Heading up to my mom’s for Christmas means that we get to travel one of my favorite stretches of pavement, Highway 35 from Maiden Rock to County Road D. That stretch always makes me smile for a couple of reasons, and anytime Becky and I drive it there’s a topic that is always brought up and always leaves smiling and laughing.
When we first used to drive that way to Mom’s that area always struck me with its beautiful views. Majestic bluffs with sharp jagged edges on one side and an incredible view of the bluffs of Minnesota rising up from across the Mississippi River. There’s one spot in particular I’ve thought would be the perfect place for a cabin, high atop the bluffs with a view up and down the mighty Mississipp. Every time we pass by I pause and soak it in. Sometimes God doesn’t quite think it’s pretty enough so He sends a bald eagle (or several) overhead to really take my breath away.
Driving that stretch also reminds Becky and I of when we ran Ragnar several years ago. I’d intentionally chosen the legs of the race that included the run from Maiden Rock to County D. It has a pretty rough hill that climbs up the bluff, but it was gorgeous, peaceful, and it was already one of my many happy places. I still clearly remember running (& walking) that stretch in the dark. The light of the moon just bright enough to silhouette the trees, but not shining enough to see the top of the hill. It wasn’t my fastest run ever, but it’s certainly amongst my most memorable.
With that in mind the conversation between Becky and I always drifts back to Ragnar and so many memories of that awesome experience. There are so many moments when we laugh out loud (ask our friend Kurt why I deserve a god damn medal if you’d like a good laugh!). Every time we drive past it’s like opening a time capsule. We dive right into those memories and re-enjoy that experience we had together and with so many of our friends.
How awesome is that? So much joy from just a simple stretch of pavement in kind of the middle of nowhere. I already appreciate that ride when I’m on it, today I’m even a little more thankful for it.