You may find this as hard to imagine as I once did, but the oldest ski jumping facility in North America is just north of me on a Fox River bluff. Started by Norwegian settlers over a hundred years ago, the Norge Ski Club just had it's 106th annual meet and I was able to attend.
As mind boggling as ski jumping looks on television, it is infinitely more amazing in person. The start point is so high I believe I would wet myself just climbing to the top. To strap on skis, hurtle down the narrow slope and fly the length of a football field above the ground is too much to imagine. Yet crazy skiers come from all over the world to do it.
You must, must, must arrange your schedule next January to experience the crowds, the Jaeger stands, the bratwursts, and the lunacy of a ski jumping tournament. Note: they have a summer meet where they jump onto astroturf mats!
Read more: The Norge Ski Club