Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A fun day at AO's Winter Fun Day

Cars were parked right down the road and on the other side of Hwy 60

By all accounts, the 14th Annual Algonquin Outfitters Winter Fun Day was a great success. We estimate that about 200 people visited Algonquin Outfitters in Oxtongue Lake on Saturday. The weather and snow cooperated and we were lucky that the freezing rain did not start until Sunday afternoon, just as the Ragged Falls snowshoe hike was ending.

Thanks to Jason Wilcox, lots of folks got to test drive Atlas snowshoes

All of the demos, lessons and displays were well attended. Door prize draws were a huge hit, as usual, and the excellent selection of prizes was much appreciated. Everyone seemed to have fun! We were were especially pleased with the participation level in the demos and activities. There was an excellent turnout of 21 hearty snowshoers for the Ragged Falls snowshoe hike on Sunday morning. Most of these folks were new to snowshoeing and all had a great time.

The BBQ lunch and campfire are always popular!

Summit College students and interns showing how ice climbing works

Winterdance dogs at full tilt on the Blue Spruce trails

Barb and Scott from Toronto try Inuit leg wrestling

"The blind musher and the lazy dog" was a very entertaining event!

Steve from NorthOnSixty working hard to stay ahead of his kids

Dan Mahoney from Ski for Life and a future x-c skier

Ben and Robin from the Wolf Den working on the igloo,
with some help from Heather and John

We've posted over 60 pictures of the event on the Winter Fun Day page on Facebook. You need to sign up for Facebook to see these (it's easy, free and you don't have to get addicted to to it).

You can also see a Winter Fun Day slide show on our retail blog:

Randy Mitson, our staff photo guru, has posted over 200 images of the day on his gallery on Photobucket. If you want to see all the pictures, this is the place.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Winter Fun Day schedule

Celebrate winter with Algonquin Outfitters!

The 14th Annual Winter Fun Day will get you excited about winter! Join us for an activity-packed day with something for everyone. All events take place at Algonquin Outfitters in Oxtongue Lake, February 16, 2008 (except the Ragged falls snowshoe hike on the 17th).

Rental/demo cross-country skis are available at no charge if participating in scheduled lessons. Please sign out equipment upstairs in the store at least 15 minutes the lesson starts.

Call 1-800-469-4948 (705-635-2243) for more information.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ongoing Events: 10:30am—4pm

• Dogsledding - with Winterdance Dogsled Tours. Meet and pay at the dog truck - follow the sound of barking!
• Snowshoe demonstration: test-drive high-tech snowshoes with Jason Wilcox of Atlas Snowshoes. Under the Atlas tent on the lake.
• Winter campfire: warm up around the campfire!
• Cross Country Tips: meet Dan and Joan Mahony of Ski for Life at the ski oval for informal lessons. See specific lessons at 11, 1 and 2:30 pm. Please sign out rental equipment inside (no charge if you are taking a lesson) at least 15 minutes before the lesson.
• Ice climbing: meet Summit College staff & students and learn about this high-energy winter sport. Follow the signs on the lake and trail to the climbing site. Please note: this is a demonstration only.
Igloo Building: take snowfort-building to the next level with Ben and Robin of the the Wolf Den Bunkhouse. Look for the growing pile of snow near the lake (conditions permitting). Read all about the igloo built recently at the Wolf Den on their blog.
• Winter Disc Golf:if you can toss a Frisbee®, you can play Disc Golf - try it out!
• Don’t forget to sign up for door prizes inside! Door prize draws at 12:15, 4:00 - you must be present to win!

Winter Activity Smorgasbord

Students from Fleming College’s Eco and Adventure Tourism Management program are running fun activities all day. Join in, take part and get an Activity Passport at any of the activity stations. Complete all five activities on the passport and get a free hot chocolate!

Inuit Games - simple, ancient, challenging and fun. Be prepared to get snowy! On the lake.
The Lazy Musher and the Blind Dog - tobaggan racing without a hill? Bring a partner and win great prizes. On the lake.
Fire by Friction - learn how to light a fire without matches and cook traditional winter treats. By the campfire.
Trails, Tracks and Facts: Search for clues of forest inhabitants and hear stories from our pioneer heritage. Meet by the campfire.
Snowshoe Obstacle Course - Try out modern snowshoes and discover a new way to enjoy winter.

BBQ lunch: 12-2 - Opens at noon. Buy food tickets inside please! Thanks to Chef Jeremy!

Scheduled activities and lessons

• 11–12, Cross-country ski lesson - novice classic: instructors: Dan & Joan Mahony of Ski for Life . The lessons focus upon the development of fundamental skiing skills while teaching not only the importance of physical fitness but also demonstrating cross country skiing as an active winter lifestyle. The friendly and competition free approach used by SKI FOR LIFE provides a comfortable learning environment that is appealing to beginner, novice, and intermediate skiers of all ages. No experience is necessary. Get skis inside ahead of time, meet at ski oval.
• 12:15, Door prize draw: At the front counter - you must be there to win!
• 1:00 - 2:00, Cross-country ski lesson - intro to skate-skiing: Even touring skiers can benefit from this modern ski technique. Instuctors: Dan & Joan Mahony of Ski for Life . Basic x-c ski skills would be helpful!
• 2:30 - 3:30, Cross-country ski tour: Dan & Joan Mahony of Ski for Life . Meet on the oval. A roving lesson on the Blue Spruce trails
• 3:45, Fun snowshoe race: Just one lap around the oval! Prizes for adults and kids! Meet at the snowshoe demo area.
• 4:00, Door prize draw, snowshoe race prizes : at the front counter - you must be there to win!

Special Sunday event
9:30am - 12pm, Sunday, Feb. 17

• 14th Annual Snowshoe trek to Ragged Falls: trek leader, Gordon Baker. An annual tradition! we'll trek up to the falls on an easy trail then head into the woods on a more adventurous return trip. No snowshoeing experience required but a healthy sense of adventure is highly recommended. Free snowshoes for use by participants, or bring your own. Meet at the AO store front counter by 9:30. Car pooling required. Dogs that play well with others are welcome if well-behaved and on a leash.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Winter Fun Day on Facebook

My colleague Randy Mitson has created a Facebook Event page for our Winter Fun Day!

If you are a "Facebooker," you can visit the page and let us know you're coming to the WFD (or maybe, or not but thanks anyways), see pictures, add comments, invite more people and generally use the power of social networking to help us have a great day.

Don't forget, though, if you really want to experience Winter Fun Day, you need to turn off the computer, put on your toque and parka and head out to Algonquin Outfitters in Oxtongue Lake on February 16!