You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
We're here to see America, after all, after so long away, and Duluth seems like a worthy destination for that. It's in Minnesota, we're told, and it's late June 2022. Proceed ad libitum.
We've been walking spellbound all round downtown Duluth, Minnesota -- or more precisely, down the main street, Superior St. in fact, for about eight blocks -- and we're ready to retire now back to Canal Park on one of these fine Skywalk amenities over the I35 Interstate . . .
. . . and its multifarious downtown on and off ramps.
A part of the downtown, west of N. 3rd Ave West, that we never got to see, and may never be so fortunate in future.
Now we've fairly galloped along the Skywalk through the various convention centres, arenas, Kettle Korn shops, symphony hall, and of course the Curling Club facilities. No time to stop for any sightseeing, as they're all ticketworthy for special events, and besides it's time for lunch.
Now we've popped out onto the circumambient Harbor Drive, looking across at our Aerial Lift Bridge and Canal Park, and . . .
. . . a footbridge across the little harbor spur. Those are some of the E-Scooters ('E' as in electric) provided by Leaf Rides Duluth ('a community focused micro mobility rental service . . .in the two ports area'). [Leaf rides is a Duluth local startup by University of Minnesota Duluth Students Jed and Latisha Irvine. Bravo.] These things are all over the place on the walkways roundabout town (illegal on sidewalks).
Oh wow. That's the William A. Irvin Museum ('Historic freight ship with tours'). The gangway message is straightfoward: 'Tour this ship'. (Errm, maybe later.)
That's The Suites Hotel at Waterfront Plaza. (Nothing a good wash-up wouldn't fix.)
The William A. Irvine's little boat-slip protruding up into the downtown out of the harbor.
We've just crossed the Minnesota Slip Bridge, with the Duluth Convention Center and various shops (Harbor Cruises, Vista Fleet Cruises, and a butcher shop/deli) on the far side.
Best regards to the William A. Irvine. We'll certainly come back for that tour of a freight ship if we can sneak out for half an hour or so tomorrow.
(Freighter tour indeed.) We're over on central Canal Park Drive now, seeking BLTs.
Which we found at Caribou Coffee, very good BLTs, planted at one of the outdoor tables and admiring this bit of bronze goofiness on the sidewalk (here's the frontal view). There are several of such whimsical things around the Canal Park to invoke wonder and chuckling from passersby.
A bit farther up the road, this wonderful . . . installation . . . is called the Fountain of the Wind ('a whimsical allegory of Lake Superior'), created by Douglas Freeman in 1993.
Well warned, not a sidewalk. (What's the path of steps there for then? Sounds like a liability afterthought, but very wise.)
Approaching the Lift Bridge, past Grandma's Ice Cream Boxcar (with popcorn, hot dogs, sandwiches, since 1975). Grandma's huge Saloon & Grill Canal Park dominates much of this city block (cf. umbrellas up on the right).
Good advice on when to 'please exit the bridge immediately'. We did, too, and it all worked out fine.
We've been 'exploring' (out a single road with bay and lake 10 meters on either side) roughly four miles out Minnesota Point to the Park Point Recreation Area. A walking trail continues another two miles to the Minnesota Point Lighthouse, but . . . but, well . . . we're lazy.
In the understanding that this fine path between wire fences is exempt from the 'Dune Revitalization Area -- Please Keep Out' admonition, we walk over to see the renowned Lake Superior itself.
And to squint at Wisconsin on the horizon -- not informative at all, or inspiring, but symbolically rewarding.
Heavily bearded young men are playing Beach Frisbee nearby and not catching any. Wading out to retrieve it, mostly, as above . . .
Downtown Detroit in the distance, from near the far end of the Minnesota Point sand bar
Old Duluth hands will quickly spot the twin Greysolon towers, the massive Sheraton hotel, and at the right edge, the imposing Essentia health facilities.
That's a Dune Bridge there. We're not sure what a Dune Bridge is, and will pass it by.
It has just occurred to us that there was a very attractive skirt on sale at the Trailfitter's rack in the Fitger's complex, so we'll need to get back into town before someone else gets it.
Tearing down Superior St to Fitger's, no time for stopping at red lights
Unfortunately, whilst we're awaiting news from our team out in the Fitger's upstairs carpark, we're informed a short while later that the excellent skirt is already gone.
That's the central entrance to the Canal Park area, over the Interstate and onto Canal Park Drive (thought S. Lake Ave to the Lift Bridge is one block over to the right. We've just time to dress for dinner.
Although dressing for dinner is wildly unnecessary in these circumstances, and we're here to try out the Canal Park Brewing Company (very satisfactory).
Ate a lot, and afterward left with a doggie-bag full. (How that dates one of us: 'The doggie bag term was very common in the past, but in the last decade or so it has completely disappeared locally (Great Lakes region) to be replaced with "to go box".')
-- Mind the boulders, kids.
Another exceptional view of the Greysolon, Sheraton, and enormous Essentia complex
And of Harvey's Mausoleum
And of the canal lighthouses (with ship)
And of the Aerial Lift Bridge from the Lakewalk
-- Mind the boulders, kids.
Visitor Center and Corps of Engineers building in late sunlight
We can find thoughtful wisdom in the strangest places these days.
Ah, we're home! As it were.
Coming soon: The lakeshore north of Duluth, featuring the Gooseberry Falls