Jun 17, 2012

Distance today = 50.29 km; Total distance = 7933.43 km; Location = Swan River (5 km west of) – 47 06.990′ N, 93 14.809′ W; Start time = 0845, Finish time = 1650


As the height of summer approaches, the heat isn’t the only issue I have to contend with. The humidity is really starting to pick up, and a sticky heat is always more uncomfortable than a dry heat.

But there’s another negative that’s starting to make itself known – BUGS. There are all manner of insects in these heavily forested parts of Minnesota – several types of dragonflies, butterflies, march flies that bite like a tetanus needle, and, of course, the dreaded mosquitoes. I am even being bitten as I run. I’m going to have to invest in some repellent.

I spent the day running on a road just north of the Mississippi River, which I could occasionally see. I also saw a beaver, which ran up a drainpipe when it saw me. And I thought it was only rats that frequented drainpipes.

Half way through the day I ran through the town of Grand Rapids. As I ran into town I spied the largest woodpile I’ve ever seen. It was enormous, and had sprinklers keeping it moist. I did a “back of the envelope” calculation, and I reckon there was between a quarter and a half a million tons of wood stacked neatly in one long pile. Then I saw the reason – a paper mill.

But paper hardly makes Grand Rapids famous. What does, however, is that this town of 10,000 people is the birthplace of Judy Garland. So, you’ve learned something new again!

My “milestone” of the day was that I passed the 6,000 km run in the US. I have several more milestones coming up in the next couple of weeks. Keep watching this space.