Effect of Candle Luminary Ski

To the editor:

The night after Christmas when I passed four consecutive couples holding hands or strolling arm in arm I knew our Candle Luminary Ski was having the effect we had worked for. Back in the warmth of the chalet those who braved trail temperatures hovering around zero and covered a 2-kilometer loop of the Maasto Hiihto ski trails in Hancock were abuzz with excited comments on how beautiful the trail had been, lit by the warm glow of luminaries and surrounded by snow laden trees. It was a great community event attended by over 100 people.

After touring the trails guests were able to warm up by tucking into a chili cookoff in the chalet that generated a lot of competitive interest. Most participants refueled and were ready to go back out and experience the luminary trail all over again, some as many as three times.

Such an event doesn’t happen by magic even if it seems so on the trail. The Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club would like to thank all the volunteers who contributed to their community and this year’s successful event under the generous sponsorship of the Portage Health Foundation.

The luminary bag prep team included Wayne Stordahl, Lavanya Rajesh Kumar, Viasana Kumar, Raima Kumar and John Diebel. Mark Roberts, Norma Veurink, Ken and Linda Rubin spaced and placed 156 luminaries along the trail.

The lighting crew who overcame the challenges of frigid temperatures to have the candles lit and ready to go by dark included Mark Roberts, Ulrich Schmelzle, Keith Meyers, John Durocher and John Diebel. Beverly Maynard joined the trail crew to help with luminary pick up at closing. The chalet was made ready to host and serve guests by Julie Meyers, Jeanne Diebel, Bridgett Durocher and Sandy Aronson.

Appreciation goes to trail groomers Arlyn Aronson and Colin Pekkala for a special effort to lay down beautiful tracks in the falling snow at dusk. Lastly there would have been no chili cookoff without the contributions of master chefs Blair Orr, Jeanne Diebel, Jay Green, Candi Silvola, Marcia Martin (cookoff winner!), Frann Grossman, Sue Collins and Sandy Aronson.

This community event is a great way to extend the Christmas spirit with fellowship in a healthful manner.

We hope you will join us in 2018 at Maasto Hiihto, when the candles will once again be lit in the Christmas forest for an enchanting night on the trails.