Letter to Joe

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by Phil Dunn


July 13, 2015

(Nephew) Joe Milne
Fellow Haakon Haakonson Recipient
#1 Frozen Land, Canada

Dear Joe,

I’ve seen many, many doctors this year, some of them very specialized, and they all agree that I am going to die. Well, more on that later.

With this in mind, I want to tell you how much I have enjoyed X-C skiing with you and I want you to know that I really appreciate it.  We have skied a lot of Birkebeiners in common.  As you can imagine, I will always want to do “one more” Birkebeiner.  This is where I have a favour to ask of you. If I have gone on to better ski trails in the sky, and am unable to make it to the next Birkie start line on my own (or some other Birke in the future), I want you to put my ashes in your pack and take me along.  You remember the Pack part of the Birkebeiner don’t you? That’s the part that makes it a full Birkebeiner.  Anyway, I think we could make history together and have a Win – Win situation for the two of us. On the selfish side of things, I get one more Birkebeiner and in all likelihood, go down in history, with another first in Birkieland, you too for that matter.  After all, we all know that babies have been carried in the Birkie but no adults to the best of my knowledge.  We could be the first. Furthermore, on my giving side, I only want to ride along in the Backpack. This way you can officially cross the finish line ahead of me and claim once-and-for-all that you have beaten your aged, old uncle.

By the way, none of this “Fair Weather Crap!” If the Birkie goes – We Go!

You know that I would do the same for you if the situation were reversed.

Knowing that Milne is of Scottish, not Norwegian origin, I recognize that any registration costs could be an issue. Don’t worry I have checked with your aunt and she assures me that the registration fee could be covered by my estate. Maybe even yours, but that you will have to negotiate with your aunt, whom as far as I know, has no Scottish heritage so your chances seem pretty good.

Being charitable, I have decided to let you decide if I need to be carried over the Norwegian and American Birkies or not.

Oh yah, I started with the fact that all my doctors agree that I am going to die.  Well, that’s true but none of them, so far, are saying when, or even of what.

I hope you have a Great Birkebeiner! See you there.

Sincerely yours,

Old Uncle Phil