Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ski Club volunteers replace bridge on Churning Rapids trails

By Arlyn and Sandy Aronson*

HANCOCK -- On Saturday, Sept. 18th, a covey of volunteers gathered in Churning Rapids to replace the old Spring Creek bridge. This is part of Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club’s ongoing effort to make the trails more fun to ski, not to mention safer for skiers and the groomers to use.

The first step was removal of the old unit. Pictured here are Sean Boyden, Michigan Tech chemical engineering student, and Arlyn Aronson, who is bashfully operating the club's UTV. Click on photos for larger versions. (Photos © and courtesy Arlyn and Sandy Aronson)

Next was the building of the new 8-foot wide, 16-foot long structure that will be much higher, keeping it out of high water, and of course wider so that it is safer for our skiers to use.

Sean Boyden, left, and Jay Green, Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club president, work on the new bridge.

Done! And most of the wonderful crew who worked on it can be seen here on the new bridge. Pictured, from left, are Rich Feathery; Sean Boyden; Pat Davis from Madison, Wis.; Jay Green; and Sandy Aronson. Not pictured is Betsy Hagens, also of Madison, Wis.

With the generous assistance of volunteers and the memberships, Keweenaw Nordic Ski club will continue to upgrade their equipment and trails, making them more fun to ski on, plus hike/bike/run over the summer months. Over the past five years they’ve purchased a volume of tools used by the groomers and the volunteers for the upkeep of these trails.

Gromit, the trail boss, supervises the work and the fun.

For this project, special thanks to Terry Kinzel and Sue Ellen Kingsley of Churning Rapids for their financial assistance with the Spring Creek bridge replacement.

Finlandia crew to brush trail Sept. 25

At 9 a.m. this Saturday, Sept. 25, a Finlandia crew will be brushing and lopping their way upstream on the trail starting at Tomasi Road, to the green gate at Churning Rapids. This section can’t be done with the towed mower and must be done by hand. We’ll meet at the RR grade and Tomasi Road intersection and hike down to the creek from there. We’ll have six to eight folks helping. Maybe you’d like to help us feed them with some baked goods??? We’re going to supply them with a hot lunch of garden carrot soup. If you could help feed them or would like to lend a hand clearing this section, we’d be most appreciative.

This photo shows what happens when the trail boss finds someone hasn’t pulled their weight. ;-)

If you’d like to help with materials or volunteer, just get in touch with us by emailing or by calling 906-370-2911.

Please note that your membership is also very important, and you can get that at Be sure to look for Keweenaw Nordic Ski club membership application. Together we’ll make the trails better yet!!

*Editor's Note: Guest authors / photographers Arlyn and Sandy Aronson are active members of the Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC), which maintains the Maasto Hiihto and Churning Rapids cross-country ski trails in Hancock. Arlyn is also the lead groomer. For more information about KNSC, visit their Web site.

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