What Did We Learn? A Birkebeiner Coda



A work of art by Katie Scanlan, age 4.
A work of art by Katie Scanlan, age 4.


I learned that it takes a lot of people to really make me hurt. And I learned that we learn through hurt.


Thanks go out to Dorothy for allowing me to spend precious money on this adventure. Thanks to Bart, Wayne, and Jeff for giving me sage advice. Thanks to Geoff’s Bike and Ski for providing a great place to get my gear. Thanks to Brian for the late-Thursday wax before I drove up to Wisconsin. Thanks to Steve and Brian for teaching me how to blog (all mistakes are mine!). Thanks to those who organized the Wednesday night ski races at the Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City: Steve, Brian, and Mark. Thanks for the kind comments, especially Tarik Saleh’s write up on http://swnordicski.blogspot.com/. Thanks to all the volunteers at the Birkie: all 2,000 of them. Thanks to the skiers (7,000 plus)  for passing me all damn day long… and thus motivating me for next year. Thanks for the Midwest for being the Midwest…all friendly and eager to help…even when you don’t want or deserve friendly or eager help. Thanks for youtube for helping me learn how to skate ski. Thanks for those who read strange stories about strange activities.


Oh, wait, I almost forgot. Thanks to the guy in the soup tent who heard the first iteration of this story. He advised me to try to write it up. Thanks also to the guy in the beer tent. That was one of the best beers I have every had. Whoever made the soup in the soup tent: bravo! And thanks to the woman who works for the public radio station playing all the Birkie songs: WOJB at 88.9. She has a wonderful voice. She even sang the weather report in the tune of “The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music.” That takes mad skillz.


Pax and ski wax,



One Comment on “What Did We Learn? A Birkebeiner Coda

  1. Hi Sean,

    REALLY enjoyed your Birkie journal and forwarded it to my nordic ski buddies here in the Northeast.

    I did the Birkie for the first, and only, time in 2006 at age 67 years young. Your journal brought back a lot of great memories of one of the best, if not the best, nordic skiing adventures I ever had. Thanks for taking the time to write it all down.

    Best regards,

    Leon Dixon
    Montville, NJ

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