The main attraction at Breezy Point is the North Shore’s breath-taking beauty and scenery. It is there, right outside your window. While here though, you will probably want to see some of the local activities as well. What better way to experience a town or region than to watch locals participate in one of their favorite pastimes? In the winter it is fun to watch curling in Two Harbors.
“It is just a fun sport”, said Leon Pitzen at the Two Harbors Curling Club. “Our club here is kind of like a family. It is a winter activity here and it goes beyond just going out on the ice. It is the camaraderie involved.”
Like golf, curling began in Scotland, where people been playing the sport since at least the 16th century. There are clubs scattered throughout the United States, but the heaviest concentration of clubs is in the Upper Midwest and the northeastern states. Two Harbors Curling Club is only about 10 minutes from Breezy Point.
There are many nights in the winter and early spring when you can come and watch these locals playing the sport they love. The arena is also set up for the fun of spectators as well. Here locals will be cheering for their favorite team, while talking about what is going on and having some drinks.
“There is a bar and people watch the curling,” said Leon. “We have about 170 members and 6 leagues that play 4 nights a week.”
You can watch the excitement as the teams slide a “rock” across the ice, trying to get it as close to the center of the bull’s-eye as possible. You can see the strategy as team members brush the ice in front of the stone to change its speed and direction.
For curling you need a “sheet” (the equivalent of a court), rocks, and brushes. They are kind of flexible when it comes to footwear.
“Street shoes are fine for starters, but we put on sliders on the bottom,” said Leon. “Ice is really fussy. We can’t get dirt on it. Most people get special shoes.”
Curling is an inclusive winter sport, compared with ice hockey. Though it helps to be in shape, it is a relatively low endurance sport. It is a game of skill that does not rely so much on youth and strength.
“I’d say the ages are all the way from 15 to 90,” said Leon.
In fact, one club member just retired from the sport around his 90th birthday.
The club has a men’s league and an open league. The open league is open to both men and women. Since four people are on each team and the club has a four sheet arena, there can be four games going on at a time. So the club tries to have 8 teams on each league.
These leagues are full of locals, many of who have known each other for years. If you are staying at Breezy Point you can stop by and mingle with those enjoying this activity in the Northland. Find current schedules (they play every night but Friday and Saturday) at http://twoharborscurling.com.