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The Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival without Telemark Lodge

Telemark Lodge's facilities will not be used for this weekend's events. Photo Credit: Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival

2010 marks the first time in decades that participants, fans, and community members will not be able to enjoy using the facilities of Telemark Lodge during the trek through the woods on bikes, known as the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival.

Telemark Lodge simply has a place in the hearts of every Fat Tire racer and Birkie skier. It is the place where in the past you've went to pick up your race packet, check out the latest gear from vendors at the expo, have dinner, answer nature's call, or grab a beer from the bar. Sadly, not in 2010 due the rash of misfortune Telemark has endured in recent years.

The other thing that has many Fat Tire Festival attendees concerned is lodging. Without the 200+ rooms at Telemark Lodge being available, more and more hotel rooms will be filled up, further and further away from the event. There will likely many people staying in outlying towns like Spooner, Duluth, Ironwood, etc - a solid hour drive from the Hayward area.

Thankfully, Gary Crandall and the army of volunteers that make the event possible are pulling out all of the stops this year. A literal circus tent will be erected which many of the event's festivities will take place in. There will also be many other smaller tents around the Telemark grounds for food service, changing areas, etc, etc.

I'm sure the Birkie board members will be there taking notes as they'll be facing similar challenges this coming February, except with winter weather conditions.

As they say, the show must go on. The mighty Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival is no exception.

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