Friday, February 22, 2019
Nordic Trails Set Record with Help of Women with Big Hats
Peggy Grove, in front of John and Gina Wolcott’s guest cottage, says she loves the silver mining history that Galena Lodge and its trails represent, while treasuring experiences such as snowshoeing on New Year’s Eve.
Thursday, July 12, 2018


A year ago, Jim Keating faced 80 women who had turned out for the annual Harriman Tea and promised them that parts of the Harriman Trail that had been decimated by floodwaters would be rebuilt by winter.

He was vocally optimistic, but the worried look on his face that afternoon belied his uncertainty.

On Tuesday the executive director of the Blaine County Recreation District triumphantly stepped up on the stone ledge bordering Gina and John Wolcott’s patio in Indian Creek, a broad grin spread across his face.

Sandra Flattery and Maryann Davis joined hostess Gina Wolcott.

“Last year I was not feeling all that confident. We had three parts of the trail that were under water, a couple completely destroyed. We were looking at a winter where we didn’t have skiing on the Harriman Trail. We were looking at a winter where we couldn’t have the Boulder Mountain Tour,” he recounted.

Instead, Keating noted, Forest Service crews finished restoring the affected areas the day before the snow started falling. And a record number of season pass holders and day users responded.

Numbers are still being tabulated, Keating said. But the BCRD sold about 3,100 season passes last year—up 9 percent from the previous year which, he noted, was an outstanding winter. And day passes are up about 19 percent, with the Nordic trails attracting a huge number of visitors, including ski teams from Dartmouth and the University of Utah that lacked snow for training.

“We had 180 days of grooming. We got open for Thanksgiving, which is huge. And we had enough snow to go through late April,” he said. “When the lower valley didn’t have enough snow, we had enough to do what we wanted. And when there wasn’t great skiing across the West a lot of visitors came here.”

Marcia Kent donned the Kentucky Derby hat she bought for her mother to take in the Harriman Tea while talking with Narda Pitkethly.

Keating noted that it was a female Forest Service representative, female BCRD director and other females who came together to create the Harriman Trail and save Galena Lodge. It was the women who support the Harriman Tea who had help ensure the Harriman Trail was fixed last winter.

And he noted that the Wood River Women’s Foundation had recently awarded the BCRD a grant to help design an expansion for the aquatic center.

The BCRD wants now to develop a trail system in Quigley Canyon similar to that at Galena, he said to great applause.

Given that their love for the outdoors had brought them together, women like Paula Perry talked about their latest outdoor exploits, such as the 100-mile Little Red bicycle tour near Logan, Utah, which attracted a dozen female riders from the Wood River Valley.

Paula Perry, Josie Arias and Anne Jeffery toast the Harriman Trail, in between talks about bike rides and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

Others admired each others’ big hats as they munched on bacon-wrapped bleu cheese and dates and blackberry-kiwi-melon kebabs.

Josie Arias had reached into her vintage collection of hats to pick one dating to the 1940s for the party. She had collected the vintage wear while working as advertising director for “Vintage Fashion” magazine.

“The fashion from the 1940s for me was the best,” she said.

Terri Bullock, meanwhile, wowed everyone with her Mexican sombrero-sized hat that she’d won in a raffle at the Wood River Women Foundation’s recent greet-and-meet at Nancie Tatum’s home. But she quickly found that the five-pound hat “needed to sit for awhile.”

Terri Bullock showed off the hat she won at last week’s Wood River Women’s Foundation mixer as she consorted with Joyce Fabre.

“I feel so glamorous, but I can’t maneuver around all these women with it on!” she said. “If the wind were to catch it, I’m gone!”

Wolcott, who hosted the tea, said she is a big fan of the BCRD’s entire trail network from those around Galena Lodge to the Wood River bike path.

“No taxpayer dollars are used for Galena and the Harriman trails so we need to step up and make a contribution,” she added.


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