This past Saturday evening, some friends and I headed down to Lake of Isles for some late-night skiing. But there are no lights on Isles, you may ask, why didn't you go to Wirth or Hyland for lit skiing? Au contraire I say. The course was lit the whole way as part of the City of Lakes Loppet (pronounced LOH-PET) Luminary Loppet. This was great fun! There were about 1,000 skiers that came out for this leisurely ski around Lake of the Isles. The course (about 5K or so) was lit by 800 luminaries (candles inside of ice). It was very serene.
Overall, the event was great, and a neat way to get non-competitive skiers interested in the Loppet (which I watched a bit of the next day as Mary, Peter and Chris all competed in the Freestyle race). Read Chris's wrapup here (Chris, my hope is that by linking to you I will encourage you to post more often!) My only complaint with the Luminary Loppet is that it was heavily promoted with all the hot chocolate, cider and coffee that would be served along the course. I saw ONE spot where hot chocolate was being handed out, and that wasn't even by Caribou (the sponsor of the event), it was by a local church, St. Paul's I think. While the luminaries and the friends who came far more than made up for the lack of hot beverages, I was disappointed, especially since we know Caribou can afford it, and our $18 should have returned hot chocolate as promised. Let's hope next year they get their act together.
Another highlight was being able to ski over one of the small islands in Isles. Running around the lake I see the islands all the time, so it was neat to be able to to one without the use of a canoe!
Here are some fun photos I took. The first one is hard to see, but it's the group of us by a big luminary. The second photo is a series of luminaries along the course on the north side of Isles. More photos on Skinny Ski.