|Post Card of Duluth, MN|
As we drove down the ridge into an industrial-looking city with lots of bridges and a water front area, it reminded Pat and me of our beloved Pittsburgh. However, Pittsburgh’s rivers and bridges did not equal the beauty of that monstrous inland ocean. Unfortunately, we needed to keep expenses down so we had made reservations at a Comfort Inn that was not on the lake.
|Rayna and Clark on the Lake Walk in Duluth, MN|
After checking into the hotel we drove to Canal Park, a well-developed lakeside tourist area, and we did plenty of walking and sitting along the lake walk that afternoon and evening and on several succeeding days. We just hung around and sat on benches and enjoyed the sights and sounds of that powerful lake communicating with us and soothing our ocean-deprived lives on the plains. There were even seagulls to amuse us, especially Rayna and Zeb who also enjoyed climbing over the large rocks and running from the waves on the beaches.
|Sea Gulls and a Shopping Area|
Of course the Canal Park area provided lots of interesting and entertaining tourist activities in addition to many nice hotels. There were many shops that provided local art, souvenirs, and other retail therapy experiences, including a Duluth Pack store were we bought some warm sweatshirts because we discovered that it is very cool in early spring in Northern Minnesota, especially during evenings. Obviously we were not educated travelers back then. Just jump in the car and drive! Canal Park also contained family/kid-friendly tourist areas along the channel into the harbor. We took Rayna and Zeb inside a huge freighter that was permanently docked in the harbor for tourists to enjoy. Also we all enjoyed a tourist boat ride around the harbor and out a ways into the lake.
|Zeb, Rayna, Clark on the Channel Wall in Duluth|
|The Channel from the Lake to the Harbor|
|Pat and Clark at Lake Superior|
We spent a couple of days in Duluth exploring the town that spreads from lakeside up a very steep ridge and then on the plateau above. We certainly noticed that downtown Duluth had seen better days, like many other industrial cities. However, Pat and I were quite accustomed to gritty industrial cities and we felt very comfortable there.
|Clark, Pat, Zeb, Rayna about to board|
the North Shore Railroad for a trip to
|Our train at Two Harbors|
There was lots to see and do in Duluth, but we decided to also see some of the north shore, i.e., the area along Lake Superior north of Duluth. Therefore, Pat took the kids (including me) for a ride on the North Shore Railroad that runs north from Duluth to Two Harbors. We had a wonderful time on the train and Two Harbors turned out to be a charming little lakeside town with lots of tourist attractions, and an industrial port area. We drove back to Two Harbors the next day and spent more time there. It was, and still is, an industrial, but charming, little lakeside city that caters to tourists. We all liked visiting the light house and walking out on the breakwaters (stone and concrete walls that extend from shore out into the lake) which probably protect the harbor and shore from serious damage during bad storms. However, I don’t really know what exactly they do, but they definitely define a harbor area and they provide paths and perches for tourists like us to walk on them way out into the lake. They also provide places to sit on out in the lake. We all loved walking, and sitting, on them while just communing with the lake and each other. Two Harbors is a nice little town full of friendly people and over the years it became one of our favorite vacation spots on the North Shore.
|Rayna, Zeb and Pat on a breakwater near Two Harbors|
|Rayna, Zeb and Clark on a breakwater in Two Harbors|
|Our photo of Split Rock Light House|
That first visit to Duluth and the North Shore with Rayna and Zeb established our standard vacation spot for many years. In fact we like it very much and still visit it as often as I can force my tired and worn-out body to make the trip.
|Rayna and Zeb below Split Rock Light House|
Bill – I would love to take you to Lake Superior north of Duluth and just explore and enjoy the woods and lake. I think you would enjoy getting a break from the Philadelphia area.