Monday, July 26, 2004

I'm back from the best weekend yet this summer. I went to Duluth for whitewater festivities (I'm just a spectator this year, alas), where I met up with Forrest. Forrest said "I'm going to go play with my sailboat." I said, "ok, see ya... wait, what sailboat?" Yes, he seems to have acquired a twenty foot sailboat. He also let me sit on it and stay out of the way while he and his brother sailed it.

(A short aside: since I was fourteen I have had a bucket into which I deposit changed. This is earmarked as a "sailboat fund." I am obsessed with all things sailing related, but until this weekend had never been sailing. This event alone made this weekend damn near perfect.)

After sailing (and a little late, as we had an adventure involving a sandbar, which Forrest had to jump in the water and push us off of) I headed up the hill to an appointment for drinks and gab with a former professor. It was wonderful to catch up with her, and to share grad stories with her husband. He went through my department in the early nineties, and it was particularly vindicating to hear him call my most deespised professor "Lurch," and agree that it had probably taken an act of 1) god or 2) mind-blowing oral sex (my phrasing, clearly) for the man to have attained tenure. He also told further creepy stories about my second least favorite prof, which actually surpass Katherine's creepy stories about him. Don't worry, Katherine; he was still impressed with the story of your observation project.

On Sunday, I went to Lakeview Cafe for tea and scones, and made the mistake of grading papers over breakfast. I was in a terribly foul mood when I remembered telling my hosts the night before that the thing I missed most about Duluth was being able to say "fuck it" and drive up the shore if you're sick of school. My mood seemed to fit the bill, so I meandered up Highway 61 to Gooseberry falls.

I had four hours until I had to pick Robert up at Duluth International Airport, it was bright, and I was wearing sunglasses.

I hiked the Fifth Falls loop in about an hour and twenty minutes. Not bad for a fairly rugged hike with a bit of up-and-down action. If you've ever been to gooseberry, you know there are lower, middle, and upper falls right near the visitors' center. These are huge and lovely, it is true, but the much smaller Fifth Falls is less accessible to the road, and thus less populated with wading tourist types. It also boasts a more wild appearance, and the sound of the water doesn't compete with the noise from the highway.

After catching a quick meal, I went to catch a Robert, who immediately said "Lakewalk." I am powerless in the face of the Lakewalk, so back to the Giant Puddle it was. We were both tuckered, though, so it was a short lakewalk for us. We stopped for ice cream and a video on the way home so that we could chill out with classic Scooby Doo episodes. The real ones, with the chase scene music that made no sense to the plot. It was fantastic.

I came home early this morning, as Robert had to work and I had to tap this evening. It's been a letdown. So far, my wrists and shoulder have acted back up, I was too tuckered from tap to go swimming, and I found out that once again, something I started doing years ago is now being appropriated by a local hipster who drives me up a tree. How long until I can go back to Duluth?


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