I had a pretty long day trip yesterday. I had to run up to Hibbing for work to meet with a contractor. For those who ain't from these here parts, that's about 225 miles north of here, in the heart of mining country. If you've seen the movie North Country, you've literally seen part of Hibbing and you have a very good idea of what the town is like.
I got an early start, leaving the house about 6:30. Made a quick stop in at the office hoping a drawing had been emailed to me overnight, but it wasn't so I pressed on northward. The drive up was uneventful. I made a quick pit-stop at the Hibbing McDonalds and went on to my meeting. Side note here: I couldn't help but notice pretty quickly that is seemed all the retiree's at McDonalds were staring at me (pretty much everyone who's retired in Hibbing hangs out at McDonalds or Hardees all day long, don't ask why, it's just what they do). I also noticed that out of the 25-30 cars in the parking lot (there are a lot of retiree's!) that I was driving the only foreign car in the whole place! Granted there was a geo prism, which technically is foreign built, I doubt I'd win that argument with any local. It seemed they really know how to spot a city-slicker up there!
Meetings went fine, got things wrapped up in about 4 hours. But rather than head straight home, I decided it would be dumb to be this close to Giant's Ridge and not go for a ski. The snow in the cities is shot, and it's not that much better up north, but the trails at the Ridge were in far better shape than I expected. I skied the Silver, Summit and Bronze trails and all of there were fantastic. The best part was the whole time I saw one other Nordic skier. If you want to ski up there I highly recommend the middle of the day on Tuesdays!
Just as I was packing up to hit the road, the Stillwater high-school team showed up and headed out. They probably have their region meet up there this week.
We were supposed to get some rain/snow mix last night, but my drive home was uneventful, the snow didn't start till pretty late so I was home in bed before anything fell.
I did treat myself to some new listening for the drive up, I picked up the latest (sadly, last) Johnny Cash album: American IV: The Man Comes Around. While it's not exactly a new release, I hadn't heard much of it yet. Man, he doesn't disappoint. This album is mostly covers, but the title track is an original. I don't honestly think I've heard so much emotion put into existing songs as this album does. It's definitely not an uplifting album as most of it deals with death, misery and suffering (as many of his songs do) but he really powered it up. Honestly listening to this then knowing it was his last recording you can't help but feel like he knew this would be the last one. The last song on the album "well meet again" seemed like a more than fitting ending to a remarkable era. In short, if you haven't heard it, you should.
that's about all I have time for today,