October 2, 2009


45 degrees.
70% chance of rain.
left the house at 6:40 am. rain is falling, lightly.
7:20 am, rain is falling pretty hard.
Exchange of phone calls between boss, golf buddy, boss, golf buddy, boss.
8:15, meet boss, rain is falling lightly again.
30 minute drive to Red Wing, MN. Rain falls pretty heavily most of the drive.
50 degrees. 9:00.
clasp hands around hot styro-foam coffee cup, sip to re-warm myself.
rain lets up, falling lightly.
club house staff thinks we're crazy.
I worry I don't have enough warm clothes. Thinking about what I have at home and should have brought.
9:15, golf partners arrive. Rain still falling lightly.
We opt to brave the weather, hoping rain will quit. The course is supposed to be beautiful.
Rain stops. We tee off on the first tee. It's beautiful, even with the gray skies.
Dressed in rain gear and many layers, I'm warm enough.
The path between first and second holes is steep, up-up-up, with switch-back turns. I think to myself that Minnesota does not have mountains. After the third hole, we make our golf cart descent down a very steep paved path. Signs caution "steep grade" "drive slowly" "sharp corners". We're going faster than we should be. The pavement is wet. Trees are ahead. The driver pushes hard on the less-than-great break. We skid, slide, skid and turn, we are now sliding down the hill side-ways in our golf cart. I grab on, just in case, scared we'll tip over. Brace my feet against the floor. We come to a stop, look at each other and laugh. I see the continuance of downhill turns ahead and hope we go slower this time. We do. That was the first time I've ever seen someone spin out a golf cart.
The course follows a way up on top of the bluff to way down in the valley on-off pattern. Every couple of holes we are changing altitude. The trees are a little brown, some are starting to change color. You can see the potential of vibrant hues all around. So many trees. This course is carved right out of limestone rock and lush, thick forest. Even with the wind and threatening skies, it's so beautiful. Holes 6 & 7 are way on top of the bluff. The fairway is open enough that the wind blows hard, whipping around us. Now it's cold. I want to quit. Hole 8 is down in the valley more, protected and shielded, some, from Mother Nature's blow. I warm back up, thankfully. I realize that my $10 windbreaker might just be the best purchase I've ever made.
Hole 10 it begins to rain. A slight, steady, rain. Hoods up, we play on. The ground is soaked, but our spirits are high and we're enjoying the beautiful course and the great company.
It continues a light to moderate rain throughout most of the back 9. Luckily, we had a break here-and-there from the wind and rain. As we approached the 17th hole, we skidded out the golf cart again. This time, with more caution, less speed, little fear of tipping over.
The 17th hole is amazing. a 80-100 yard hole, practically straight down. The green looks tiny, like looking at a person on the side-walk from a tall building's roof. We finish out the round and return to the club house. Dry, mostly warm, and smiling.
The day's high: 55 degrees.
Rainfall: 2+ inches around the metro.

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