Clam Lake News & Events

Hello Clam Lake!

Well, what can one say about this past week’s weather other than it was COLD!!! If the mercury cracked zero we considered ourselves lucky. At least it was sunny. Speaking of….in February we gain about 2 and ½ minutes of daylight per day. There….don’t you feel warmer already? Here’s hopin’…..

“BIRKIE” UPDATE: In February, our thoughts turn towards the American Birkebeiner which brings thousands of people to our area each year to either participate in the famous ski race or as spectators. As with most things, the impact of the pandemic has made changes in the race necessary. This year’s Birkebeiner will take place over a five day period from February 24th thru the 28th with no spectators allowed at the races. The skiers will ski a course that starts and ends near the Birkebeiner trailhead in Cable rather than skiing into Hayward proper for the finish as in past years. From parked cars, skiers will be called from a radio system when it is their turn to approach the start line. Masks are required from the time you leave the car until you are on course. This year skiers are also being given the option to do a Virtual Race. Anyone can choose to participate in the virtual ski. Virtual racers much complete their distance in one continuous ski and must finish their time within the allotted limits – American Birkebeiner (10 hours), Kortelopet (7 hours) and the Prince Haakon (4 hours). We wish all those participating good luck! We’ll keep our cow bells at the ready for next year.

ELK CROSSING GUARDS: During our snow event of a week or so ago as I made my way home after doing a mail run, I was greeted by two elk standing on the highway near the entrance to my forest road. I slowed down, then stopped as they peered up and down the highway making sure there were no oncoming vehicles that could possibly impede my progress. Satisfied that all was well, they left the center line to retreat into the edges of the forest. As I passed by, I waved at them and thanked them for their help. All I can say is, “Like a good neighbor, my elk are there…”

HISTORY MOMENT: Today Clam Lake hosts an annual Ice Fishing Contest but, in the 1940’s, Ice Carnivals were “all the rage”. Most area towns had them with Clam Lake being no exception. The Ice Carnival, as with the ice fishing contest, was held on Upper Clam. Here is what the Glidden Enterprise had to say about it in their February 16th 1940 edition. “Clam Lake Ice Carnival a Success – The Clam Lake Carnival Sunday was a very successful and entertaining event, and attracted a large number of spectators from this section. All the contests were interesting, and the skiing exhibition and fancy skating greatly pleased the large crowd.” It goes on to list the winners in the various events with top of the list being the, “Ski Exhibition – which was motorized skiing behind a fast car (can we say dangerous?): Roger McCorison (age 16) of Clam Lake took 1st place, Taylor Scotford (age 15) of Clam Lake took 2nd place with Beatrice Cormican (age 15) of Clam Lake taking 3rd.We then move onto the, “Ice Races – the 110 yard Cadet girls: 1st place went to Dolores (Dodo) Rast (age 10) of Clam Lake, 2nd place fell to Katherine Peterson of Glidden.” We also have the 220 yard race, girls ages 14 and 15 with Dolores (Straetz) Kempf (age 15) of Glidden taking 2nd place.” It was also noted that on the evening of February 22nd the Clam Lake business men would sponsor a skating masquerade at the Hanson rink on Upper Clam Lake.” Ahhh…those were the days!

Until next week….

Speaking of winter….Pictured is a photo taken in the 1920’s by Tom Dezotell’s father, Joe, of a winter scene near Park Falls. The caption reads, “Remembering when snow was measured in feet not inches.” (Photo courtesy of Tom (Diz) Dezotell)