The hotel we stayed at in Minnesota was situated on the corner of a freeway with a highway t-boning the freeway via an overpass. Let’s just say it wasn’t the safest area to go running. It was also not the warmest area to go running – Duluth is really far north in comparison to San Francisco, and even in September the chill in the air went straight to my lungs, gurgled around in my larynx, and even hit my stomach when the air went down the wrong pipe. Regardless of not having a long sleeve shirt and knowing that in order to get to any non-main road I was going to have to play Frogger with the cars, I went for a run.
I was in Minnesota, after all. How could I not?
There’s something you should know about Minnesota. Actually, there are a few things:
1) It’s the “Land of One Thousand Lakes” and they are so not kidding. Lakes are everywhere. You’re driving down a country backroad and the scenery goes like this: stunning fall foliage in colors pink ladies and crisp golden apple daydream about, just a shade darker than pale blue skies whisking by and then VOILA! A lake that glitters like a sapphire, begging to be photographed or splashed in or otherwise adored.
2) Everything in Minnesota is cute, from the accents to the storefronts to the roadways to the license plates to the mountains.
3) Yes, the mountains are cute. Mostly because they are what Californian’s would consider hills. Which is downright adorable.
Upon leaving the hotel, I ran on a high way overpass curb toward Spirit Mountain. No cars were around as I made my way up the incline and thinking I was in for a long run up, I was rather surprised to find myself at the top and in a family-friendly fun zone (hello, alpine coaster and mini golf). I ran around, then ran back down the mountain-really-hill, and thought, “huh.”
Megan and I swam laps in the tiny pool that night.