OURAY – The 21st annual Ouray County Nordic Council dinner, coming up Tuesday evening, Nov. 8, at the Community Center in Ouray, will bring together the usual suspects: fine Mexican food provided by the Buen Tiempo restaurant, a chance to win prizes, including ski equipment, good times and a good cause for skiers and non-skiers alike.
According to OCNC founding member David Vince, the focus of fundraising this year will be a new grooming machine for the Nordic trail in Ironton Park, eight miles south of Ouray. The free-to-the-public track is set every winter in and around the scenic ghost town of Ironton on Red Mountain Pass. “For years, we’ve gotten by using snowmobiles that the Town of Telluride was discarding,” Vince said. “Our current one has served us well, but it’s time. We’ve got a pretty good nest egg, from private donations and memberships (which will also be for sale at the dinner). We’re hoping to buy a real, purpose-built machine, one with a wide track and that’s built to go slow! Built to haul track-setting equipment. Keith Meinert is in charge of researching the work sled.”
Besides dinner (and homemade cheesecake for dessert), the evening will feature a cash bar: margaritas, beer from local brewers, and wine. Dinner tickets are adults $10, children under 12 $5, and families of four $25.
Traditionally, the Nordic Council dinner has been a way for people new to the area, or new to cross-country skiing, to introduce themselves and learn about the sport.
The volunteer Nordic Council formed in 1990. It is part of the Ouray Trails Group, but its only funding comes the community through donations, memberships and the annual fundraiser dinner.
The purpose of the OCNC is to promote cross-country skiing in Ouray County. To that end, Vince said the group is trying to “branch out” and “establish a working relationship” with the other maintained track in the county, the one on Miller Mesa at Top of the Pines. Ridgway engineer and mountaineer Chris Haaland has been grooming that track on his own for the last few years using his own machine, said Vince. “We’d like to see if we can help Chris in some way, or if he can help us. To really make this a county-wide effort.”
For the last couple of years, snow has been consistent enough on the valley floor for OCNC to groom the Uncompahgre River Walk north of the City of Ouray for skiing, Vince added. A new snow machine will benefit all potential track-skiing venues.
The Tuesday dinner will be served at 6:30, but doors to the Community Center will open at 6:00. Babysitting will be provided by Voyager staff. All dinner ticket holders will be eligible for door prizes donated by local businesses. Attendees who also purchase an OCNC membership will be eligible for special drawings, including several premium prizes like ski equipment and lodging and dining packages.
This event is for all ages and offers fine Mexican food, a chance to learn more about cross-country skiing, and win prizes – all for a very worthy cause. For more information please call Lyn Meinert at 325-0480.