In an odd symmetry, we were in the right place at the right time to catch 15 parked cars sinking 15 feet into the half frozen lake. And we caught all 15 entries in the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition in progress Friday and finished on Saturday.
Man Vs. Mother Nature ends in a 15/15 tie!
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Dug took Sage (12) skiing for the second time and she rocked ALL the ski runs at Alpine Valley, even their hardest Black Diamond runs. While the ski loving half of our family enjoyed the slopes Friday and Saturday, my son, Dugan (14) and I enjoyed several small town restaurants in Elkhorn and Lake Geneva, hit a water park, checked out the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition, caught a magic show, and wandered the towns with camera in hand. This mini vacation was not a sponsored travel post in any way, so we won't be linking to attractions, reviewing, or giving specifics on ticketing, times, etc.
Here's a full slideshow photo recap of our adventures and we've embedded more of our favorite shots below. Enjoy!
U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition
Fifteen teams had Wednesday through Saturday morning at 11am to work their magic on 8x9 foot blocks of snow without power tools. One of our top favorites, "Door Man" scored a well deserved win.
It was cool to talk with the artists and see what far flung states everyone came in from. One of our favorite sculptures was designed by one of the guys on last year's winning team, who rocks big spiral earrings like mine, only white instead of black. This year one of his team mates was back on a different threesome, for some friendly competition.
The "Crying Wolf" AKA: Sheep for Brains sculpture was designed by the woman carving on the mouth and they came all the way from Maine. Believe it or not, they started as sand sculptors! They said snow is more challenging because the texture changes daily and it's quite different working on it when it's icy versus mushy. They planned to spend their final night before the judging, sanding down their giant head to smooth out the dimpling effects from the sun.
I highly recommend checking out the snow carvings the day before, or pick an odd Saturday early or late time, if you want to see the artists' sketches and scale models. By Saturday afternoon the competition area was uncomfortably mobbed and it was tough to see much detail or stay more than a few seconds at a given sculpture.
Speaking of effects from the sun, Friday was mellow, crowd wise and weather wise, for a Wisconsin February.
People, including my son, were out walking on the frozen lake, flying kites and even confidently driving 4x4 trucks out! Evidently this is common practice for ice fisherman and others and by February of most years the ice is more than thick enough to accommodate the weight.
By Saturday, parking was nearly nonexistent as the town was overrun with eager Winter Fest tourists. 3 rows of cars parked on the lake before our winter long mild streak cracked the ice and sent 15 of them plunging into the lake! Five were able to drive out before things got too insane but the other 10 were quite likely totaled from the water damage, according to a Lake Geneva Police Department news release. By nightfall, the worst ones were in 15 feet of water (there's that 15 again) and required the Department of Natural Resources to use an air boat and a wetsuit diver to hook them up and pull them out. Tow trucks, police and firefighters worked together to rescue the rest.
Overall it was a fast, fun two day getaway.
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