It’s always fun to do something a second time and have just as good a time as you did the first time. This year was the 2nd annual Birkie Pole walk at the Birkie Trek. Julie, my nordic walking buddy and I went to do a clinic on Friday night and to enjoy the trail on Saturday morning.
We had a small but enthusiastic group on Friday nite for the clinic. The rain had already moved in and the grass was wet as we set off, warming up on the first hills. One of the things I love about alpine skiing is the instructor clinics, even after 25 years of teaching I always get something out of a clinic and always enjoy getting to know other snow enthusiasts. The same was true on the trail. We had mostly experienced walkers and instructors so it was more of a sharing of what we all do best. It was great fun to expand my circle of nordic walking friends and I look forward to doing more with them in the many walks ahead.
Since Julie and I were alone this year we split the time on the trail. I got dropped off to hand out the LEKI demo poles at the start while she set up the Hoigaard’s tent a the finish. We met up at Gravel Pit road to trade places. I only got 5.5 miles on the trail but it was wonderful. If you’ve never hiked, biked or skied the Birkie trail you really need to put it on your list of things to do. It’s a beautiful path thru the woods with lots of up and down, meandering between Cable and Hayward. The Trek was a week later this year so the fall colors were in full array. I got to walk a bit with Rhea and Ed along with many other pole walkers. Gravel Pit Road came way too soon!
This is not a timed event for pole walkers. One of the unique things about it is the wide variety of poles and styles used on the trail. You see everything from cross country ski poles, (leading to more hill bounding and running than nordic walking), hiking poles, single staffs, old ski poles, along with “state of the art” nordic walking poles of all varieties. There isn’t any boundaries for what you do and everyone clearly enjoyed their “pole walking”. Again a great example of the melting pot and cooperation that is happening in the nordic walking world.
Since I was stuck at the finish I got a couple of shots as Rhea and Ed came thru. Enjoy! The rest of the pictures are on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/28127384@N08/sets/72157622465188032/