By Sharon Wootton
Let the mouth-watering begin!
About 26,000 gallons of blueberry soup, sports drinks, gruel and coffee and 100,000 buns will be consumed at food stations at what is considered the biggest cross-country ski event (Vasaloppet) in the world (16,700 entries in main race; 67,000 participants in several categories), as well as one of the oldest (1922) and one of the longest (56 miles, about 90 kilometers) in the world.
Participants ski between Salen Salen and Mora in Sweden the first Sunday in March.
Vasaloppet’s history is traced back to 1520, when a Swedish noble, Gustav Vasa (later King Vasa), was opposed to and hunted by the Danish rulers. In 1521, he fled on skis from Mora towards Norway. In 1922, Mora’s officials started the race with 119 skiers. The 10-meter-wide route is now a nature reserve.
Much closer to home, the annual Hog Loppet cross-country event at Mission Ridge is scheduled for Feb. 22. The 30km event from Mission Ridge Ski Area to Blewett Pass is noncompetitive and is not recommended for beginners because of the steep terrain and ungroomed trails.
Online registration at www.skileavenworth.com/events/hog-loppet closes Feb. 20, but skiers can register on the day of the race,
See the website for more information.
Singing the blues: Pilchuck Audubon Society’s Jan. 10 program on the reintroduction of the western bluebird to the Pacific Northwest takes place at 7 p.m. at the Everett Firefighter’s Hall, 2411 Hewitt Ave., Everett.
The program with Gary Slater, executive director of Ecostudies Institute, is open to the public.
Last week’s column had an incorrect date.