Skiers enjoy wine and nibbles during classic tour
This past Sunday, about 75 Homerites of all ages enjoyed a fun afternoon of skiing, wine tasting, snacking and visiting during the 32nd annual Homer Wine and Cheese and Wooden Ski Tour. The event, sponsored by Kachemak Nordic Ski Club, was held at McNeil and Eveline State Recreation ski trails.
Skiers began their six-kilometer tour at the McNeil trailhead and headed over McNeil flats toward Eveline. The first of two social stations appeared at the barn of Bill and Peggy Gee, who also happily hosted the wine tasting table. The scene at the Gee barn was one of animated social interaction, with skiers engaged in lively conversations as they tasted numerous wines and nibbled on multiple cheeses as children played in the snow.
Ski club organizers were delighted with the record number of families and children who participated in this year's tour. Skiers pulled children in sleds as part of the parade. Following last-call at the Gee barn, the ski tourers headed up and through Eveline State Recreation Area's forest and meadows toward the second wine and cheese social stop.
Stop two was enthusiastically hosted by Martin Schuster and his bride-to-be Kim Powers, at their newly-under-construction yurt home. The hilltop building site featured grand, sweeping views of the surrounding landscape adjacent to the Eveline State Recreation Area, whose 80 acres of land was donated by the Schuster family as a memorial to their wife and mother, Eveline.
Schuster cooked and served up some fabulous family recipe from-the-old-country known as K?s'sp? tzle, which is the Austrian comfort food version of mac and cheese.
Many Kachemak Nordic Ski Club volunteers helped make this event possible. Jeanne Walker and Jannie Woodring set up and helped manage the wine and cheese at social stop number two. Other volunteers, including Kevin Walker, distributed the distinctive purple wine and cheese tour signs, and arranged transport of all the food, drink, and other event supplies.
The fabulously groomed trails make all the ski club-sponsored events possible, thanks to Eveline and McNiel ski groomers including Bill Gee, Nicky Szarzi, Mike Olaire, Lance Haggerty, Stan Purrington and Dave Brann.
Appreciation also goes to Robert Archibald and Bill Hague for managing the sled of shame, which is always available to help those who have difficulty navigating back to their vehicles. Archibald also was head judge of the classic ski garb contest.
Speaking of the classic ski garb contest, there were some dandy classic clothing combos. Eleven classic garb contestants, plus three bambinos, displayed their finery. The decision on the male was a slam dunk with John Miles and his mountain man look taking first honors.
Choosing the female winner was so challenging that Archibald enlisted the assistance of this reporter to help sort through the classic clothing. The final decision was a toss-up between Maddie O'laire, with her striking matching top-and-bottom-patterned wool sweater and tights, and Emily Lintz with a lovely wool jacket and skirt ensemble. O'laire was able to sway the judges attention and favor with an impromptu dance that displayed some of the finer points of her classic clothing. Emily Lints garnered an honorable mention.
Local business sponsors added to the excitement and quality of the occasion. The Grog Shop and Bear Creek Winery donated numerous cases of a variety of wines to provide primary fuel for the fun. Save-You-More and Safeway offered discount pricing to help provide the cheese and cracker offerings, and K-Bay Cafe donated the coffee that so many enjoyed.
Door prizes were awarded including a beautiful hand-carved platter by Dave Brann, as well as lovely pottery by both Lisa Wood and Cynthia Morelli. Two Sisters bakery donated several gift certificates and there were several anonymous donors as well.
The pi?ce de resistance grand prize was a combo-prize including a across-Kachemak Bay water taxi ride provided by True North Adventures and a Nomad Shelters-donated yurt rental, which was fittingly won by the soon-to-be-wed and station number two hosts Schuster and Powers, which the couple plan to use for a mini-add-on honeymoon trip.
To cap off a fun and fabulous day, a delightful, lightly falling snow graced skiers toward the end of the festivities.
To learn more about the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club visit www.kachemaknordicskiclub.org.