2017-01-19 / Columns

Weather good for snowshoes, not picnics

By LESLIE DISCH
Phone/fax 386-5686


JUDY BALAS, Linda Kemper, and Kim Armbruster are shown at the Bravo restaurant in Lansing following their attendance of “Beautiful” at the Wharton Center on the Michigan State University campus. JUDY BALAS, Linda Kemper, and Kim Armbruster are shown at the Bravo restaurant in Lansing following their attendance of “Beautiful” at the Wharton Center on the Michigan State University campus. Six Omena women traveled to East Lansing on Saturday on a trip sponsored by the City Opera House and the Wharton Center of Michigan State University to see the Broadway production of the Carol King musical, “Beautiful.” It was a great show with a wonderful cast and music. Those attending were Judy Balas, Linda Kemper, Kim Armbruster, Doni Lystra, Kanda McKee and Joan Blount. This is the second year that a group from Omena has taken advantage of this trip. There were also a number of other Leelanau County people on the trip.

The City Opera House and Wharton Center collaboration do a top-notch job of organizing the entire day. The group traveled by charter bus to East Lansing and back, with dinner at Bravo in Lansing following the performance where they enjoyed a family style Italian feast before returning home.

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We’re having some strange weather now. I don’t think it’s making anyone completely happy. It’s getting warm enough during the day to ruin the snow for snowshoeing or cross country skiing, but the melting, refreezing, and rain/snow mixes are still making travel somewhat hazardous. Kathy Miller got to really take advantage of the winter weather that was still here last weekend. She is a member of the Leelanau County Women’s Hiking Group, aka the Walkie-Talkies, who hiked and snowshoed the 45 North Vineyard Trail Friday morning. Kathy was so impressed with how beautiful the trail was that she went home and talked her husband Jim into going back that afternoon and snowshoeing it again. They then told a friend about it and ended up going back Sunday to hike it with him.

The 45 North Vineyard Trail is a 3-mile, all seasons, recreational trail through the vineyard which you can explore on skis, bike or foot, with terrain covering everything from gentle slopes to uphill climbs. The picturesque Leelanau trail starts near their tasting room and wanders through the lower vineyard before starting uphill. The complete trail is a 3-mile loop with shortcuts along the way for shorter excursions. In the winter, the winery grooms the trail for cross-country skiing, fat biking and snowshoeing.

Let’s hope there’s some good snow around Saturday for the snowshoe history hike at Leelanau State Park. The event is a collaboration between Leelanau State Park and Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum. The hike begins at the lighthouse gift shop at 10 a.m. and ventures through the state park campground and lighthouse site. Hot cocoa and snacks will be provided afterwards. The lighthouse will be open for viewing after the snowshoe hike for $4 per person and the recreation passport is required for entry. Some snowshoes will be available for use. To reserve your snowshoes, call the park at 386-5422.

The Lighthouse has re-opened the Keeper Program for the winter. Check out their website, grandtraverselighthouse.com, for more information or to sign up for their email newsletter.

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The Colling family enjoyed a second Christmas dinner last week when Sunny’s grandsons, Jaron and Dereck Huffman, came to Omena from Bloomington, Ill. They hadn’t been able to make it for Christmas.

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The Leelanau Children’s Center (LCC) is marking its 40th anniversary with a party on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Old Arts Building in Leland. It is a dessert potluck, so bring something sweet to share. Happy Hour is from 7 to 8 p.m., with dancing from 8 to 10 p.m. to music by Hoop ‘N Holler. The LCC is one of Leelanau County’s special assets. Devoted to the welfare of young children and their families, the LCC has been recognized for excellence at the regional, state and national level. It was recognized as one of 21 exemplary early childhood programs in the U.S. for the Strengthening Families Through Early Care and Education project of the Center for the Study of Social Policy. It was awarded the State of Michigan Model Program of the year status by The Michigan Children’s Trust Fund for Parenting Communities outreach program, and has received a 5 out of 5 stars rating by Michigan Department of Education’s Great Start to Quality. The LCC started in Leland, and in 2006 expanded its programming to Northport.

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Congratulations to Omena seasonal resident Brenda Anderson, who is a featured artist at the Malibu Art Association Group Show in the Malibu Village Art Gallery. The show features large works by Brenda. It runs through Feb. 2 for any of you who are out in southern California at this time.

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For the first time that anyone can remember, the Omena Potluck that was scheduled for Jan. 10 was canceled due to the icy road conditions. The potluck is held the second Tuesday of every month, except in the summer, at 6 p.m. in the Omena Community Room in the Fire Hall. The next one will be Feb. 14.

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For those of you like me who really miss the sunlight this time of year, things are getting better. We have gained 31 minutes since Dec. 21, 2016. Today the sun rose at 8:16 am and will set at 5:34 pm, whereas on Dec. 21, it rose at 8:19 am and set at 5:06 pm. So, we’re gaining more at the end of the day now. Four weeks from now, on Feb. 16, we will gain over an hour of daylight, with 32 more minutes in the morning and 39 in the evening.

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Happy Birthday to Barb Harris, Marcia McMorrow, and Tiffany Singer. Happy Anniversary to Jim and Kathy Miller.

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