Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Years Eve on the Trail

This New Year's Eve the Gunflint Trail is blanketed with seventeen inches of snow including a couple of inches of new powder. All the ski trails are open and busy. So you skiers enjoy it!
The skiing is great!!

Most of the Gunflint Trail Winter Lodges are filled. Here at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B. everything room, cabin and yurt is booked including fourteen skiers from Minnehaha academy's ski team and their coach who will be spenting New Years eve at the Croft Yurt Camp. Biggest group this Yurt Camp has ever held.

As the New Year approaches this evening, the restaurants are gearing up for a big night. At Old Northwoods Lodge, Gunflint Trail chef par excellence is preparing the dinner. According to Gale they have reservations for seventy but they still have some openings. At Gunflint Lodge, according to Lee Kerfoot, "We are planning a five course gourmet dinner; then we have a bonfire from 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM. And from 11:00 PM to midnight we will be having appetizers and a champagne toast." At Hungry Jack Lodge, for New Year's, Forrest is cooking- up a steak and champagne dinner.

Windigo Lodge is planning a traditional prime rib dinner special and then of course for late night New Years celebrations Windigo is the place to be! Also just got word from Sarah at Trail Center that they will be featuring an all-you-can-eat crab dinner from 5-10:00 PM. Then, according to Sarah, "it is off to bed for everyone over 40." Hah! No one on the Trail believe this.

Reservations are required at all these restaurants except Trail Center.
The Krauses of Poplar Lake are planning to ski first, then meet a group of friends and going to dinner at The Landing on Devil Track.. They plan on being home early, watch a little TV and go to bed. According to Jo Ann, "we need plenty of rest for skiing. The conditions for skiing are perfect here at Mid-Trail!"

However I believe most Gunflinters are celebrating with quiet get-togethers with friends and relatives. On Hungry Jack Lake, John and Barb Bottger are doing just this- their oldest son and his family are up and they plan to not only take in New Year's but also celebrate their son's birthday.

At the end of the trail the Proms, of Voyageur Outfitters are planning a quiet get together with friends and relatives. Their festivities include a game of poker- Texas Hold Em and some other games. Sue Prom states that, "I imagine we'll try and eat all of the treats tonight so we can start the traditional new year's resolution of losing weight!"

A special New Years treat can be found at the Pattens where they offer sleigh rides. According to Mark Patten, "We'll be doing 5 sleigh rides this night. On the first ride it will be a couple that will be getting engaged at the 'kissing tree'. Our last ride will be 14 people of which 7 will be from Robbinsdale High School class of '69......'kids' that I haven't seen for 36 years! Should be great fun! The last two rides of the evening are large enough that we'll have to use two teams of horses at once, should be very interesting."

Joining the Pattens on one of their rides will be Barbara Young and Rochelle Staley from Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B along with some old friends and long time Hungry Jack Lodge guest Steve and Jan McCrady and their family.

As for Barbara and I it is off to dinner with Rochelle and neighbor Dave Smith, a short stop at Windigo and then after sending the sleigh riders off and running it is off to an early bed as usual for this one. So here is wishing you a great big Happy New Years! And life goes on along the Trail.

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