Saturday, April 21, 2018

Canal Park continued

One of the reasons I went to the Canal Park area of Duluth was to visit a fellow blogger. He is a luthier (maker of wooden stringed instruments) in one of the spaces in the Dewitt-Seitz Marketplace  in Canal Park. There were several reasons for this visit. Michael repairs some fascinating instruments as some are unusual, some are classic, some are just someone's favorite, or any other reason to have something tweaked or repaired.

I also wanted to try out a Seagull guitar as they are still made in North America (Quebec) by hand and are a more affordable than the other makes that I like. They are quite impressive to me and I need one. It should be an electrified acoustic guitar for band purposes. It'll be a while, though.
Here are some in the shop.

While commenting on Michael's blog I found out that he also had a connection to Iceland which is an unusual coincidence. It turns out that he lived there for a year when he was about 24 years of age and returns every few years to visit his other home and family.

There are several workbenches at Rosewood Music and all have instruments on them in various stages of work.
The location is terrific and Michael said he used to live across the lift bridge on Park Point so he could walk to work. That was so very convenient, but he has since moved out of the city back to the peace and quiet of being in a more rural setting. To give you an idea of how close he was here is a shot out the shop window.
Michael generously spent a good hour with me talking of many things, but he had to get back to work and I needed a cup of coffee before heading back to the bus depot. It's okay as I knew we could have a rest stop on the way back up the North Shore. Here is Michael in his natural environment.
Looking back on my day at Canal Park I can appreciate the outside world and make a connection. When I look out my window and see a ship going by I can imagine it having come under the lift bridge and through the canal more than a hundred nautical miles down the lake. If I wonder where it is headed I can actually go online and look it up.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Canal Park

I am writing this on my new laptop and still getting used to the way it feels and the way it works. Made the the switch from my old desktop so bear with me for a while.

I took this past week off as I had to use up vacation time or lose it. Not a bad position to be in so I took advantage of it. I decided to take the weekly (every Tuesday) bus to Duluth since I really hadn't been out of the county since mid December. I drove into town to meet it at 8 a.m. and gave the driver my fare for the 220 mile round trip.  I think the bus is designed for seniors, but anyone can take it, and it is subsidized which explains the $20 fare. It will drop you off in any number of locations as well as stopping to pick up other passengers anywhere along the route. I got off at the bus depot in Duluth and walked through the skywalk system to within a block of where I wanted to be.

Canal Park is an area that was a run down warehouse district adjacent to the entry to the harbor where the first saltie (ocean going vessel) just came in the other day. It made it from the Atlantic Ocean, through the Great Lakes and locks to end up in Duluth, a distance of over 2300 miles. 

Canal Park was developed back in the 80's starting with Grandma's restaurant and progressing into an area of shops, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, offices, museums, and hotels. It is now a destination for locals and tourists, of which I was one, coming to the head of the Great Lakes.

Here is some of what I saw.
The William A. Irvin was in service from 1938 to 1978 carrying coal ind iron ore. It is over 600 feet long and is now used as a floating museum. At Halloween (actually, most of October) it is turned into a haunted ship and is quite an attraction. Here it is still frozen into the ice, but it should thaw in the next couple of weeks. The harbor is open now and the icebreakers are no longer needed.

The Aerial Lift Bridge connects Canal Park to Park Point, an mostly residential area. It crosses the channel that these ships go through to enter the harbor and is a historical landmark. It was put in service in 1905 as an improvement to ferries, swinging foot bridge, and was first used as a gondola before turning into a lift bridge a couple of decades later.

This is the channel that goes from the lake to the bridge.
Here is the Bayfield, a tugboat that is grounded in front of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps operates the Duluth Maritime Museum at the west end of the bridge.

 Even though it was a chilly weekday people still walk on the paths and visit the displays along the end of the Lakewalk.
Long ago, in November of 1905, there was a shipwreck at the end of this breakwater, before they put a lighthouse there.

 The ship foundered and broke in half. Many lives were lost, but there were some survivors. It was only about a hundred yards off shore. Here is the story, but you'll need to embiggen the photo in order to read about it.
To be continued...