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King Vasa Speaks!

Tue, Feb  7, 2017 - By Mike Haley

Vasa Nation: This will likely be my final opportunity to provide you with that essential information you gotta have to make your Vasa experience the best. So it's time you RENEWED your subscription! No, just kidding. It is still free. Just a few days until Vasa #41, and weather forecasts are calling for MORE SNOW this week! Nice.

You know, Vasa Nation, I get a little nostalgic just before the Vasa, thinking about our friend, the late Ted  Okerstrom, who had a vision that Traverse City could host a cross-country ski race that would draw over 1000 elite and citizen skiers. He built it, and skiers came and paid $3.00 for the privilege of skiing from Cherry Capital Airport and thereafter having only a vague notion of where in the hell they were at any given time during the race.

Check out the poster and entry form from 1978:

1978 Vasaloppet poster

Looks like the map was an art project for a 5th grade class.

1978 Vasaloppet trail map

It should have contained a disclaimer: "Do NOT ever use this map as a navigational aid."

OK, enough of that sentimental stuff. It is time for the current, definitive authority on all things Vasa - what it is and what it will be: KING VASA SPEAKS (KVS). Pretentious and grandiose, yes, but oh so informative, KVS is attached for your convenience and contains all the relevant information you will need for the races this weekend. Some may wonder how this annual publication came to be so named, so I will tell you: in days of old, when men were bold...the Swedish King Vasa was just a quiet guy who skied a lot and did not say much - sort of like Clarence Thomas. But he spoke with great authority right after Groundhog Day, so it was a really big deal.

So check it out by clicking on the following link. King Vasa Speaks (PDF).

Vasa Pasta: Remember to get your Carbo on at the Timber Ridge Banquet Hall on Friday February 10, from 5 till 8 pm. Kelly's Catering will provide:

  • Penne pasta w/ 2 sauce choices
  • Ground Tenderloin Bolognese
  • Tomato, basil & cream w/ fire roasted sweet peppers and artichoke hearts
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • Traditional Caesar salad
  • Dessert/raspberry lemonade
  • Fresh bread from Pleasanton Bakery

You got a better offer? I doubt it, Bunkie. You need to do Vasa Pasta.

One announcement you will not find in KVS is that Paula Dreeszen is the Vasa 2017 Volunteer of the Year. One of her most visible and prominent contributions was the collection of course maps she created for each of the races this year. Thank you, Paula. She and her husband, Bryce (former Vasa race director), are excellent skiers and just 2 more reasons why people love the Vasa and Traverse City.

SWAG Alert: New this year are some specially designed and very cool Vasa threads by "231 Local," a clothing outfitter in TC. Check them out at registration and in the Event Tent. Available for a second year is our Vasa logo wear. You can order these classy goods at Samples will be available at registration and the Event tent to help you with sizing. So far, yours truly has not been asked to model any of the tight lycra wear. Not sure why...

That's all I have, Vasa Nation. Have fun this week.


Mike Haley
President, North American Vasa