Saturday, September 14, 2013

Walking in Duluth

This year I walked in snow in April, in cool weather with rain for much of May and in excessive heat during late August. It's been an ugly year for doing things outdoors.

Wednesday in Duluth turned out to be perfect! The temperature was in the low 70s with wonderful sunshine and a nice breeze coming off the lake.

This walk began in Leif Erikson Park on London Road in Duluth. The route was easy -- simply follow the lake shore trail to the Lift Bridge and walk back. No need to figure how which Y in the trail is the right Y for turning left. (See post about walking in Two Harbors for more references to that!)

Leif Erickson Park is the home of the Duluth Rose Garden. It is really beautiful.

This fountain is one of the dominant features. Information in the park explained this fountain was originally on a downtown street where in the late 19th century it served as a watering station for horses!

Everywhere one looks there are beautiful flowers. And the cool, damp air along Lake Superior has protected these flowers from the hot summer.

The park also has a gazebo that is popular for weddings. 

 In fact, a sign at the parking lot for the park listed all the events taking place in the gazebo this week.

On the lake side I could see a ship waiting to enter the harbor. 

 As I continued down the trail I found a Veteran's Monument. 

The monument is made like a bunker on a shore. The outcroppings on the top represent each of the five branches of military service in the United States. Windows inside face the rising sun, representing the "cycle of life." They also frame some interesting views. 

This window frames the residential area along London Road while the one below shows the Lift Bridge. 

Near this monument was another monument remembering a unit of 227 Marines from Duluth that served in the Korean conflict. 

The photograph on the left of the monument shows the unit marching through Duluth as they left for Korea. Of this group of 227 men, nine lost their lives in Korea, one was a prisoner of war for 33 months, and 80% of them experienced war injuries. 

Soon I could see the towers from the Fitger's complex. 

 Fitger's is a renovated 19th century brewery that now includes a hotel, shops, and a modern brewery. 

Along a wall I found a length of mosaics. 

This portion of the wall remembers a boat that sunk in the Duluth harbor. I really appreciated this wall when I was doing the return trip, for from the distance one sees an attractive wall rather than a stark urban object. 

Soon I was in the Canal Park area. I was interested in coffee and was glad to see a Caribou Coffee. I lingered  a bit too long for when I walked out of the shop I heard the alarm from the Lift Bridge signifying a boat would be moving through the ship canal. 

Look above the stair well and see the ship funnels. Even running I would have been too late to see the ship up close.

I continued down the street and came upon a fountain that I really like. 

This work is called the Fountain of the Wind and was constructed by the artist, Douglas Freeman.

Here are two of the interesting features of the fountain. 

Nearby is an interesting brick wall. 

This wall is the work of the artist, Donna Dobberfuhl. 

I continued to the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center. The digital display showed me the next ship through the ship canal would be in 5-7 hours, so I didn't have good luck in seeing a ship up close as it passes through the canal. Both the one I just missed and the one expected where coming to load coal for power plants down the Great Lakes. Coal comes by train from North Dakota and Montana and then is sent by ship for the rest of its travel to the eastern states.

But this Center is right beside the Lift Bridge so I took a picture to share. 

When a boat needs to pass through the ship canal warning sirens sound and then the road platform moves to the top, allowing ships to pass beneath it. 

Even though school is now in session the lake front was full of people. 

Walking back I got a good view of a ruin in the lake water. 

The explanatory material here explained this was an area for the loading and unloading of sand and gravel during the late 19th century. I learned that a structure built into the lake for loading and unloading cargo is called a crib. Thus far, I thought I crib was a place for babies to sleep or a place to store cob corn so it could dry. But each of these things have slats, that is probably will each have the same name. 

In the picture above and the one below, one can see many rocks on the lake shore.  This is not nature.

 Highway I-35 goes through Duluth below grade or through tunnels. All the rock from this excavation was put on the lake shore to make the lake walk area.

As I continued back to the rose garden and the place I let my car, I found a sign about a buoy.

The spot in the lake is a red buoy that marks a crib and breakwater under the water, something obviously a ship doesn't what to hit. It is the first or last, depending on how you count, of a 2, 342 mile (3,769 kilometers) trail of buoys between the Duluth Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. And I learned the right word is nun, not buoy.

This was a great walk and a beautiful day. We are so lucky to have Duluth as part of Minnesota.

No comments: