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Our view: Our Birkie's back, with a flurry of activities

Snow's no problem this year. Not for the Beargrease, which made its yapping, mushing, welcome return to Duluth and the North Shore last month. The sled dog marathon had to be canceled 12 months earlier for the first time in the race's quarter-cen...

Snow's no problem this year.

Not for the Beargrease, which made its yapping, mushing, welcome return to Duluth and the North Shore last month. The sled dog marathon had to be canceled 12 months earlier for the first time in the race's quarter-century of existence. The unthinkable happened: There wasn't enough powder.

Snow's no problem this year, either, for the 35th running of the American Birkebeiner, North America's largest cross-country ski race. A year ago, a lack of white forced the Cable-to-Hayward event to be cut in half, its finish line moved to a remote area in the woods.

Tomorrow, the full-length race returns with Nordic skiers wrapping up their picturesque, 51-kilometer jaunt in downtown Hayward, back where the finish line belongs.

But there's no reason to wait until tomorrow to get involved. The American Birkebeiner Expo runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today at Telemark resort. A snowshoe nature hike for kids is at 9 a.m. at Cable Natural History Museum. The annual welcoming ceremony starts at 1 p.m. near the finish line. And the critical pasta feeds run from 4 p.m. through9 p.m. in Cable and Hayward.

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Winter's back in the Northland. The snow is ample. The Beargrease was a hit. And the Birkie is on deck. What a relief.

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