Monday, December 14, 2009
Getting religion...and SNOW!...at Pattison
Behold mighty Lake Superior! Blessed be the cold north winds that turn open water into deep snow.
In Duluth and Superior, there is about an inch of snow. I'd gotten anxious and fearful about the winter coming on.
In 20 minutes yesterday morning, my world was transformed. I drove fifteen miles due south from Superior to Pattison State Park. Just up on top of a ridge the lake-effect snow had piled up and piled up and there was at least a foot of white glory. More than enough to ski on.
So I skied.
It was glorious. It was a miracle. After weeks of worrying about winter, I had my snow and my skiing, all at once. If I needed to be convinced to believe in an all-powerful God, let Lake Superior be that God and I'm all aboard the glory train.
It was as if that Christmas angel in the Bible was speaking to me, and not to the shepherds in the field, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy."
Pattison State Park has 7 kilometers of classical skiing trail, with an easy first loop and more difficult outer loops. My favorite part of the trail runs along the Black River on the Blue Loop, through some big pines. The snow was everywhere and the trail was groomed just right.
To ski at Pattison, you just have to buy a vehicle permit at the ranger station. You can get season passes, day passes for $7-$10, and even a one-hour pass for $3.00. I did the one-hour pass, and it was just enough time to get around two of the three loops. A Christmas miracle!
HINT: Bring exact bills for your permit, or a pen for your checkbook; it's self-registration, and you don't want to do what I did, writing a check in pencil.