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Published: September 25th 2021
We woke this morning to a cold and blustery day. It was 56 degrees and, although the weather app on my phone said the wind was 8 MPH, due to my experience from my flying days, you could not convince me that it was anything but a 25 knot wind. At one point I could not open the car door, the wind kept pushing it shut on me. And even many of the locals were wearing parkas and winter headgear. So after putting on some warm clothes, we ventured out for the day at 8:50 AM and headed north.
Steve had planned all along to follow the lakeside roads and so we did. I call them roads but, as anyone knows who has lived in a climate as far north as Duluth, they can be rutted with potholes and frost heaves and the never ending asphault patches. Bumpy, they definitely were. My back will probably remind me of that fact tomorrow when I get out of bed.
We were looking for colorful foliage. After all it is fall. But it hasn’t really happened for real, yet. I would say the color that is coming in is probably
at 20%. We saw an occasional tree that was ahead of all of the others, but I am guessing that peak will likely be the middle of October. No surprise to us. We figured as much. But, since the “No Vacancy” signs donned the fronts of most of the hotels, resorts and cabins, I am guessing many people were not aware of that.
As is typical of this climate, we saw pine, spruce, and fir trees galore and many are shedding big time. And we saw white birch, with their delicate leaves fluttering in the wind like bangles on a necklace. And the king of them all is the sugar maple because it provides lots of shade in the summer and the most brilliant colors in the fall. See the photos. I caught one or two standing proud in their late season colors before the leaves get ready to fall. Of course, then they are no longer pretty. They clutter up the roadways and your front lawn and create a lot of work to remove them. And that is their last hurrah.
According to signs we saw along the way, Lake Superior is “infested” with unwelcomed fish. And
the state has a plan to try and clean it all up. The signs posted by the boat launches state rules to help prevent the spread to other lakes, I guess, because they tell you to clean your boat when leaving and to remove the drain plug.
At 11 AM we arrived at the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. This would have been a great place to spend some time. But the temperatures had dropped further and the wind was blowing us around, so we decided to save it for another day.
We arrived at Silver Bay Bayside Park. And we decided to park at the Marina by the boat launch and have lunch while sitting in the car. By now it was raining quite heavily. So the photos are rather gloomy. Steve’s hands had turned white from the cold at this point, and this is the first time he enjoyed using the heated steering wheel, which restored his circulation.
When we reached Little Marais, the rain was getting heavier and we had to decide this was the time to turn around and experience the views from the other direction. We got back to Duluth around 2:30
PM and hopped on the Skyline Parkway and see what it had to offer. From up on the mountain we were able to take in panoramic views of the city, the bridges, the industry and the water. I wish the sun had been shining. We drove around town for quite some time, mostly in residential areas and took in the ambiance.
Before heading back to our hotel, we made one last stop at the Hyundai dealer. With all of the rain, we discovered our windshield wipers were overdue for a change. So we had some new ones installed. Now you watch…it may not rain again on this trip. LOL
Tomorrow we drive to Minneapolis/St. Paul. I want to take in the Mall of America. Last time we were there, we had Beamer with us, so we each had a five minute peek inside, one at a time, and back out to the car. This time we will spend some time inside walking around before heading to our hotel in St. Paul for the night.
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