The Lowdown

Tales from the Trails

May 4, 2012
Trail Running

 Trail Running through Chester Bowl

Sunny Chester Bowl TrailThe thing I love about trail running is similar to what most people love about canoeing, camping, hiking, or fishing. IT’S OUTDOORS! It is such a wonderful escape from all the pavement. Stub your toe on a root and not a broken glass bottle in the nearby parking lot. Duck underneath the pine needles while you are darting in-between pine saplings, covering beneath their “parents” for protection. Put the headphones and armband away while you listen to Nature’s “Running Playlist”. These reasons are why my tale from the trail takes place in Chester Bowl. Once you get down from the street level next to the creek, everything shuts off mentally. That is when the primal takes over. Christopher McDougall sums that feeling up perfectly in his book Born to Run. Trail Running

“There is something so universal about that sensation, the way running unites our two most primal impulses: fear and pleasure. We run when we’re scared, we run when we’re ecstatic, we run away from our problems and we run around for a good time”

This exhilaration is tough to shake when the only sound is the rushing of the creek and the pat, pat, pat, of your cadence with the ground. My most recent run in Chester Creek was similar to any beautiful love story. It’s so easy and accessible to fall into. When you are on the same level as the water it’s such a refreshing feeling and then there is conflict. No matter which way you go into the bowl, you need to climb up to get out. You can walk and let the hills win. The hills want to win; it’s appealing to them, conquering runners. In defiance of this game you, the runner, must not give them that pleasure. You can’t walk up the rocks and give them the silence of your broken soft footsteps. Each step up from the bottom must be taken at a jogging pace, just enough to hear those comforting pat pat pats coming from your feet. This is the coming of age story for many runners that happened to me that last time I ran. I heard my mind telling me that I was done, but my feet kept reassuring me. The pat pat pat was telling me, “Keep running, we can handle it.” Again, like any good romance, after the conflict is the top, the perfect paddling day after a week of rain in BWCAW, the sunshine and breeze falling on your back while you reach for the next hold.

So the next time you are running and you hear your thoughts. You are doing it wrong. Find a good trail off in isolation, eat up, wear the right gear, and then let your feet take over. Listen to the encouragement from your feet and the chirping of nearby birds

Blog written by Connor, outdoor enthusiast and Duluth Pack store employee

Chester Creek Bridge

Skyline Parkway- Chester Bowl Entrance

Chester Creek northview

View toward Chester Park- creek level

Chester Creek lakeview

View toward 9th Street- creek level


Chester Bowl Trail

Trail view through the pines


The Lowdown

A Brief History of our “Zenith” City

April 27, 2009


In 1886, Duluth, Minnesota was called the Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas. A fitting name to all who have visited or live here. The home of the Original Duluth Pack has a rich history. A brief synopsis follows.

Our most famous landmark: the Aerial Lift Bridge

Originally this land was inhabited by the Sioux and Ojibway tribes when they were pushed further east by settlers. The 1600’s brought the French Voyaguers here for the fur trading. In 1855 when the Sault Ste. Marie canal opened it made Duluth the only port able to access both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. By 1869 Duluth was the fastest growing city in the nation. The stock market crash of 1873 put a stop to our rapid growth, we peaked about 100,000 people.

With the area’s abundance of lumber and mining coupled with a vibrant shipping and railroad industries, by the early 1900 Duluth boasted more millionaires per capita than any other city in the country.

Today you can still revisit the past with our many historical buildings still preserved today.

Our flagship store in Canal Park (365 Canal Park Drive) is a block from the historic Aerial Lift Bridge, come by and tour our remarkable Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas. If you do, be sure to stop in at our factory and take a tour of our shop, it’s a pretty cool place!

Gear Talk

DP launches new Wildland Firefighter pack

April 9, 2009


We joined forces with a group of wildland firefighters out west, so that we could create the ultimate backpack. Our new Wildland Firefighter Pack is virtually indestructible, and of course, comes with our lifetime guarantee. Based loosely on our Wanderer pack, the Wildland Firefighter pack features traditional side pockets with cinching straps, a grab handle, lash tabs with d-rings on top, and a padded waist belt. With web extensions on the shoulder straps, the pack will ride extra low for comfort. The lower compartment is intended for an emergency shelter tarp, it opens quickly with a quick release velcro flap. The compartment detaches from the pack and can be worn independently as a waist pack. Constructed from 18 ounce canvas and reinforced with thick leather and copper rivets, this pack was made virtually indestructible. Comes in olive drab, burgundy, khaki, black, navy, spruce, yellow, orange, pink, and red.

Adjustable from 32″ to 45.5″  12″ x 16″ x 20″
Approximately 2473 cubic inches.

Click here to purchase this pack