thursday, a sort of outline:
I. TWIN PONDS TO SKYLINE PARKWAY AT HIGHLAND/GETCHELL (approx. 7.5 miles)
very tall grass
... where i suspect i picked up the tick i later found going all old country buffet on my ankle. chuck removes the leaping little soul sucker and lights it on fire with a bic i fortuitiously brought along for our hike.
"is it dead?" i ask.
"i don't know," he says. "but it doesn't have legs anymore."
a small homestead: treehouse complete with a no parking sign nailed to the tree, a lounge chair and a wind guard. hidden very, very far in the wilderness.
i stub 40 percent of my toes. repeatedly. to the point where at about 5.5 miles in, i decide that i will wear wooden dutch clogs for further hiking ventures. i wonder when i became prepubescent in my inability to control my own freakish limbs. and why i didn't use it to score a basketball scholarship.
an empty 40-ouncer of busch light is laying on a rock in a way that suggests that someone climbed a big hill to drink it with a view of the city. this makes me jealous and nervous. remind me not to be drunk in high places, even though it sounds kick ass.
an abandoned brick structure decorated with an animal skull on the edge of a stream. someone has spray painted "jailhouse love" on the side. i think that if, say, you found this structure when you were nine years old, it would become the place where all the big things happened to you for the rest of your life.
i. first you'd play in, on and around it.
ii. then you'd bring people there to make out.
iii. begin drinking.
iv. drink and make out.
v. other rites of passage.
graffiti. bright blue graffiti. balloon words and etching and flourecent colors beneath a bridge. it is completely amazing. and scary. because if i learned one thing living in rochester it was this: where there is graffiti, there is a satanic ritual every 15 minutes. this is why you should always run when you see graffiti. you could have seven minutes until someone is drinking your blood and wearing your organs as accessories while they listen to judas priest. backward.
forkfuls of black olives crammed into my face.
SWEET BABY JESUS THIS IS THE BEST FRIGGIN' OLIVE BURGER I'VE EVER EATEN!
COINCIDENTALLY! THIS SUMMIT PALE ALE IS THE BEST LIQUID TO EVER PASS MY PARCHED HIKER-ASS LIPS!
"what now?" asks chuck, who was accidentally given my french fries with his order but i don't even care because SWEET BABY JESUS THIS OLIVE BURGER IS GOOD!
"hmmm," i say. "why don't we wait and see where this pitcher takes us."
IV. THIS PITCHER TAKES US TO THE RUSTIC
which goes down without incident.
V. THE NORTH POLE
we walk almost a mile to our next destination. this evening's drinking brings that pleasant buzz where it seems like a good idea to:
i. play el paso on the juke box, to the pleasure of our elderly drinking mates.
ii. play welcome to the jungle, to the pleasure of me
III. play why can't this be love to the displeasure of chuckers.
i. from west duluth to the hillside is approximately 20 dollars, if your cab driver leaves the meter running at the ghetto spur while you're buying burritos.
i am that very special kind of buzzed like you see in disney movies. i kick over a glass of water, wipe it up with mesh shorts and collapse into bed giggling.