From the Minnesota Skier Magazine
Fall 2000

Russ's Ramblings
From the Blue Ridge Mountains to Xanadu

Ending the month of June in North Caroline, then coming back for a trip to the Western Lakes area of Minnesota did it for me. While out East I had the opportunity to visit the Blue Ridge Mountains with their lush green flora on the mountainous terrain. Descending down out of these beautiful mountains, rich with history, at the end of my trip, had me deliberate what is in store for all of us in less than five months. This rugged terrain prompted me to think of all the great trips the MSC is endorsing this coming season. Then, on the weekend of the Fourth of Ju7ly, I had the chance to reacquaint myself with one of the special chapters from my new book, "Have Some Fun. Ski, Eat and Lodge in Minnesota"

While exploring and pondering what's in store for us this next winter, I can only share my optimistic viewpoint that we will again be graced with normal and steady snowfalls.

Whether my optimism becomes a reality or not for Minnesota skiing, read about all the endorsed trips in this issue of the Minnesota Skier. The season starts with the MSC Winter Carnival in early December, and ends with a trip to New Zealand next August. With so many trips, including the Winter Carnival, offering cross-country ski options, there is sure to be a destination to pique your interests. Please call the listed trip-chairs to find out the specifics on XC ski options.

If my rosy outlook holds true for snow in our back yards, my book will be a great tool when exploring some of Minnesotas XC trails and downhill ski destinations. This books has been in the works for several years and I am excited about finally sharing all the interesting places I have traveled to in Minnesota., this book is a great primer. As a guide, it will not only help you slect great trial systems, but will also assist you in finding lodging, places to eat, tidbits of information about the area and other things to do when not sking.

One of the areas, I had a chance to revisit this last weekend, in the Fergus Falls area, in the Western Lakes Region on my book. The place we selected to stay was the Xanadu Island Bed and Breakfast and Resort , near Battle Lake. This is just a sample of some of the perfect places for a winter ski get-away here in Minnesota. Xanadu Island is accessible by road via a causeway that leads to a quiet wooded five acre island B&B resort on Elbow Lake. A perfect setting for a base camp when in the area, it invites respose, reflection, reading and romance. Along with the quiet pursuit of solitude and blissful time to ski, showshoe or just hang out with friends, guests will be awakened each morning by the smell of apple-pecan cake and souffle omelets baking.

Xanadu represents a magic place of literary memory and freedom, where nothing would be forgotten. See more at or in my book coming out in September.

Enjoy the rest of the summer. With so many options this next season, I think there will be a little Xanadu in any trip or destination you may choose. Just visualize a high reaching glacial area covered with snow and its magic will lure you forever.

Russ Lowthian - Editors Note: Russ can be reached at 6135 Kellogg, Edina, MN 55424. His e-mail address is:

As featured in Midwest Living, Resorts of Minnesota, Mpls/St.Paul Magazine, and others...

More About Xanadu

Thoughts from our Guests

Xanadu is beautiful! I enjoyed the view, the hostess, the Manx, the bed---in fact, I loved it all! Thanks, Ruth

P.S. Could I forget the food? No way! It was delicious.