I received a wonderful email and a copy of the latest Sitzmark Ski Club newsletter which included a story about their recent trip to Ski Brule. Thank you for sharing!
Small but Mighty Group
Lori, Sitzmark Ski Club
The first of 3 Midwest trips was to SkiBrule, Michigan – located in the always snow-reliable UP near Iron River. We were a small but mighty group of 6 that drove up on Friday the 17th for the MLK holiday weekend. Normally we have about 30 to 40 folks who sign up! No worries, our group coordinator at Ski Brule (Jessica), still treated us like we were a group of 20! On our drive up our group met at a great brewery/restaurant called Titletown Brewery in Green Bay. Gina De Joseph helped pre-pick the spot for us and it was a winner – with a great menu and wonderful selection of beers, of course. Since I wasn’t driving I had a couple of Busted Nut ales (8.5% each!), which were very tasty. After getting our doggie bags we continued our drive and arrived at Ski Brule around 5:00 p.m. (I think…it was dark). The lead car contained Laurie Wolhfeil, Gina, and Carol Janssen. Laurie, it seems, trusted her Garmin more than the huge sign stating, “TURN HERE FOR SKI BRULE RESORT!”…So we followed her (confused) thinking maybe she knew a short-cut. Nope. Her Garmin still had the OLD entrance (from the 50s I think!), which took us the long way around and into the resort. Too funny!
After checking in with the very friendly staff, we moved into our units and cracked open a few cold ones while unpacking. The condo lodge was the Pioneer which was right across from the mountain and main lodge. Laurie and Gina’s room was connected to Carol’s and my room. Bill Lee and Kevin were almost next door. Just 1 unit separated us. Two large hot tubs under a gazebo were right outside our doors.
Dinner was at the main lodge’s bar. Homemade soup, some cheese sticks, and pizza were plenty – after a HUGE lunch earlier. Following some laughs and some beers we went back to our units and went to bed.
Saturday morning was bright and sparkly! All the trees were perfectly coated with hoarfrost. Gorgeous! We went to the lodge for our complimentary breakfast and then got ready to SKI! By 10:00 a.m. the few clouds disappeared and the sun shone off the hoarfrost – creating quite the Hallmark card setting.
Kevin hadn’t been on skis for a couple years but had no problem getting “back on the horse” again. We all skied together off and on. Then Bill and I took off for more challenging runs (and to speed!) for a while. We met up for our comp lunch at about 12:30/1:00 p.m. and had fresh cheeseburgers, soup or chili. Back out for more skiing after lunch. We explored pretty much every run that first day. I think Bill and I were the last to quit at about 3:00…maybe 4:00 p.m.?
Dinner Saturday was our BBQ dinner at the Homestead lodge on the mountain. The shuttle picked us up at 7:00 p.m. and brought us to the Snowcat – which would take us up the mountain to the lodge. It was quick 5 minute ride in the open “sleigh.” We quickly unloaded and were seated in an Ski Brule Michigan upstairs loft room (all to ourselves) of the historic lodge/cabin . The food was homemade and plenty (all you can eat)…BBQ chicken, beans, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, and fresh green salad. I found out that Laurie doesn’t like mashed potatoes – quite the shocker. I thought everyone loved mashed potatoes! For dessert they had homemade chocolate cake, which some ate extras of. Not me, I was so full – just
one bite to taste it.
Saturday night we went back to the bar after dinner. We watched some of the Olympic trials while having drinks and sharing laughs. We left to party at our condos. We women had brought plenty of snacks and booze – why not party in our lounge pants for free!
Sunday came with some clouds – which meant no sparkles – but temps were still good. In the 20s as Saturday was. We went for our comp breakfast in the main lodge and then dressed for another fun day of skiing. Kevin was cruising pretty well, as were Laurie and Carol. Gina was having fun staying at her own pace but skiing along side us most of the time. Bill and I once again had to open up and blaze down some runs full throttle. Fun! We all met for our lunch at about 1:00 p.m. and chatted with our Ski Brule contact Jessica. She made us feel so welcome and we could tell she loves her job. Hard to believe this slender woman had just had a baby boy (named Colt) only 7 weeks prior… Wow!
After chatting with Jessica we headed back out to rip it up some more. The snow was great both days. Not much ice on the runs anywhere. We did some runs we somehow missed on Saturday. So by the end of Sunday, we had skied the whole mountain a few times over. Bill was using his Ski Trax app and would probably have more details on our daily total stats. Whatever it was, we all had fun and no one was hurt. We never had to wait in long lift lines either.
Sunday was football…PLAYOFFS! When we spoke with Jessica at lunch about our comp wine and cheese party, she said it could be delivered to our rooms if we would like. Great! I asked her have it dropped off at my unit for later. Gina did a beer run earlier, Laurie quit by 2:00 p.m. and both Carol and Kevin wrapped up by 3:00 p.m. (I think). Bill and I again, were last off the mountain.
When I got to my unit, the cheese tray wasn’t there yet. Hmm…I called the front desk person who told me, “That’s weird, I saw it being made and taken away for delivery.” After double checking all our rooms, it was discovered that the tray was delivered…but to the WRONG room! Our nice neighbors thought they must have won something when they found it in their room after skiing. We all enjoyed a good laugh. The staff whipped up another party tray, included a bottle of wine, and delivered it to us. The tray was really big – full of not only the usual cheeses and crackers, but also walnuts and fresh cut apples. The wine bottle was big too, but a Chardonnay (saved for a future club event). We were drinking beer or red wine of which we had PLENTY.
We saw Denver win big, and then watched a more intense game of SF vs. the Seahawks. We had so much fun lounging , laughing, joking, drinking, and eating during the games. I don’t think we went to the bar that evening. We had so much food and booze of our own.
Monday morning came and we packed up and checked out. Saying our good byes to the friendly staff (EVERYONE was super nice!), we hit the road to have a hearty breakfast at a local diner in town. Gina once again prescoped a dining location and once again, we were not disappointed. All of our breakfasts were huge and YUMMY. Laurie had the biggest blueberry pancake anyone has ever seen …BURP! After cleaning our plates (or getting a doggie bag), we departed for home.
Our 3 cars caravanned all the way back to Illinois safe and sound (and tired!) – remembering the good times we all shared together. A small group but mighty big fun!
A huge thanks to Jessica and the entire staff at Ski Brule for making us feel so welcome and treating us like we were a big group. We all agreed that Ski Brule is a great place to stay.