2.20.2009

Tradition, reinforced and upended

Hello from Cable, Wisconsin. It's the time of year, when men and women of similarity insanity ski 50 kilometers up and down hills in the American Birkebeiner cross country ski race. We drove up (taking a different route), and are now at Telemark Lodge, while Eric finishes waxing his skis with his father. During this time I sit in front of the giant fireplace in the lobby. What's different this year is that a chimney fire this year means no fire. It's freaking cold in here. On the other hand, they've added wireless, so I have my MacBook to keep me warm. 

We'll go to the beautiful cabin we rent in a bit, where Eric M and Burt and Sherpa Scott will be waiting, and we'll eat lasagna and relax. Actually, three of us will relax. Eric and Sherpa will nervously lay out their racing suits and skis and powergels and socks and crotchwarmers, etc. It will be a very early morning tomorrow, when I take Eric to the shuttle and send him off to the race. I then go to downtown Hayward, sit and drink coffee and knit and read, and then head to Main Street for the finish. Watching the most elite skiers in the world finish this race, in front of thousands of cheering, bell-ringing fans, is one of my favorite moments of the year. Eric has skied at least ten Birkies, and this is our seventh one together. There's a rumor that I may join in one of these years, but I don't know how that got started. Much of Eric's family is here this year, too (not staying with us), so it's a Very Vollen Birkie. I have a beer in hand already.

More as the situation develops.

2 comments:

Ann said...

My greatest memory of the Grand Montana Ski Trip of 1992 was not the slopes or dreams of slopes, but King Arthur by the fireplace.

Oh, wait. the sleeping arrangements were nice, too. Long story.

So, what are you reading?

Mary Rempalski Ohm said...

Hope you were able to get a New York Times and a latte and truly enjoy the last weekend of your sabbatical.