Story by Linda Cook
In 2008 Linda Cook and Juli Lynch Founded Ski and Tea to bring women in our beautiful northwoods together to cross country ski and to help them feel successful and proud to be cross country skiers. In 2009 we became a Club Member of CXC (Central Cross Country Skiing). Our officers and organizers are: Linda Cook, President, Connie Meek, Treasurer and Nancy Bauer, Head Coach. Coaches: Nancy Bauer, Linda Cook, Connie Meek, Cindi McGrath, Sue Scheer, Cindy Swift, Bobbi Huot, and Gretchen Lindgren., and Carol Fitzgerald. Many of our members routinely lead a Friday workout.
We sweat through lung-busting, leg-burning workouts every Friday of the year except March somewhere on the Birkie Trail . Rain, snow blizzards, sub-zero cold, wind, mosquitoes or ticks do not stop our work outs. In our first year, we wanted to give back to the trail we love and use and raised $1,500 by became a Trail Friend. We chose the 27K Classic Trail marker. The generosity and enthusiasm from the group was overwhelming and significant.
We celebrated our first anniversary at the 27K Classic Ski and Tea Trail Marker with Champagne. We were bundled up in our warmest ski clothes on a frosty sub-zero day after an awesome ski workout.
On January 6, 2017 we will celebrate our Ninth Anniversary at our newly relocated marker, now the 29K Classic Marker. The new location is close to the bottom of the hill as you ski into the “bowl” at 00. Our Classic 29K Marker is on the east side exactly across from the Skate 29K Marker on the west side. The money to pay for our marker comes from our membership dues and a stipend received for work at the Fat Tire Festival.
Our 29K Classic Trail marker symbolizes much more than just doing our share to keep the trail in shape. It is an icon for what we as a women’s ski training group have accomplished in changing many lives of women to not only become better skiers but their very best athletic selves with many skiing the Birkie, Korte, and King Haakon and also competing in all Birkie Trail Run events.
During our Friday On Snow days, we gather at our marker for drills and games following our workout. We also host an annual women’s-only ski clinics with Elite Skier Women as clinicians learning the latest techniques to improve our enjoyment of skiing.
Ski and Tea members feel a sense of pride when we bike, hike or ski past our marker. Thanks to all the crews at the Birkie Office who keep the trails beautifully groomed and mowed to make our Ski and Tea Fridays the best.