Birkie 42 – My Last Birkie?

Post-Birkie Update – he was just kidding. It was a beautiful day on the snow and Paul took an hour off his time from the previous year. He got to the end and said “I’m not done yet!” Watch for more Birkie Fever next year as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American Birkebeiner.


Dear Friends and Supporters of Paul’s 4+ decades of Skiing the Birkie,                       
As this climate strange winter of ‘22-‘23 continues with rain and 40 degrees, followed by more cold and ice covered snow, Mindy and I prepare for another Birkie, my 42nd and Mindy is doing her 3rd Kortelopet.  Each year becomes a bit more of a challenge for me at 74, but hey, a good challenge keeps us honest, just not sure about the Birkie hills and 53 km. 

I wasn’t going to do much fundraising this year, but friends are calling and asking “where do I contribute?”  Thinking this might be my last full Birkie here I am humbly asking for your financial support one more time. Details on donating here.

As the new President of the board of the Birchleggings Club (skiers who have completed 20 or more Birkies), this year has taken on a very different flavor.  Birkie Green, which Cool Planet proposed to the Birkie 5 years ago, is firmly in place.  Next year we plan to institute organics recycling. This year, our Birchleggings Club is making reusable shopping bags out of used and overstocked race bibs and well as raising funds to purchase two Nomad 100% Electric Snowmobiles

for filming the lead groups and trail work for the Birkie trail crew. Even Olympic medalist Jessie Diggins is helping by donating four of her autographed World Cup Bibs to be auctions off for the Nomad.  Thank you Jessie for using your voice to make a difference!

Mindy continues her important work as Regional Coordinator of the North Wind Region (MN, IA, SD, ND, and NE) of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) bringing people together to develop bipartisan policies to move forward on climate solutions. Congress and the state of MN have passed important legislation recently, now it’s time to bring all opinions and solutions to the table if we want lasting, durable laws and policies.

I have found a new group to promote and I love working with my new elder friends with Elders Climate Action.  Is there anything more persuasive than a grandparent with time, passion and resources?  My generation has a wonderful challenge to turn our economy and culture toward giving back and leaving a livable world for future generations.  I have also re connected with my Peace Corps roots (Malaysian Borneo 1971-73) and am working with other RPCVs for Environmental Action to engage new and older Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in building climate action locally and in Congress working closely with CCL and many other organizations.

In Edina, both Mindy and Paul are active with our Project Earth high school environmental club and connecting the school district with the city of Edina and their Climate Action Plan.  Planting trees, growing food, public transportation, so many ways to bring people together to feel safe and to contribute to a brighter future.

Now it’s your turn.

Please consider a donation of $42, $142 or $420 to honor the # of years of my skiing through this link at the Edina Community Foundation our fiscal agent.  Donations this year will be split 50/50 between Cool Planet and the Birchleggings Club for the Nomad Electric Snowmobile.  Both 501(c)3 tax deductible organizations.

We are making significant progress on climate and I thank you for the work you are doing everyday to make your community a better place to live.  There is much to do and we do it together, one step at a time.

With appreciation and gratitude for our lives,

Paul  (and Mindy and all our partners that benefit from Cool Planet’s work and your generosity)