This is the last issue of the 2002-2003 season - the end of the second year since the rebirth of Cross Country Skier. In two very short seasons we’ve delivered eight issues and almost a thousand pages of stories about cross country skiing.
We started the first issue of 2001 with a profile of Ann Bancroft and Liv Arneson’s historic crossing of Antarctica. This season ends with two stories about the 30th anniversary of the American Birkebeiner marathon ski race in Hayward, Wisconsin. In between there has been tales told about Bill Koch’s sand skiing in Hawaii, the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and long slow distance training at the Silver Star Nordic Camp.
From the East, Midwest, West and across Canada and Europe, we’ve brought you destination profiles of cross country ski areas close to home and far, far away. Readers have learned about Nordic areas like the Gunflint Trail, British Columbia, Quebec City, Austria, New Zealand and Marquette, Michigan. Nordic enthusiasts who live close to these areas bemoan the fact that their little corner of paradise has been revealed to other skiers.
In every issue, our six columnists pass on useful information. This season we added several new voices. Steve Hindman taught us how to improve our skiing technique in well-written and illustrated lessons. Ian Harvey brought his expertise and knowledge to help us understand the benefits of proper waxing. Margie Kaptanoglu made us smile with her humorous recollections about the role of winter recreation in her family. Katy Devlin introduced us to interesting people in Fireside. Familiar voices like Diane Richards, Jim Smith and Jay Tegeder continued to educate and entertain us.
Most of our feature stories come from eager freelance writers. This year we’ve brought you stories about global warming by Bill McKibben, Ron Watter’s celebration of snow, Brian Shoup’s memoir about a fellow citizen racer and Adam Chase’s introduction to winter adventure racing. Our contributors only wish (besides a small fee) is that we spell their name right and send copies of the magazine to add to their publishing portfolios.
All these stories share a common theme - a deep and passionate love of cross country skiing. When the leaves turn red in the fall, we schedule our winter getaway trips, plan training regimes in anticipation of the races we will enter, budget for new gear purchases and page through the magazine hoping to get our minds in tune for the coming season. As December approaches we pray for snow. Despite the weatherman’s technologically supported insistent forecast for a brown holiday; we wake up each morning hoping that our favorite trail will be covered in six inches of fresh snow.
We’re ready to ski, El Nino be damned. We may not all be competitive citizen racers or have the disposable income to buy new skis every year or travel across the country to sample the fine cuisine at a charming bed and breakfast. Bottom-line, we all love to cross country ski.
As publisher and editor, our jobs are to fuel that fire. With just four issues each season we have more stories to tell than time and space allow. We’re already compiling the list of features, profiles and destinations we want to bring to you next season. Contributors have filled our mailboxes with story ideas.
While you’re spending your weekend mornings skiing we’ll be gathering stories to pass along to you next season. Until then, stay safe, stay warm and introduce a friend to the joys of cross country skiing.