the number of users continues to increase. Many thanks to Dan and John!
- On site storage works well. A 4x8 sheet of flooring in the blue shipping container was falling apart, and in September 2020 Sam Behrends and Tom Paulsen replaced it with a 4x8 sheet of treated plywood (set on shims); then caulked the joints. Thanks Sam & Tom!
- The blue shipping container approach has been a problem. In the past, snow and ice would accumulate in front of the doors making t difficult to open the doors. October 2020, Dave Putnam used his skidsteer to remove soil from in front of the doors, then graded the approach to encourage water to drain away from the shipping container. This was very helpful the past winter. Thanks Dave!
- Northwest HVAC modified the warming house furnace pilot light in April 2018 to minimize the offensive gas odor. Tom now cleans the pilot 1-2 times per year – using compressed air and a brush. This seems to keep the interior gas odor to a minimum.
- Eric Ringstad evaluated the warming house interior/exterior for necessary repairs summer 2019. With his recommendations, during each fall work day we stuff sheep’s wool in multiple interior and exterior gaps. Perhaps because the gaps are fairly well sealed, there was no evidence of bat activity inside the warming house this past winter.
- August 2020 we hired Dave Roth to clean, pressure wash, and stain the exterior. The stain was donated by Bjorn Hanson (thanks Bjorn!). Very nice results. Cost was $750.
- After pressure washing the exterior in August 2020, we noticed obvious signs of powderpost beetles on the exterior logs (powder dust trails below their ⅛" diameter holes). After some quick research, Tom obtained a special boric acid powder that was mixed with water, then sprayed on the exterior before Dave Roth applied the stain. Later during the fall, the holes and dust trails were still noticeable. At that time, Tom injected the boric acid solution directly into the holes. We’ll need to monitor this.
- Last fall, we removed the large outdated sign in the parking lot that was no longer useful, and was falling apart. One of our members (Jim Sirek) removed the debris, and we were able to salvage some of the lumber.
- Since we don't need to insulate the warming house as tightly as a private residence, Lee Westlund (the warming house builder) has recommended we not bother caulking the entire exterior of the warming house. Instead he recommends the use of sheep's wool (available on the internet from log house building suppliers) to plug any obvious gaps. The sheep's wool has good insulating properties, it wicks moisture, and it isn't itchy like its fiberglass alternative. We have a supply of sheep's wool (wool ropes to repair any insulation gaps) in a bin in the storage shed.
- Tom keeps the mice under control using traps and/or bait located under the furnace.
- Those in attendance agreed our website remains a highly useful portal in providing info for members and visitors. Tom regularly distributes email messages that update trail conditions, grooming plans, and pertinent happenings. This list has grown to 239 subscribers. We occasionally distribute messages using Facebook. This past winter, we started posting to our own Instagram account. We have a Twitter account, but haven’t been using it. We appreciate our members providing trail condition updates to skinnyski.com
- In December, we switched the host and software for our website – now using Webflow. The new website was designed by Kristine Paulsen, and really is quite an improvement. Tom Paulsen continues handling the website, and found the learning curve for the new website wasn't too steep. The new website is modern, sophisticated, and actually easier to use than the previous Adobe Muse software. We pay a yearly fee ($96) to use Webflow, and this includes the hosting at Webflow. This is a bargain! Previously, we were paying close to $300 yearly for various website associated costs. Ongoing thanks to Kristine Paulsen for her savvy & artistic involvement with the website and it’s various complexities – her time donated toward the website update was worth over $10,000.
- At the same time the new website went live, Kirk Paulsen updated our West Side map to match the same design as the East Side map. This required matching various locations on the West Side trails to their GPS coordinates, then georeferencing the new map. Lastly, the new map was submitted to Avenza Maps App – and now both our East Side and West Side maps are available free for visitors to follow themselves on their smartphones. Kirk P donated many hours creating this new map, he estimated he would have billed $10,000+ if the work had been done through his employer. Thanks Kirk!
Ski clinic: due to the Covid pandemic, there was no ski clinic this past December.
Current annual dues are $50 for individuals, $75 for families. Dues were increased by $5/$10 in October 2018, and the number of memberships remained stable at ~ 90-95 member households each year – then in 2019-20 topped 100 for the first time, reaching 108 memberships for the year. This past year, memberships grew to 133! Tom P (treasurer) recommends the same annual dues for 2021-2022. Brief discussion that included other ways to generate revenue such as legacy benches, stickers for members to display on their cars, and ski hats with our logo. John Waldron moved to keep the dues the same, second by Jan Paulsen, passed unanimously.
Our current daily trailhead fee was increased two years ago from $5 to $10 (encouraging users to donate based on their level of enjoyment – suggesting a $5 daily donation per person as a minimum). Since we are a non-profit operating on County land, we cannot require a specific trailhead fee. And our longstanding philosophy encourages many diverse individuals to access the trail system and help fulfill our mission as a non-profit organization. Jan Paulsen moved to keep the daily fees the same, second by John Waldron, passed unanimously.
- Assuming the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, we expect to have an in person banquet, and hope to take advantage of what we learned about on-line auctions. We have reserved Saturday, November 6, 2021 at Lehman's Supper Club in Rice Lake for this year’s banquet. For an on site gathering, we would again offer many silent auction items, and one or two major raffles. Discussed options including - wait until early-mid August to make a final decision; survey our membership to check their level and interest in gathering as a large group; check with Lehman's Supper Club regarding the last possible date to cancel; consider combining an online auction with an in-person auction at the banquet; perhaps replace a group gathering with an online auction similar to the auction we held November 2020.
- We need a volunteer to chair the banquet committee and serve as emcee. Tom will send out an email looking for a volunteer.
- For this year's banquet, Tom is lining up Jared Munch to be our guest speaker. He's a stand-up paddle-board (SUP) professional that would share his summer 2019 adventure traveling from Duluth to Hudson Bay on a SUP, and introduce attendees to the sport. Motion by Jan Paulsen, seconded by John Waldron to approve Jared's requested speaker's fee of $250. Tom will communicate with Jared to get a firm commitment.
- We would like to see the kids’ Nordic Rocks ski instruction program further developed in Bruce. Using loaned equipment from Ladysmith, a one week trial the winter of 2018-19 was well accepted in the PE classes for the elementary grade students. The next step would be the purchase of 30 pairs of skis & poles at a cost of $1995. At our May 2019 annual meeting, we approved the donation of $1000 from BHTA if the Bruce community and Rusk County were able to match this amount. We discussed the Nordic Rocks program, we all agree it's a good idea for the Bruce School. The future new PE teacher is important to the success and needs to be very supportive. Sam Behrends will continue to champion the Nordic Rocks Program in Bruce, communicate with Avery Newman (one of our members in Bruce), and look for partner funding and grant opportunities.
- Tom Paulsen will again spearhead the fall fundraising; Mike Cragg will provide some assistance representing the Rice Lake area. As in the past, fundraising appeals will focus on supportive individuals and businesses, and BHTA members.
- Tom Paulsen requested help stuffing envelopes for the August annual mailing. Jan Paulsen volunteered. Tom will seek additional helpers (via email messaging) later this summer.
Winter Fun Day: Officers will try to coordinate 1-2 potluck ski events as a good way to socialize while attracting members/visitors - perhaps during a full moon if the weather cooperates. To enhance attendance, we’ll use a Saturday as the most likely day for the event. Members seem to prefer a potluck approach.
- Due to apparent loss of power toward the end of last summer, Tom and Sam decided to replace the engine on our trail mower. The replacement engine was recommended by the mower manufacturer, we purchased the engine for $960 in April. We also purchased two new spindle shafts, new spindle bearings, an exhaust manifold and muffler bracket for about $225. Chuck Goin (small engine repair in Ladysmith) is working on the installation. Purchased in 2012, the mower is otherwise in good shape and should last another 10-20 years. Annual preventive maintenance on the mower is performed each spring before we start our summer mowing.
- We took delivery of our 2020 Honda Pioneer in early May. Then John Waldron trailered it to Big Bear Lodge in Winter for the installation of the Mattracks. Then John trailered the Honda to the trailhead. Bob Wieckowicz then trailered the Honda to his shop for fabrication of the extended rear hitch. Thanks John and Bob!
- The big G2 (Tidd Tech G2-7) needs repair of the bolt that adjusts the angle of the teeth. With Ron Beebe’s help, Tom will try to get this done well before winter.
- The first bridge (small) between 1-26 has settled and may need to be replaced with a new bridge with longer stringers - set further back from the edge of the small creek. If necessary, we'll try to put a crew together to replace this bridge this summer/fall.
- The sagging bridge east of #25 needs evaluation of its support. Summer 2018 we removed part of the decking so large riprap could be added to fortify the west side of the creek. Sam B has expressed interest in jacking up and supporting the BIG stringers. We'll further evaluate this bridge when mowing this summer - and our officers will consider options. Tom will remind the Forestry Department to evaluate this bridge as a potential site for replacement with a flatbed trailer (which would require DNR permits).
- The area below the Westside beaver dam north of Letter F remains a grooming/skiing challenge. Options include a major reroute north around the lake impounded by the dam (this area was scouted by Tom P and Jerry S the summer of 2017) vs building a 72-foot long ‘floating’ boardwalk below the beaver dam in the wet area where the Jump River Electric Cooperative (JREC) power line is running. JREC has agreed to flag the power line at that site if we make the request. The Forestry Department is willing to offer advice on locating/building a boardwalk. Tom’s estimate for the cost of a 12' wide boardwalk is $4200 (as of March 2021). In March 2021, Tom applied for a $1000 grant to help cover the cost – that was rejected. Note that there is the possibility of JREC donating toward the cost of building this boardwalk. However, recurrent beaver activity may flood the spot where a boardwalk would be located. Currently, we will continue to use the bypass path that runs right next to the beaver dam. Ron Beebe suggested we erect a snow fence north of the beaver dam each winter, this would help minimize drifting that periodically blocks the trail next to the beaver dam. We also will be able to use the plow on our Honda Pioneer to help deal with the drifts.
- Brief discussion regarding beaver control and future modification/revision of the West Side trails. Some possibilities include: no further attempts at repairing areas flooded by beaver activity including the East-West crossover trail; instead of grooming the entire West Side, set aside the beaver flooded areas for a more wilderness experience for snowshoers and skiers; installation of pipe and cage leveler systems across beaver dams to allow our trails to coexist with the beavers; developing a trail to connect Excelsior Road to the Lollipop loop. Tom P will discuss these options (and more) during an upcoming meeting with the head of the Forestry Department.
- Beavers have moved back into the pond south of the new West Side bridge located west of Letter I. Tom and Steve Porn are in the process of evaluating the possibility of installing a cage leveler system to control the beavers (and water level) at that site.
- Mowing plans – no change. Rusk County usually mows the Westside in July, and portions of the Eastside that can withstand the weight of their skidsteer. For the damp (soft) areas on the Eastside, we plan on again using volunteer labor operating the Gator pulling our trail mower. Tom will need a crew of about 6 volunteers to help with the mowing. Sam Behrends and John Waldron offered to help. Tom will send out an appeal soon to identify the rest of the mowing crew.
- One board needs replacement on the north side of the bridge at A4. The mowing crew should make note of this.
- The persistently wet area just inside the gate at the warming house remains a problem. Hopefully this will be fixed as part of the Red Pine timber sale that is planned for summer logging.
- We need to select a fall work day – our officers will do that later this summer.
- The timber sale labeled ‘25-18’ will probably involve some winter logging. At that time, the ‘Core Loop’ of the ski trail will be interrupted between intersections #1 and #2. This past winter, we discovered a very workable bypass that starts at the overflow parking lot by the East Side trailhead. The last 75-foot section (just south of #2) has lots of small saplings that will need to be brushed out. We have permission from the Forestry Department to do this. Tom will ask Jerry Schneider to look at this spot to determine if he could clear it out using his brush cutter. However, the bypass may not be necessary. Hopefully the logger will use the overflow parking lot to stage equipment and logs, and will create a short direct access between the overflow parking lot and the timber sale.
- The bridge between #25/#26 is located in a curve of the creek, and will always be susceptible to high water events. While exploring a new snowshoe trail with Dan B and John K, Tom discovered a very desirable new route from #26 to the top of the hill north of #25 that would allow a better creek crossing. Tom has looked at this with forester Jeremy Koslowski – and Tom needs to remind Jeremy to investigate this further – including potential DNR permits etc.
- The East Side timber sale that was logged south and southwest of Rut Road the past two winters greatly altered the contour of Rut Road. The logger is supposed to repair Rut Road this summer. We need to make sure this happens to our satisfaction. Our mowing crew can try to monitor this; and any of our members hiking in this area should report the status of these trails.
- Four timber sales are active on the East Side, one on the West Side. Maps outlining these timber sales were shown to attendees; discussion followed.
- Ron Beebe remains interested in handling most of the wintertime grooming. This past winter, Ahmyn Masci joined our grooming team as his main helper. If any of our members know of someone interested in grooming our trails, please contact one of our officers.
- Our goal remains quality grooming of the entire trail system with major emphasis on the Eastside core loop, and with the Westside as next in priority – this reflects feedback as part of a survey in April 2018.
- The April 2018 survey showed that favorite trails are the Eastside Core Loop, the Westside, the Eastside trails on the far east (Otter Slide, & Far East), Roundabout, and Roller Coaster. And since its introduction, Excelsior Road (West Side) has become a favorite.
- We will consider a fall meeting between officers and groomers if it seems necessary.
- Annual replacement of missing or faded trail intersection maps needs to be done late fall or early winter. Each fall, Tom Paulsen contacts the Rusk County Extension Office to arrange printing and laminating of current maps. If help is needed, Tom will seek volunteers for map replacement this fall.
- Snowshoe trail: John Kann and Dan Bjugstad will continue to maintain and/or revise the snowshoe trail. John & Dan have already started adding a fourth snowshoe trail that will run from #26 up into Hemlock Canyon (the area north of intersection A4).
- John K and Dan B are open to the idea of shared use of the snowshoe trails as fat bike trails – but will need plenty of help from fat bike enthusiasts to make this happen. The Forestry Department supports this concept. Tom will communicate with John Kann to see what might be developing regarding this shared use. We also discussed the future possibility of purchasing a ‘SnowDog’ groomer for a fat bike trail.
- Thanks to Dave Putnam’s soil removal and leveling last fall, the approach to the blue shipping container was more workable this past winter. Ice buildup was not a problem like it had been in the past – the doors could be opened without running into accumulated ice.
- The blue shipping container could benefit from rust removal and painting. Summer 2020, Tom got a bid from Dave Roth (professional painter) that was over $1000. We all agreed that’s too much money to spend on restoring this old container. Instead, we adopted the plan to patch and repair as needed, and consider replacing in the future with a like-new container.
- Jan P is in charge of cleaning the women’s pit toilet. This requires occasional sweeping of the floor and 'dusting' of the shelves; and adding some lye to the toilets. Last year, Sam B volunteered to take charge of cleaning the men’s toilet. He also volunteered to repair the torn screens in the windows of the pit toilets.
- We switched to Sheldon Coop (Heartland Coop) as the propane provider June 2010, they are delivering a good service. We fill the tank during the summer (July) when rates are the lowest. The 'new' propane tank near the storage shed will need to be filled once every few years when the ground is frozen or very dry; that tank most recently was filled summer 2020.
Annual Fall Work Day: to be selected later this summer.
Website: Tom will continue to manage the website.
Ski Clinic: those in attendance appreciate the occasional ski clinics conducted by Steve and Jyneen Thatcher. Hopefully they can continue offering these teaching sessions.
- In the past, John Kann suggested we distribute brochures to area silent sports organizations, ski shops, etc. Tom P will try to work up a design, and seek funding and printing from Rusk County Tourism; and will contact our membership for additional ideas regarding distribution of the brochures.
- We discussed trying to get a better presence on the skinnyski.com trail reports, and agreed its website is fairly outdated. This coming winter, Tom P will remind our members to submit occasional reports – and will post a sign in the warming house encouraging visitors to submit trail reports. Our most reliable options are continued frequent updates on our website, frequent email messages on our subscription email list, and use of our Instagram and Facebook posts. John W suggested using Facebook Midwest Nordic as another way to communicate our trail conditions – we'll give that a try.
- In the past, John Kann wondered about any possible plans for assisting an individual skier that is injured and unable to return to the trailhead. Discussion followed. Officers will explore the possibility of placing small rescue kits at critical locations on the trail. The kits might include a space blanket, matches, candle, and a map showing areas of possible cell phone service.
To be carried over with additions as highlighted in bold
- Banquet Committee
We Need A chair and emcee
- Fun Day / Full Moon Ski Committee
- Equipment Committee
Sam Behrends (chair), Bob Wieckowicz
Jan Paulsen, Tom Paulsen, Mike Cragg
- Grooming and Trail Maintenance Committee
Jerry Schneider, Steve Porn (chair)
- Ski Clinic Committee
- Snowshoe Trail
Dan Bjugstad, John Kann (chair)
Tom Paulsen (chair)
Motion to adjourn by Jan Paulsen, second by John Waldron. Adjourned 7:45 p.m.
Taken by Tom Paulsen, Secretary
A Listing of Active Committees
- Banquet Committee
- Fun Day / Full Moon Ski Committee
- Equipment Committee
- Fundraising Committee
- Grooming and Trail Maintenance Committee
- Ski Clinic
- Snowshoe Trail
- Website Committee