Charlie Parr ended the Tuesday Night Chester Bowl Concert tonight with “Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down.” This was the second year in a row that he played that concert, and that ending song, on my birthday. Right before he played the song, he said (I’m paraphrasing), “Well, we knew what a great town this is. Now we told everybody. Not sure we should’ve done that. So, brace yourself.”
Maybe he’s right. Maybe we should’ve kept it to ourself. But dangit, I’m going to gloat for at least one day. It’s a nice birthday present to have your suspicions validated. When I was flying home from work today, I got to tell the other pilots, “I live in Duluth.” They said, “Oh yeah?” And I said, “It’s the best place to live in the whole Yoo-Nited States.” And I wasn’t lying. Read it and weep.
I’m also pleased as punch because I’ve been an Outside Magazine subscriber for over 20 years. My wife doesn’t think I’m crazy anymore. Well, at least she doesn’t think I’m AS crazy.
After today, I have run 34 miles to get 17 toward my goal of 300 Superior Hiking Trail miles. I log all my miles, but the important miles are one length of trail that strings the whole thing together. I don’t count spurs, or loops, or the “back” section of an “out and back.” By the end, it appears, I’ll log 600 or so, to get the 300. If that’s true, than Leo the Langlaufer will get 1200 miles or so to get 300. No wonder his tongue hangs out.
Today, went from the construction near Getchell Road and Skyline back out to Kingsbury Creek where we left off. Keene Creek is the biggest creek so far. We ducked under a railroad bridge and found some taconite pellets that went overboard.
Awesome Blue Flag Iris near, of all things, the interstate. The daughter says it’s her favorite flower. Also called a Northern Iris.
We trucked up through the saskatoon/serviceberry and mountain ash and bunchberry and buttercups. Thompson Hill seems like more than a hill. At points, you cross the Old Thompson Road. Heard somebody going BRAAAAAP! on a dirt bike along that old road. BRAAAAAP! indeed.
We saw another trailrunner out in the boonies. We saw lots of deer sign. Heard some crows. I think a heard a hermit thrush. Or a wood thrush. What do I look like, a bird guy? Leo took a bath in every mudhole that had more than two tablespoons of water.
We got to Kingsbury Creek sooner than I thought. I ran back to the start, grateful for my health and my town that lets me use my health. What does it mean to be in a place that is the “best place to live”?
I read something by Annie Dillard: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
Flew a big airplane across the country. Flew into the best city in ‘Merica. Followed my dog through the mud on an trail. Listened to Charlie belt it out under some ski jumps with my family.
Today was a good day.
T-shirt of the Day:
1999 Utah Winter Games t-shirt. I got this because I wanted to try speedskating once in my life. I went down to the games, registered, rented some speedskates, and tied for the gold medal. No shit. First time on speedskates. I guess skate skiing is good for something after all. (Photographic proof on request.)