Can Grooming Reports Be Far Behind?

Dear NTN Family and Friends,

If you want to save five minutes of tortuous reading, skip to the last paragraph or just renew your NTN membership.

My how time flies. It seems like yesterday that we celebrated the St. Ivo of Kermartin day snow storm. With the season starting following the Veteran’s day storm, we had over 6 months of great skiing.

You have either received or will soon receive a postcard in the U.S. mail directing (asking, begging, pleading…) you to go to the NTN website and renew your membership. We have already seen enough snow to pique my interest. If I was organized enough to actually apply summer storage wax I would be removing it this week. So, as part of this season’s preparation, it’s time to catch up on the Noquemanon Trail Network’s accomplishments.

We have been busy boys and girls (and at least one fat old bald guy). Visitors to the Forestville trail head will notice the shoe maker’s elves cut, split and stacked 15 cords (Note: this is a bar talk estimate, the actual number has yet to be calculated. Anyone good at math is encouraged to let us know the real number. I should add, when regaling pretty girls in the bar, the estimators were talking “face cords”; it sounds way more impressive). Please thank Doug, Craig, Kirby, Tom, Laurie and at least one fat bald guy.

Visitors may not notice now but will surly appreciate it during the season, it appears we have solved our water woes! You young folks with powers of recollection will surly remember the barn running out of water from time to time last year. This year the smart money is betting that is a thing of the past. Nothing is easy and this was no exception. You need to thank Kirby, Doug, Cary and a grant from Marquette West Rotary.

Each season we (well, actually, they; I am not given sharp objects anymore) mow the grass on all trails. I should add, it is no mean feat. With over 50k of trails, it is like mowing over 50 soccer pitches. Our goal is to have each trail manicured so as to be like golf course skiing. We aren’t there yet but getting closer every year. In addition, various areas have been improved (or will be prior to ski season unless it snows today) such as the hill between the ponds and sections of the Mead Hills by pass.

Our groomer extraordinaire, the esteemed Carlson (as he prefers to be called due to an overabundance of Johns in the organization) is back for a second season with the NTN. Andy, extraordinary in his own right is also back this year. Our equipment fleet is so expansive as to preclude any detailed listing of what is new this year (or, it is more likely that I lack the ability to keep up on it anymore). Suffice it to say, the smart guys among us have again equipped the groomers with a veritable plethora of tools, including; two Bombardier, one Gator, three Ginzu, three or four snow mobiles and two rollers to name a few.

We have, again, engaged Hank Snow (aka; Heikki Lunta) to perform his special dance so good snow is all but assured again this year. Hank’s dance is very expensive as is the grooming fleet. Also, although Carlson and Andy are a bargain at three times the price, they need to put beer on the table just like the rest of us. Of course, we also have many volunteer opportunities as well. I trust those of you that share my same guilt pangs will also reach out and take one or more of the fun(?) volunteer opportunities available.   Please call Kellie at the NTN office if guilt gets the better of you.

And so, what I am (finally) getting at is, it is time to renew your NTN winter membership. We can’t do any of this without your help (read “money”).

I hope this letter will prompt you to join (or at least won’t discourage you) the NTN again this year. With your support we can continue to improve trails, hire staff and enhance your outdoor experience. Remember, NTN receives no government funding. We are a membership organization that relies on your financial and volunteer support. To join we encourage the use of our on-line marketplace at However, if you still like paper, that’s ok too. Just download the form or drop by the office at Lakeview Arena. Any membership paid in full before December 5th receives a 10% discount. Consider a Gold Membership which entitles you to ski, bike, hike and enjoy the feeling of being a bigger part of the great organization NTN has become. Or, if you act quickly, you can snag one of the few remaining Trail Builder K markers and get your name on the trail. I look forward to being dropped on up hills by you all this winter.

Warm Regards,

John Sonderegger (normally called, Sondo or Fat Bald Guy, formally called, Fat Middle Aged Bald Guy) President