(Note: most of this post was written a few days ago, before I got sick, but then my computer decided it needed to restart and I couldn’t finish it until now.)

I haven’t written anything for a couple days because 1) I was working 2) I took a little trip to Duluth, Minnesota. Clearly, an explanation is in order for the latter.

Katy (my roommate who left a couple weeks ago) is working in Duluth this summer for the Duluth News-Tribune as a copy editor, but her job started early so she had to leave early. Yesterday (June 15th) was her birthday, and I figured a good present would be to surprise her.

Duluth, however, is an 8 to 9 hour drive from Chicago, so clearly I couldn’t do it alone. I enlisted some co-conspirators, though Adam (my other roommate) had to back out because he got offered a job in St. Louis with the Post-Dispatch, so he had to find a car and an apartment.

So that left Jamie and I as the only ones going. I also had the minor detail of having to work Saturday morning, which sucked, but after coming home and flying around like a madwoman and almost literally inhaling a PB&J sandwich, we were off.

The drive was nice. I hadn’t been in Wisconsin for more than about an hour at a time, and it’s a very beautiful state. The problem with having driven through most states in the country, however, is that parts of each state start to look like every other state.

Wisconsin reminded me at various points of parts of Virginia, Florida, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Maine, and New Mexico (except greener, in that case). It seemed…indistinct. The sun set while we were driving, so we missed some of it, though.

We finally got to Duluth at 1:30 in the morning, after calling and warning Katy we were coming (“We got you a two-part birthday present: We got you a pie…and we’re bringing it to you!”). We ended up going to bed shortly thereafter because we were all so tired.

Luckily, Katy’s new roommates and friends seemed a lot more impressed than frightened that Jamie and I would drive nine hours each way to stay for less than a day. We were worried they’d be like um…hi…stay away from me. Thankfully, they weren’t.

Duluth is absolutely gorgeous. It’s strange, the words “Duluth, Minnesota” are usually only associated in the general American mind with the words “record lows” and “blizzard,” but in the summer, the place is just fantastic.

We ended up going for a little walk down by Lake Superior, although we had to drive to get there. Unlike the Lake Michigan area, Duluth and the other surrounding areas have lots of huge hills leading down to the lake, so walking is not such a good idea.

Another thing that differs Lake Superior from Lake Michigan is the fact that the water is actually somewhat clear. Trying to see the bottom of Lake Michigan through all the pollution is a joke, but the water in Duluth looked like it was stolen from a bottled water commercial.

Katy still had a lot of stuff to do to move in and meet her new co-workers, so Jamie and I ended up leaving a little earlier than planned, but I think it worked out well for all, since we got back to Chicago around 1am (instead of the projected 3-4) and Katy actually got to meet people without introducing her psychotic friends.

I’m definitely gonna try and go back up there later this summer and go whitewater rafting or something, though. Definitely a recommended summer vacation spot, though their definition of summer is late June to mid-August, so consider yourself forewarned.

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