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January 2018 Newsletter

 | Published on 1/2/2018
For a downable and complete version of this newsletter, click here: January Skiddoo 2018

President’s Message

With the Sundown ski day behind us, a new ski season for East Iowa Ski Club has officially begun.  January is a time of new beginnings.  And, in the spirit of the New Year, I’d like to remind you that there are a couple of opportunities for you to influence the direction of the club. 


First is the trip survey.  This gives us a chance to seek out ski trips and special events which you desire for the coming year.  I will be going to the Mountain Travel Symposium this year to represent you, to try to seek out the best deals and best opportunities for the ski club. 


The other chance you have to influence the direction of the club comes with the election of board members.  Though we have a few veteran board members rolling off, I think you’ll agree we have an exciting slate of candidates who have stepped up for your consideration.  There are articles below in this month’s edition of the Skiddoo which offer more details on both of these subjects.

Stay active my friends.  Oh, and stay warm!

-Mike Buckman, EISC President

Nothing Nights – Wed Eve – CJ’s Bar and Grill 7:00 

A long-time tradition is to socialize on Wednesday nights, since there is nothing going on!   We will meet for supper and drinks at 7:00pm and see what’s going on.  By popular demand we have moved back to CJ’s Sports Bar and Grill, 62 17th Ave SW.  CJ’s has a varied menu and good prices.  Most of the time we are in the back room.  Watch here each month for the location or check the East Iowa Ski Club website calendar.  Interested in having Nothing Nights at a different venue?  Visit us at  CJ’s and discuss with the regulars, perhaps they are up for a change.

Come on down!  You don’t want to miss out.

Family News

Our long-time member, Diane Anderson, has moved back to Cedar Rapids.  She has remained a member during her residence in Wisconsin.  Welcome back to Iowa, Diane!


“He asked and she said “Yes””! Rachel Mascarella and Larry Kruger are engaged! 

Salvation Army Bell Ringing Recap


Salvation Army bell ringing has wrapped up for this year. Unfortunately, the club was only able to donate 12 hours for this great cause. Thanks to the following bell ringers for doing their part: Brenda Garbe, Dave and Joanie Meyer, Ruth Van Tol, Denise Houlihan and Sarah and Jim Wittnebel.

December Meeting Photos

Soup and Chili Cookoff  – Jan 20 Squaw Creek 

Everyone is welcome to come to the “new” Red Cedar Lodge at Squaw Creek Park on Saturday Jan 20 for our monthly meeting.   The lodge will be ours from 2:00 to 10:00 p.m.   If there is snow there will be opportunities for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or sledding on the hill.   If there is no snow maybe take a walk in the woods, or visit with friends around the fireplace. Bring your card games, dominos, or any other indoor activities for more fun.


The survey for next year’s ski and non-ski trips will be handed out, so be sure to think about where you want to travel to next season.   The board values your opinion. 


And it’s our annual soup and chili cookoff.   Don’t forget to bring your crockpots full of soup or chili and maybe win a prize for your efforts.  Or just bring something to share.   Dinner will be “served” about 6:00.   Meeting will follow.  


We will provide the beer, wine, pop, condiments, and table ware.  So remember to come to Squaw Creek Park, Red Cedar Lodge, just off HWY 13 and HWY 100 (south of Marion).   Follow the East Iowa Ski Club signs once you get to the park.

Sundown Mountain Recap

Some were scared away by a low temperature forecast but there was no wind and a clear sunny sky which made it much warmer than you would think for that temperature. The ski club and its guests dominated the ski area and we had everyone from beginners taking lessons to the experts making runs on Gunbarrel. Along the edges it was easy to see 2 feet of snow in the base. All the runs were groomed corduroy at the start of the day. At that temperature, the snow is a little tacky but plenty of fun once you got going. The west side lift opened a little late but as soon as it did that’s where I went. At the end of the day the snow got a little warmer but retained its light consistency and there was no sign of ice patches anywhere.

Many thanks to Kim Betts who helped out with the ticket distribution and the website. Many signed up and paid online as this was enabled for non-members and members alike. I got most of you signed up ahead of time so I was able to get the tickets set up the day before though a few had to cancel. 

A few skiers have season passes so the total for the day was 34 people.

-Chris Kalmar

Steamboat Jan 13 to 20, 2018

Welcome to 2018 and prepare for the adventure to Steamboat Springs!


I just ran across some information that you might like to have. Strawberry Park is one of the hot springs that is very rustic and natural. There is no electricity at the site and suggestions are that you bring a flashlight or a miner’s style headlamp to be able to see where you are walking in the woods at night to prevent stubbing toes. Pool shoes are also suggested. The rocks can be jagged and other places can be slippery.  This site is also an optional “natural” bathing/spa after dark, if you know what I mean! You need to bring your own towel and $15 cash for entrance. A shuttle ride is suggested since the road there is very rugged and steep. There is another hot spring in the center of town.

Hopefully you have been talking with your condo mates and have some plans made for your meals and cooking.


Check-in time is 4 PM. There will be a welcoming wine and cheese reception hosted by La Casa on the Mountain on Saturday at 5 PM in Condo #4.  The club will provide the pizza on Tuesday evening and Friday evening will be the “leftover potluck”.


A full itinerary has been sent. Those flying with the group, please note, the flight leaving Cedar Rapids is EARLIER than original information. You must be at airport no later than 4:50AM.

Twin Cities Winter Carnival and Other Fun Feb 9-11


We have a trip planned to the Twin Cities February 9 – 11, 2018. The trip includes bus transportation to the Hampton Inn located near the Mall of America in Bloomington for a two-night stay.  We will leave at 3 PM on Friday from near the water tower in the parking lot of Collins on Blairs Ferry Road. The hotel has complimentary breakfast in the morning and shuttle service to Ikea and the Mall of America. The Light Rail Transit hub is located at the MOA and provides access to downtown Minneapolis with an easy transfer for a line that also gets you to downtown St Paul. The Winter Carnival festivities are wrapping up that weekend with a number of activities happening. Cost of the bus and hotel is $237 per person double room occupancy. Arrangements have been made for transportation to and from Afton Alps for those that want to ski on Saturday. Lift ticket rates on weekends are $60 for adults and $50 for youth 5-17 and Seniors 62+. We won’t have enough skiers (15 or more) to get a group discount there. You will need to purchase your tickets at the windows at Afton. Sunday skiers will be able to ski at Welch Village.  Standard weekend rates at Welch are: $48 5-12 and 62+, and $58 13-61. Welch has an on-line system of purchasing tickets up to 24 hours prior to the date of skiing and the more purchase tickets, the more the discount. Let the trip coordinators know of your interest in skiing Welch so arrangements can be made to get you the information needed to make the purchase. We can actually look at weather conditions in advance and know whether we want to ski in “weather unfit for human habitation”.


In 1885 a New York reporter wrote that St Paul “was a Siberia, unfit for human habitation.” The residents of St Paul took offense and decided to prove that there are plenty of things to do in winter months. In 1886 the first Winter Carnival took place. This year the event is 17 days long. On occasion in the past a spectacular ice castle was built. Organizers had hoped to showcase one this year with the Super Bowl in Minneapolis, however, they couldn’t find enough corporate sponsors. There are however snow carving competitions, ice carving competitions, parades and new this year: Lawn Mower Racing on Ice (some reaching speeds of 60 mph!).


Schedule of Events that are happening while we will be there are:

•Wine and cheese reception at the hotel Friday evening from 8 to 10 PM.


*5:30 to 7:30 Lawn Mower Racing on Ice at Vulcan Park at the State Fair Campus.

*5:30 to 7:30 Vulcan Victory Torchlight Parade, Downtown St Paul. Followed by the overthrow

  of King Boreas and Fireworks.

Other things to do before the late afternoon events are to view snow sculptures in Vulcan Park or see the ice sculptures in Rice Park (all weather permitting). St Paul has an indoor Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings that include specialty chefs offering lunches. The Light Rail is within walking distance to the Minnesota Science Museum which has a great view of the Mississippi and has an IMAX theater if you prefer indoor activities for part of the day. If having fun outdoors isn’t your thing than you have the MOA with 500+ stores, 50 restaurants, movie theaters and all sorts of entertainment.


Join us for a fun weekend February 9-11, 2018

EISC X-Country/Snowshoe Schedule 2018


Join us Saturdays at 1:00pm. 


Dates in red are when a ski trip coincides, blue are member meeting days.  If not enough snow, consider taking a hike and get some fresh air.  This schedule is found on the ski club website calendar which provides a map.  If we get a good snow day outside this schedule, use the ski club forums & set up a spontaneous ski/snowshoe day. There are 34 members in the Snowshoe forum and 37 in the X-country ski forum. Give it a try. 


Morgan Creek Park 1/06/18

Matsell Bridge Park 1/13/18

Squaw Creek Park  1/20/18

Wickiup Hill Park     1/27/18





Jones Park             2/03/18

Ellis Golf Course     2/10/18

Morgan Creek Park 2/17/18

Squaw Creek Park  2/24/18




Lake Macbride Park 3/03/18

Matsell Bridge Park 3/10/18

Wickiup Hill Park     3/17/18

Jones Park             3/24/18 


EISC Board of Directors Election  

Our 2018 Board of Directors election will be held in February.  We have 4 positions open.  Kim Betts, Bob Thorkildson, and Jim Wittnebel are leaving the board.  Mike Buckman will be running for re-election.     The nominating committee is Marty Stimson, along with Pat and Don Boland.  If interested in running for the board, please contact a committee member.  Please give consideration to say “yes” to EISC if you are contacted.   Thank you.   


Linda Berry

I have been a member of EISC for many years and I have never done any downhill skiing. I do love to snowshoe. I have been on trips to Canada  and other locations. I loved every minute of it. I love summer activities such as biking, hiking and kayaking. I am an avid traveler and enjoy exploring and discovering new places. I hope to introduce new places and trips to the club for people who ski and don't ski.


Mike Buckman

I am Mike Buckman and I would like to be returned to serve on the board of the East Iowa Ski Club.  I have been a member for over 10 years and I have gone on at least one West trip each of those years.  I consider myself an intermediate downhill skier and I also enjoy cross-country skiing.  I participate in many of the non-ski activities of the club as well. 

 Most recently, I have been your President and an assistant trip coordinator on the board and I am planning on going to the Mountain Travel Symposium in Lake Tahoe this April.  I previously went to MTS in Keystone in 2016.  I have been a co-chair on the 2014 Crested Butte trip. Thank you for your support.


Steve Cummings


Hi – my name is Steve Cummings and I am running for the board this year.  I have enjoyed being a member of the EISC for around 17 years or so and served on the board for approximately 7 years in the past.  Joining the ski club has afforded me the opportunity to travel and ski some of the greatest & most scenic resorts in the world.  Being a member has given me the chance to meet and ski with interesting and fun people which have become good friends.  Serving on the board is a great experience and an opportunity to give back. 

I have participated in some great ski and bicycle trips, events and outings.  This past year I did have a few health challenges, but am looking forward to an exciting comeback year.  My wife, Sandra is also an active member of the club & an occasional poet.  I currently work in the Design Assurance Center at Rockwell Collins.  Please support me for the EISC board.  Sandra says “Please vote for me; I like to ski.”  


Brenda Garbe


I’ve been a member of the EISC for quite a few years and enjoyed all the camaraderie, great trips and experiences that a club can offer.  My first ski trip was to Welch Village for a weekend and then it was full steam ahead. I have organized and enjoyed years of summer activities from biking to canoeing and picnics. I’ve had previous runs on the board serving as trip coordinator and president, but I know that the future life-blood of the club is to stay relevant and continue to challenge our members to evolve, grow and welcome new members. I hope to be a part of that solution going forward and open to member ideas to enhance our club. 


Teresa Smith


Hi, my name is Teresa Smith.  I've been a member of the ski club since 2008. My Dad was a member way back in the day and I actually went on a couple of ski trips with him when I was in my teens. I love to snow ski, camp and kayak. I bring a lot of energy to the board and hope to help bring new ideas and leadership. Will look for new ways to grow the club and continue to bring speakers in that will share interesting topics. Please vote for me at the February meeting. 


Annual EISC Activity Survey


It’s time again to complete a survey as to your preferences for the 2018/2019 EISC activities and trip destinations.  This information is important as it helps the trip and special activity coordinators schedule (as best possible) activities based upon your input.  A separate member communication will identify the survey along with supporting information and how to access/complete the survey electronically.  A hard copy of the survey and information will be available at the January Chili Cook-off meeting.  Thanks for your help.  Jim Wittnebel