It's Loppet time!
I have a family party tomorrow, so I signed up to volunteer with the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival to support the Saturday events, which include ice cycling, skijoring (skiing with dogs!), snow orienteering and so on. I helped check in other volunteers and answer questions about the schedule. It was such fun to see skiers wandering through such an urban scene - I can't imagine there are many other cities that could pull off something like this, on this scale.
The long course winds through parks and trail systems all over Minneapolis (cutting across a lake or two) before ideally finishing on Hennepin Avenue near the Lake Street intersection, a major activity and traffic hub in this neighborhood. I've never been in Uptown on a year with enough snow to make the full course (and thus this particular finish line) happen, until today. It was so cool to see!
Here's the finishing stretch, with the banner hanging in the distance:
And here's the turn from Lake Street onto Hennepin:
And a little peek farther away:
I also got to see my friend Lindsay, who volunteers in a year-round role with the foundation and coordinates vendors on race weekend. We zipped outside for a quick photo together at the finish line. (Her idea! I swear!) We picked a nearby guy to ask to be our photographer, and I think Lindsay and I both realized as she was asking that he could not have been less interested in snapping the photo but obliged anyway. Oops. Sorry, dude!
There are tons of events still to come, including the tonight's Luminary Loppet for skiers, snowshoers and walkers - and tomorrow's full schedule, too! If you are local, you must bundle up and check it out!