It’s a beautiful day when I slide into my cross-country skis and set out in search of tantalizing delectables. Garland’s “Gourmet Glide” lives up its name, with five trailside and warming stations set up along a picturesque 10-kilometer trail.
The invigorating effects of the crisp morning air not to mention constant motion of skiing put a smile on my face soon after setting out on my adventure. Occasionally, I would encounter another participant. But mostly, it’s just me on the trail absorbing the sounds of nature.
Station #2: Hard Wax Cafe
Rounding a corner the warming hut comes into view—just in time. By now, I have worked up a sweat and am in need of nourishment. I grab a diet soda and b-line for the buffet, with its impressive spread of smoked salmon, whitefish dip, crackers and cheese.
On the Trail Again
After a short rest, I hit the trail. A fellow glider and I carry on a light-hearted conversation. In what seems like a few minutes, we approach the next stop where we know we’re in for a treat!
Station #3: Trout Camp
More than a dozen gliders are standing over various holes in the ice, reels in hand. Having never been ice fishing, I am nearly giddy as I reel in a trout within minutes. No worries, it’s catch and release (the staff handles the release). A giant fire crackles pond-side and the skiing congregation enjoys steaming bowls of trout chowder and fried trout filets. Life is good!
The Final Stretch
By now, skiing seems second nature and I am no longer thinking about moving one leg after another. The resort’s log covered bridge comes into view as I approach the next warming station, the fourth stop.
Surprisingly, I am a bit hungry—although it seems I have been eating nonstop for hours. The continued exercise of skiing burns calories as fast as I consume them—a good thing.
An End to a Great Day
It’s back to the lodge—the largest log lodge this side of the Mississippi—where it all started just hours before. I feel recharged and slightly proud that the nonathletic has made the entire 10k route without too much effort or falling!
- The Gourmet Glide is a go-at-your-own pace that may last from a half-day to seven hours.
- Go ahead, fill up at the five food stations. Participants work off calories while cross-county skiing 10k (six mile-plus).
- Garland Lodge & Resort’s Gourmet Glide is held on winter Saturdays, January through early March.
- Gourmet Glide tickets are $59 for hotel guests, $69 for nonguests; children 17 and under, $39. Gourmet Glide overnight packages start at $116.50 per person, making it a good value winter getaway.
Dianna Stampfler loves Michigan so much, she’s made a career out of it! Her marketing consultant company, Promote Michigan, is just one of the many ways this fourth-generation Michigan resident shows her appreciation for the Great Lakes State. Besides being a full-time cheerleader for Michigan, Dianna enjoys reading, gardening, traveling and visiting with friends.