Duluth, Minnesota

Duluth is about a two and a half hour drive north of the Twin Cities. We had hoped it would be cooler up there but on the day we left, the temperature was the same as it was in St Paul — over 90 degrees F. 

Just outside Duluth there is a large rest stop with a spectacular overlook. There is also a sculpture by David von Schlegell done in 1976 called The Gate. Von Schlegell was from St. Louis, Missouri. His father was an American Impressionist painter, William von Schegell. The plaque says: 

The Stainless steel sculpture functions as a metaphor, tying the horizontal lines of the land and Lake Superior, which are both very visible from this location, together at the point of intersection with the City of Duluth. The Gate serves to recognize the importance of Duluth, as not only a gateway to Minnesota’s north shore, but also to the world through the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway that extends 3700 kilometers (2300 miles) east to the Atlantic Ocean.

On the way into town we stopped at the Duluth Grill located a 118 S. 27th Ave. W. The restaurant is open daily from 8 am to 3 pm and serves fresh, local, organic food. Their salads and sandwiches were delicious. Plus they serve breakfast all day.

Our next stop was to check into our hotel right on the lake. We stayed at the Canal Park Lodge at 250 Canal Park Drive. It was very comfortable and the view was spectacular. Breakfast was included. 

The first day I walked along the shore all the way to the lighthouse and back. It was kind of a mistake since it was so hot but I did get to see the bridge go up and got a close up view of the light house.

The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge was completed in 1905, and was upgraded in 1929. In 1973 it went on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the most photographed sites in Minnesota. In the busy seasons, it averages 26 lifts a day and operates 24 hours a day. It has a clearance of 180 feet when completely raised and is very similar to a bridge in Rouen, France. They are the only two of their kind in the world.

A couple of big ships had just gone out when we arrived but I was lucky enough to see the bridge go up to let the tug boat back in.

Another important bridge is the one that connects Duluth, Minnesota with Superior, Wisconsin. The John A. Blatnik Bridge is 7,975 feet (2,431 m) long and rises up nearly 120 feet (37 m) above the St. Louis River which is a tributary of Lake Superior. The bridge was completed in 1971 but has been widened and strengthened since then.


  1. I have enjoyed your trip through Minnesota.

    When we lived overseas, Minnesota was one of the places we came home to.

    My grandparents lived north of Duluth in a small town called Virginia. They also had a cabin at Lake Eshquagama, where there is now a large Golf Resort.

    The last time I stayed at the lake was in 1963. I visited very briefly again in 2003, while driving my son back to Chicago. We pulled in at the clubhouse, and a man challenged my son, asking why we were there.

    The sound of the wind in the trees had brought back a flood of memories and even a few tears. Seeing them, the man asked who I was related to, He knew my grandfather, Clark Henry.. His wife was also the historian for the area.

    He took to his home for lunch so he could find their address, and lead us to where the family cabin was. The Big Cabin was still there, now painted white, with a blue roof, instead of the old green yellow and red that it had been. Coincidentally, my home in Seattle was white, with a blue roof!

    The little cabin, a real Log Cabin, where we stayed, when we visited, since my early childhood, had been built in 1860. At some point, after 1963 it had burned to the ground, and all you could see was the footprint and the stone fireplace.

    Thanks again for your wonderful posts, this one in particular.

    Barb Harrington Pew

    1. Wow, what a great story! I love it when you can connect to your past like that. Thanks for sharing this. I have not been to Virginia but I know Bob Dylan grew up very near there in Hibbing. 😎

Leave a Reply