The best snowshoe competitors in North America are invading Birkebeiner territory March 11-13 to contest the 2011 Dion Snowshoes USSSA National Snowshoe Championships. Landing at the famed Lakewoods Resort in Cable, Wisconsin, they will be greeted with hospitality honed over 100-years and a heritage extending to five generations. It just happens some of the most serenely beautiful and deep forests — and motivated snowshoers — in the world are there, setting the stage for initiating a spectacular second decade of championship-level snowshoe racing.
Leave it to the USSSA BORAD (Board of Regional Athletic Delegates) to find a way to follow 2010’s stunning snowshoe championships held near Syracuse, New York. After that record event, how could they ever surpass its race test — remember the infamous climb to the finish — or the event’s pizzazz.
Here’s how — just as they have done every year since that first National Championship held in New York in 2001. They seek out the best and then diligently work through host bids. Sports Director for the USSSA, Mark Elmore, said, “We are preparing to conduct an awesome Dion Snowshoes USSSA National Snowshoe Championship with the Rasmussen family at Lakewoods Resort.”
Lakewoods Resort offers a veritable variety of lodging selections for discriminating snowshoers from condominiums, snow villas (they’re lake villas in the summer), snowhill villas (golf villas when its grass), to the famous Lakewoods Lodge with its fireplaces, historic feel, and wooded warmth. The resort occupies territory often thought hallowed by the XC set, and well it should be considered, as the Birkebeiner is the largest cross-country ski marathon in North America.
Why do you suppose that event is part of the Cable-Hayward neighborhood? Could it be the gorgeous, rolling terrain populated with Northern hardwood species such as sugar maple, red maple, yellow birch and white ash along with abundant snow — yes, and more. The people are truly open and hospitable, making all feel comfortable and relaxed. Just what an aspiring National Champion needs to snowshoe the lead across the raucous finish line.
Coming from the East, Lakewoods is about eight hours northwest out of Chicago, so judge your time to Chicago, add eight hours and you’re there. From California, Colorado, and for Miss Texas, add three hours from Minneapolis to reach Cable. Fly to Duluth and spend some time in that winter paradise, too, considered by one anonymous dual-resident as the Boulder of the Midwest.
Lakewoods Resort claims to be your winter wonderland, and with events like the World’s Longest Weenie Roast — remember this is the heart of bratwurst country — held during snowstorms, who can argue? Then there is the Lake Namakagon Ice-Fishing Jamboree along with the annual January Namakagon Sno-Fest.
Lakewoods rocks winter!
Adjacent to the Rock Lake Trail System in the Chequamegon National Forest, nearly forty miles of trails are available. Plenty of quiet abounds as the resort sits in the midst of an 850,000-acre non-motorized forest. You will experience glacial hills, frozen wetlands, and possibly spot the Abominable Snowman — or is that just Big Foot wearing those mountain-men wooden snowshoes? (see picture, above)
You’re in the heart of snowshoe country here with some of the countries largest snowshoe races taking place nearby in such locales as Perkinstown, Eau Claire, Wausau, Chippewa Falls, High Point, and Athens. Lakewoods Resort Hot Air for Hearts Balloon Rally and Snowshoe Race can find an avid snowshoer smacking a tree while entranced with those beautiful beasts quietly floating above, kindly and quietly sprinkling currency along their way.
Well, actually, they don’t drop any money, but when I was there, I tried to promote the idea to the balloonists; I thought it reasonable.There are worse things they could do if you stop and think a little . . . .
Those balloons are striking, though, and share the quiet as they drift along like the world’s largest and most colorful snowflakes. The Fifth Dimension sang “Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon?” and the answer is, you bet, with our snowshoes hanging over the side. “If you’ll hold my hand we’ll chase your dream across the sky” and hopefully wear one of those medals hanging around the neck, a perfect souvenir from the 2011 Dion Snowshoes USSSA National Snowshoe Championships.
Read the original article about their race: http://www.snowshoemagazine.com/viewContent.cfm?content_id=397
Spend some time at the Lakewoods Resort website: http://lakewoodsresort.com/?page=11369
Learn how to qualify for the Championship at the USSSA:
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