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The Birkie and the Great Bear Chase

The Birkie and the Great Bear Chase: Comparing two great races

The Birkie and the Great Bear Chase Over the last two weeks, I have had the pleasure and pain of experiencing two awesome cross-country skiing races in the Midwest. I participated in the American Birkebeiner or affectionately known as the “Birkie” in late February and this past week I skied the Great Bear Chase in [...]

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Post Birkie pose

Madshus skis are mad good for the Birkie

Picking up Madshus skis When I picked up a pair of Madshus skis at the American Birkebeiner expo, I almost threw them in the air they were so light. You know that feeling when you anticipate something heavy and you brace to pick it up only to find it is much lighter than expected? That [...]

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South Kettle Moraine high def

South Kettle Moraine high def photo essay

While training for the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski marathon in Hayward, Wisconsin in the Kettle Moraine State Forest southern unit, I took a few pictures with my iPhone. The Southern Unit consists of three cross-country ski trail systems: the Nordic, McMiller, and the Scuppernong. These photos came from either the Nordic system or the Scuppernong. [...]

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Birkie workout Nordic Trail

Kettle Moraine South Nordic Trails a perfect Birkie workout

There is less than 30 days until the American Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski Marathon in Hayward, Wisconsin, so it is time to start getting serious if you are competing in this year’s race. The skiing conditions have been pretty solid this winter for Midwestern skiers. My favorite training ground is the Blue Trail on the [...]

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Ham Lake Ski Trail

Gunflint Lodge cross-country skiing in Minnesota

Gunflint Lodge cross-country skiing is fantastic and one of the best ski trail systems in the Midwest. Gunflint Lodge is located about 45 miles down the Gunflint Trail from Grand Marais, Minnesota on beautiful Gunflint Lake. It used to be even more beautiful, but a blow down and fires have severely culled the trees in [...]

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Mirror Lake outdoor adventure travel

Outdoor adventure travel and the rites of spring

When taking part in outdoor adventure travel, the changing of the seasons is acutely noted by those who take part. This is especially true between fall and winter and winter and spring. I call this period the in betweens. Not only does the weather change, but the activity themselves change. Alpine and cross-country skiing gives [...]

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Birkebeiner Jägermeister

Sucking wind and a dripping booger at the American Birkebeiner

I had the honor of participating in the 40th running of the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski marathon in Hayward, Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago. I raced in the 54 kilometer classic race. It took me 5 hours and 31 minutes to finish the race with Fischer skis. I would have finished slightly faster had [...]

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Gunflint cross-country ski crash

Cross-country ski crash on the Gunflint Trail

Even the most experienced cross-country skiers have that moment when they lose their balance or their ski gets caught in deep snow or a rut. This cross-country ski crash was taken from the Gunflint Trail in Minnesota at the ski trails by Gunflint Lodge. There was 6 inches of fresh powder snow on the ground [...]

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Run rabbit run

Run rabbit run cross-country skiing Gunflint

Run rabbit run down the cross-country ski trails along the Gunflint Trail. One of my favorite bands of all time is Pink Floyd. One of their epic albums is Dark Side of the Moon. The beginning piece off of this seminal album is the song Breathe. A famous line from the song is “Run, run [...]

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Pincushion Mountain cross-country ski trail

Cross-country ski and loopity loop the Pincushion Mountain trails

Pincushion Mountain is located just up the Gunflint Trail from the small Lake Superior town of Grand Marais. The Gunflint Trail cuts 60 miles into the Minnesota wilderness to lodges and lakes and is the entry point into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Quetico Provincial Park in Canada. In the winter the road is [...]

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