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An extra day of winter
We’re not sure how you’ll feel about this, but 2020 is a Leap Year. This means that February has 29 days, rather than the usual 28. No matter how you slice it, we’re getting an extra day of winter. Snowbirds may snicker and say it serves us right. What do they know? Most of us live in the Northern Wilds because we know that you get out of winter what you put into it. If you want to grumble out the cold and snow, well, you have an extra day to do so. Don’t worry about us. We’ll be out having fun.
If you are looking for something to do outside, check out Joe Friedrichs’ guide to winter outdoor activities. This month, a number of folks from these parts head over to northern Wisconsin to compete in the annual “Birkie” Nordic skiing event. Emily Stone reports on how event organizers are planning to carry the event forward. Our favorite musher, Erin Altemus, explains that even though keeping and training a dog team is time-consuming and challenging for a full-time nurse and mother, she isn’t ready to throw in the towel. Shelby Lonne-Rogentine tells us about a little known, yet popular snowmobile racing circuit for kids.
We are especially pleased to include in this issue a story by noted North Country author Mike Link that profiles three lesser known, but no less noteworthy individuals who made a lasting difference for the outdoors and the environment. Mike said there were so many worthy folks to choose from that he wouldn’t mind doing more stories in the future. We may take him up on that. Strange Tales columnist Elle Andra-Warner takes a different twist this month (no surprise there!) and writes about a pair of groundbreakers—the first women to become lawyers in our region.
February is the month we kick off the annual Northern Wilds Restaurant Awards Contest, much anticipated by local chefs and their customers. You’ll find a paper ballot in this issue, but you can easily vote online (northernwilds.com/restaurant-awards). Be aware you cannot vote for the same restaurant in more than three categories or your entire ballot is disqualified. Voting ends March 31. We’ll announce the winners in the June issue and in our annual North Shore Menu Guide. We’ll also select one voter for a $50 prize to be spent at their favorite restaurant.
Make the most of our extra day of winter. Get out there, have fun and work up an appetite. Before you know it, spring will be here.—Shawn Perich and Amber Pratt