Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Some of you have asked me what inspired me to write Birkebeiner, A Story of Motherhood and War. The first time I participated in the American Birkebeiner (the largest cross country ski race in North America), I arrived a couple of days early to reconnoiter. Several times, I traveled the corridor that connected the Colosseum and the hotel. Each trip took me past the large portrait of Thorstein and Skjervold carrying Prince Hakon. At the time I didn't know their names or anything else about the story. My curiosity grew with each pass. Finally, I stopped in front of the portrait and said to a skier coming the other way and minding his own business, "Those guys are not baby sitters. What's the story here?" The skier passed, wondering, I'm sure, if I belonged there or had just wandered in from the cold. But the question remained, gnawing at my curiosity. When I returned from the Birkie, I begin to research. One thing led to another and about a year later I went to Norway. By that time I was hooked - inextricably mired in the story. I had a lot of help along the way to seeing it in it's final form, but I enjoyed the journey that started at that portrait. I hope you enjoy the story.