I was riding up this weekend and as is usual I invite others to ride along. I am more concerned about wasting an opportunity to have a good conversation or network with others. Riding up the chairs with others leads to some interesting meetings.
Anyway, one fellow I rode up with this last weekend informed me he was from Lakewood Wisconsin. I then asked him about the Paul Bunyan Ski Area, a ski resort near Lakewood I know has been out of operation for a long time.
He had some interesting things to say about the situation. He told me he recalls parent dropping off their children on empty days and the children would ski all day long and get to hang out and meet with each other. His take was the meeting and socializing with others left a large and positive impact on the lives of those youngsters.
Then we come back to that constant refrain. Who knows, if some future Olympian or World Cup skier would have discovered the joys of skiing or snowboarding at Paul Bunyan? Still, no hill should ever expect that but all the same, it is important to introduce to our children the joys of being outdoors in the winter time. The children around Lakewood may not have easy access to some downhill skiing anymore, but at least they have access to XC skiing.
Those of you who know the region understand the other big winter activities are ice-fishing and snowmobiling. I particularly like the later (whereas my wife likes the former — anything that means fish in the pan she is all for) but do not own a snowmobile. While snowmobiling can be an intense physical activity I just find it less satisfying and places less demands on the body than skiing.
I fear this is a story I will be writing again.