Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bumpkin goes to the Big City

Earlier this week I had to go to Duluth for some medical checks and follow ups. All is well in that department, but there were so many things to do I had to stay overnight. Between appointments, including one for the car, I had a  little time to enjoy the nicer parts of the city. I stayed on the Duluth side of the mini metro area which also includes Superior (or "Soup Town"), Wisconsin.

After my Monday morning appointment I decided to go to the beach. Now this is not an ocean beach as there is little in the way of tides and the water isn't salty, but it has sand and water which is good enough when you're a thousand miles in from an ocean. So I took a walk on the beach. As always, click on the pic to embiggen.

It was nice to have the beach mostly to myself as I would expect on a Monday morning.

I had an appointment early in the afternoon and after that I went over to Canal Park where the St. Louis River flows into Lake Superior and wandered around. There were more people, but it was still very relaxing and uncrowded and the clouds had gone away.

The cormorant didn't care if I was looking at him and the lift bridge was going up.

The harbor is large with room for lots of commercial and private ships and boats. It is a main terminal for shipping products from the Midwestern grain fields and iron ore mines as well as other bulk goods. It is also a great place to hang around and see the history of the area which, thanks to the native population, goes back thousands of years.

The Lakewalk begins at Canal Park and follows the shore for several miles. It is used by walkers, gawkers, bikers, runners, and anyone else that wants a nice place to get out and about in the city.

Even young moms trying to help their kids negotiate rocks. That concrete thing behind them showed up after a rather large storm a few years ago. That might give you an idea of the power of this calm looking body of water.

Since the Lift Bridge fascinates me as well as others, I thought I'd take a walk up to it and get a close up. Just before the bridge was my post dinner destination, the Vikre Distillery. I stopped there after dinner and had their vodka, one of their gins, and two of their Aquavits, just to see what a craft distillery was like. I was not disappointed and came home with a bottle of one of the Aquavits.  I will save it for special occasions. Of course, those special occasions can come around quite frequently and are sometimes called "evenings." A funny thing happened while I was at the distillery (that sounds like the beginning of a joke). I went upstairs to enjoy my samples and my neighbors from across the street are sitting on the sofa enjoying hors d'oeuvres and a drink at 8:30 on a Monday night 120 miles from home. What a coincidence!

After a good nights rest at my hotel I had a nice breakfast and went on the next appointment. When that was over it was time to come home, but I had one more scenic stop. It was time to stop and smell the roses at the Rose Garden of Leif Erikson Park. The Lakewalk passes by this park about two miles from where the walk starts.
That's the North Shore Scenic Railway on the right.

The roses are fading a little as we all do in time, but they are still beautiful and will bring joy to many before the seasons change.




  1. Oh how I loved wandering with you.
    That is a HUGE piece of concrete brought in by the water. We underestimate that power at our perild don't we?

  2. I have never been to duluth, only MSP. thanks for the tour; it looks lovely!

    PS - it's 5 o'clock somewhere...drink up!

  3. It looks like a great place for a long walk with a camera!

    That cormorant definitely was flirting with you.

  4. "...those special occasions can come around quite frequently and are sometimes called "evenings." Thanks for my belly-laugh of the day! I enjoyed the photos, too - nice to enjoy a few last nice days before autumn turns ugly.

  5. Lovely photos! There is something about walking by water. For the first 22 years of my life I lived one block from Lake Ontario so being around water feels like home to me. Glad you were able to enjoy time by the water and in the rose garden too.

  6. Thanks for the tour. Wonderful pictures.

  7. Tanya would love that rose garden. Especially if she could take a few home with her.

  8. I've never been to Duluth, thank you for taking me. Very glad to hear all is healing well.

  9. Elephant's Child, That concrete was part of an old mooring dock that probably disappeared during a storm long ago. Another storm brought it back. Scary stuff!

    anne marie, It is a different world just 2 or 3 hours north of the Twin Cities.

    Pixel Peeper, You know, I did think that bird winked at me.

    Diane, I was just using your own humor against you.

    Cat Lover, I hope the water was still clean by the time it got to you. I used to walk the beaches of the Delaware Bay all summer when I was a kid.

    Blog Fodder, It was my pleasure! They might let Tanya have a few cuttings if she asked nicely.

    Onevikinggirl, We sometimes call Duluth the Air-Conditioned City. I would love to take some years to tour the seasides and beaches of Norway. A Beaches of the World Tour would be a nice way to spend a lifetime, actually.

  10. I would love a sandy beach on fresh water. Not a fan of salt, but I love the sand. The Lakewalk would be such a nice place to walk on a mild day. Wonderful pictures. Thanks for taking us along.

  11. I never knew Leif Erickson has a Rose Garden named after him. Did High Chaparral have a lot of fans in Wisconsin? He wasn't a bad actor, but I wouldn't say he was A-list.

  12. American bridges have a certain look all of their own

  13. Thank you for taking us along on this beautiful journey. Every place has it's own unique beauty. Loved the third pic that shows the meeting point of earth n sky.Loved the rose too

  14. JACKISUE, Yes, it is.

    jenny_o, There are also no sharks!

    Gorilla Bananas, They do show movies in the park, but I don' know if they show old westerns. I imagine those folks in Wisconsin would watch just about anything waiting for their cheese to age properly.

    John Gray, Now that I think about it, the bridges I saw in the U.K. were unique in their styling as well. Maybe that's why I took so many pictures of them.

    baili, Thanks! It is quite lovely for a small city.

  15. "Bumpkin Goes to the Big City"?
    I thought you were going to tell us you traveled outside Minnesota, said the obnoxious guy from the East Coast who secretly wishes he could be so lucky as to live in such a bucolic (albeit frequently snowy) state.

  16. Al P., I grew up near Philadelphia and I haven't been back that way since about 1980. I kept trying to get out of town and finally succeeded.

  17. It looks so crystal clear, clean, and peaceful. I'm glad all is well with your health, Jono. We wouldn't have it any other way.

  18. I checked the website of the Duluth experiance and am pleased to confirm that it is my!, yes, our! Leif Erickson commemorared through the park. (Norwegian, who via Iceland, sailed to North America around the turn of the previous millenia, and then went home! :) or something.)

  19. Robyn, Things are good. Like they say in (some) Old Country, "I am strong like bull and smart like tractor."

    Onevikinggirl, Of course it is our Leif Erikson! When I worked at the local Indian reservation I had them tell me of their people's history. I told them that my ancestors came to visit about a thousand years ago, saw that it was a nice place, but it wasn't home so they went back. My family came back in 1947 to see how things had changed and stayed. At least, so far.

  20. Whether it's the ocean or some other body of water, life simply goes more swimmingly at the beach. Great pictures, but that huge chunk of concrete is enough to make one stop and think, isn't it? Yowza. It looks like you made the most of your trip. Thanks for taking us along with you. (so to speak)

    May tonight be one of those special occasions. :)

  21. Lucky you, a trip to the big city and a trip to the beach at the same time. I think I drove through Duluth once.... or at least past it. Lift bridges are fascinating, there's one near Niagara over the Welland canal. And how nice to walk the Lakewalk. Great that they are making good use of the edge of the water.

  22. Mmmm, beach porn. I was not expecting that from a city trip. A pleasant surprise.

    I love the picture of the mom pointing for her kid. "Just don't fall face first on that one right there, okay? It'll totally impale you."

    Also, we've been to many craft beer breweries, but never a craft distillery. That sounds like a ton of fun.

  23. I'm glad, Jono - not so much about the tractor thing, but the other stuff, yes. Smiles.

  24. Twelve years or so ago, BAH and I drove around Lake Superior- the whole, superior thing! We took our time, driving about 120 miles a day. It was the most relaxing vacation ever. Almost no people. And the ones who were there weren't our neighbors, but they might as well have been, they were so friendly and thoughtful. Your pictures look familiar. What a nice place. We saw people in canoes who looked like they were floating in air, the water was so clear-- it was invisible! Love it up there.

  25. WHat a gorgeous waterfront. And I love the Cormorant. I used to spend a lot of time watching them when we lived on the ocean in Nova Scotia.