I was taking a stroll around the office recently and happened upon an interesting sight. A man had pulled his pickup truck onto a grassy area beside the road and was furiously digging a hole. I discreetly snapped a pic.
That’s weird, right? It’s not like he was gardening or planting a tree. I’ll admit, my first thought was, he’s burying a dead body! But I quickly dismissed that, because nobody in their right mind would so blatantly dispose of a murder victim in broad daylight. Everyone knows you attend to that sort of messy business under the cover of darkness, deep in the forest.
And then, I quickly UNDISMISSED my dismissal, because:
- Killers aren’t of sound mind, and
- Burying a body in the middle of the day beside a busy road is actually pretty brilliant.
Think about it. Nobody is going to believe this dude is really digging a hole in which to deposit a corpse. Even if had a misshapen rolled-up carpet sticking out of the back of his pickup, I’d assume he just had hardwood floors put in and, well, maybe he didn’t want to drive all the way to the landfill. Or if there were a bunch of black garbage bags back there, he probably missed that week’s trash pick up, right? Dumping garbage is a dick move, but it’s not a psychotic dick move.
And therein lies the beauty in his twisted little plan. It’s SO brazen, SO reckless, SO wacky, people will immediately write it off as impossible.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m obsessed with Dateline and too many true crime podcasts to count, but I’m also half-convinced I might have inadvertently stumbled upon a crime scene.
Somebody get Keith Morrison on the phone stat.
Yesterday was my birthday. To celebrate, I took the day off work and climbed the highest peak east of the Rockies.
It’s a hike I’ve done several times since moving to South Dakota in 2018 (not to mention when I lived here in the ’80s), though it had been a few years. I think I wanted to prove to myself that I could still complete an 8.5-mile, four-hour hike that’s uphill both ways!
OK, maybe it only felt that way…
But it’s not exactly a stroll in the park, and my calves are paying the price today.
Whatever. Totally worth it! Black Elk Peak is 7,242′ high, and as you would expect, the views from the summit are amazing. The weather was perfect: sunshine, a few wispy clouds, and a temperature near 60°. The only downside? The trail was a little snowy/slushy/icy in spots, but I came prepared with my Stabilicers traction devices. And really, it was more muddy than anything, so I took those off after a mile or so.
Best of all, there were no crowds to contend with. I only passed a handful of people both ways and practically had the summit to myself. That’s certainly not the case during the summer months.
Tara always wonders why I bother taking birthdays off, but as much as I love my job, it can’t compete with this.