The Subaru and Fischer Sports cross-country ski road trip takes off with the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski marathon. The 40th running of America’s most prestigious cross-country ski race takes place in Hayward, Wisconsin.
Thanks to Subaru and Fischer skis, I will be well equipped. Subaru lent me a new Crosstrek and Fischer Skis lent me a pair of skis to use for the race.
In an attempt to get prepared for the race, I took off a week in advance for our cabin along the Gunflint Trail in northern Minnesota. On the way up, I spent a day near Madison at Blue Mound State Park and skied the very icy conditions at the park. The next stop was Eau Claire, Wisconsin at a Days Inn.
From Eau Claire, I drove up the North Shore of Lake Superior to Grand Marais, Minnesota. From here it was 63 miles up the Gunflint Trail to our cabin in the woods.
The first order of business was getting my Fischer skis professionally waxed. I did this at Devil’s Track Nordic along the Gunflint Trail just outside of Grand Marais along the Pincushion Mountain cross-country ski trail system. I dropped my skis off here and picked them up the next day.
I have taken trips from the cabin to the Gunflint cross-country trail system and Pincushion Mountain. The snow is absolutely unbelievable right now. The first two nights I was up here they received a fresh 6 inches each night. There has to be close to three feet of snow up here. It is absolutely gorgeous.
After my stay in the cabin is done it is back down south into Wisconsin. I plan on hitting a few cross-country ski trails on the way back south and then staying in Eau Claire again Thursday night. Friday I roll into Hayward and get my race bib and get registered.
Friday night I will stay at the Hayward Middle School. Hayward is a town of only about 1,500 and there are over 10,000 skiers who come up to participate in the race. You can imagine the pressure that puts on the local hotels and lodges. Thankfully, the town opens up the school for dormitory like arrangements for $20.00 a night on Friday and Saturday. You have to bring your own sleeping bag and pad and find a spot in a classroom or in the gym. When I stayed there three years ago I felt like a storm refugee.
Updates on the road trip and the race will follow. Although Subaru and Fischer were generous in their support of my trip, the views, pictures, opinions are always my own.
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