Wine and Cheese ski tour is too fun to miss
The Wine and Cheese and Wooden Ski Tour is slated for Feb. 11 from noon to 4 p.m. at the McNeil Canyon and Eveline State Recreation Area ski trails, out East End Road. If you have never participated in this socially-oriented ski tour event, make plans to do so this year. It's so low-key and social that there is not even a suggestion of competition. This is ski strolling at its finest, from one spirits and munchies station to another.
This year there is plenty of snow to be enjoyed, and as always, this tour proceeds regardless of the weather. Never let it be said that Homerites would ever allow weather to interfere with our taking of grog and grub, or socializing while enjoying our fabulous ski trails.
Follow East End Road north about 13 miles and turn west (left) into the parking lot of the McNeil Canyon School. The exact set up location for the start of the tour will be determined by weather and whim, so just follow the crowd to the gathering.
The Wine and Cheese and Wooden Ski Tour started in 1986, making this the 32nd annual event. It is longest-running ski tour created and sponsored by the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club. There's a simple reason for the success — it's a heck of a lot of fun.
If you've never participated in this so-like-Homer (no black-tie or discerning taste required) ski tour, or if it's been a while since you participated, this will be a great year to join the fun or get back in the bindings.
The group will gather around noon at the McNeil Canyon school parking lot to don skis, boots and poles and head toward the Eveline State Recreation Area for a 5- to 6-kilometer tour. Along the way there will be several grog and grub way stations, including indoor venues at a barn and a yurt.
In addition to enjoying tasty treats, participants are encouraged to dapper themselves up in traditional/historic ski clothing and launch out on wooden skis. The organizers hope to see plenty of knickers, lederhosen, thick wool sweaters and bear trap bindings. Robert Archibald will be offering his expert opinion concerning the best historic looking gear and outfits.
Door prizes for a variety of categories will be awarded at the last stop. Additionally, Archibald and other longtimers will be on hand to regale those present with throwback memories of the early days of the Wine and Cheese and Wooden Ski Tours.
And yes, the ski machine Sled-of-Shame will be standing by to provide aid to those who imbibe a bit more than will allow them to ski stroll back to the start. All are welcome and no specific ski skills required.
Thanks go out to the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club, who sponsor this event every year and provide gorgeous grooming that you'll enjoy as you ski around the trails. Also thanks to the wine and cheese primary business sponsors including: The Grog Shop, Bear Creek Winery, Sav-U-Mor, True North Adventures, Alaskan Yurt Rentals and Ulmers and contributing sponsor's Safeway, Two Sisters Bakery, Dave Brann Carving as well as Lisa Wood and Cynthia Morelli Potters.
Event coordinators are requesting a donation of $25 for KNSC members, $35 for non-members and $10 for youths. If you'd like to volunteer to help with this fundraising event for the KNSC, would like to serve as a sponsor or if you have any questions, please contact the event organizer Ski Club President Mike Gratz at 360-820-2058 or organizing guru Annie Ridgely at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please leave pets at home. It can become a bit chaotic around the imbibing stations.