The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

Duluth....A Return View by the Prodigal Daughter

We arrived in Duluth on Sunday afternoon. There are about three parks to choose from and they all cost about the same. We paid $42/night to stay at Indian Point RV Park.....based solely on location. It was closest to the city and things we wanted to see. I had called ahead to make reservations because that seems to be more necessary up north with fewer parks. A guy took reservations, told me they didn't have pull-throughs, etc. Of the two sites he reserved for us knowing our rig sizes and types, the one he put me down for would have had my rear window almost touching the RV awning behind me with my truck unhooked. The other site was very decidedly unlevel by about a foot from side to side. I looked at them before we filled out the paperwork. Fortunately, a woman was working the desk and listened to my concerns.

She checked her sites and found us two great sites near the office. Mine was a pull-through and Mary Jane was parked on a concrete slab so she was perfectly level. We were very happy with the changes and the woman's whole attitude. It made a big difference in our stay at the park.

She also took the time to give us some information about Duluth since it has been 45 years since my last visit and she recommended several restaurants. We had dinner at Clyde Iron of her recommendations and it was very good.

The restaurant is on the second floor overlooking the main floor which is where they have parties. These kids were having fun playing with the giant checker pieces.

The next day, we decided one good way to see a lot of the city and changes would be to tour along the Skyline Drive. It has expanded since I lived there. You are high up on the hillside overlooking the city and the harbor.

This is what we used to call the High Bridge but since there is now a second high bridge further west, I don't know if they still call it that. It connects Duluth with Superior Wisconsin.

This is the first view of the famous Aerial Bridge.

Enger Tower overlooks the city from high on the hill.

This is a ship called a laker because it travels the Great Lakes with cargo.

Rice's Point separates the Duluth-Superior outer harbor from the inner harbof.

The Aerial Bridge provides the opening into the harbor.

The Duluth-Superior Harbor is the furthest western point of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

I knew that I would be able to find Kenwood Avenue from the Skyline Drive. This is where I grew up. The house looks really different because it now has a cocoa colored siding on it. The sunporch on the front left used to have glass blocks on both the front and side. And we had a chain link fence rather than the 6 foot wooden fence now in place. The yard looked so much larger when I lived here and I didn't leave until I was 21.

Then I took my friend Mary Jane by Kenwood Elementary School which is where we all started school. After I took the picture, I noticed the green and yellow sign which says this in now Nature Trail Apartments.
 We went past St Scholastica which is a large private college and is as beautiful as ever. MSU or Minnesota State University - Duluth has really grown and has a much larger campus. Back on Skyline Drive, we found the plaque with information about Lake Superior. It is the largest body of fresh water anywhere in the world and is 160 miles across with a depth of 1300 feet, much deeper than the other Great Lakes. It was formed by a glacier and the water is very cold because of the depth.

This crabapple tree was really loaded with fruit.

It was overcast and you could see rain in the distance.

There is also a Nature Reserve along park of the Parkway with a bird viewing area.

Next we went downtown along Superior Street. Business seems to be doing very well and there were lots of shops.

If you look down the street, you can see the skywalks that go from building to building so that you don't have to walk out in the cold in the winter.

Canal Park was a big surprise. When I lived here, there was a parking lot right next to the Aerial Bridge where you could go to watch the ships come in but the rest of the area was an industrial area. Now it is a tourist mecca. There are a number of hotels and restaurants.

There is also a walkway all along the lakeshore. This opening to it was in Canal Park.

I thought this was hilarious. Between my first and second years of college, I worked in a factory on the second floor of this building. We made rags for garages and shops. Clean clothes came in bales. Our job was to use a ripping machine to remove zippers and buttons and then cut the fabric into appropriate sizes for shop rags. Now the building is Little Angie's Cantina & Grill serving Tex-Mex food. All of the old industrial buildings have a brand new life.

The kids were having a ball walking through this fountain area.....we had sweaters on!

This is Grandma's Restaurant where we had lunch and a great view of the Aerial Bridge from the outdoor balcony.

What used to be a Corps of Engineers Building now houses a Maritime Visitor's Center.

This little tug has obviously been landlocked as scenery.

The lighthouse sits on pier jutting out from the Aerial Bridge.

Notice the green gate partway along the walkway. They have to close off the piers when the weather is rough as some people are just not smart enough to stay off here and the water can wash right over the walkways if the waves get high.

You could always walk out along the pier when the weather was good but now you can peddle one of these little carriages.

View of the downtown area from the pier.

I was really hoping for one of the big foreign ships to come through under the bridge but this little guy at least let Mary Jane see how the bridge worked. It goes all the way up for the big ships

Kids at the Dolphin Fountain in Canal Park. It was really nice to see how much Duluth has changed since I grew up there. I know our old house used to look a lot bigger than it does now. It was a wonderful visit but I always remember the winters and the snow shoveling and don't have a desire to do that again....summer visits are the only way to go for me.

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