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Published: September 26th 2021
We woke this morning in Duluth to 46 degrees. So we dressed for cold weather. By the time we left at 8:45 it was 49 degrees, but the overcast skies that loomed over us for most of the day kept the temperatures on the chilly side. The trees along our route had more color than yesterday, but my attempts to capture them in photos were unsuccessful due to the fact that the light was bad. There is nothing like a maple tree in full blook shining in the bright sunshine. But we never found that opportunity.
The drive out of Duluth took us through the harbor area of town. Everything I photographed from the mountain yesterday is all part of the working harbor. Structures that may look like buildings in the distance are not buildings at all. They are vast collections of grain elevators.
I found the following on Wikipedia:
“The Port of Duluth is the world's farthest inland port accessible to oceangoing ships, and by far the largest and busiest port on the Great Lakes. The port is ranked among the top 20 ports in the United States by tonnage. Commodities shipped from the Port
of Duluth include coal, iron ore, grain, limestone, cement, salt, wood pulp, steel coil, and wind turbine components.”
The Saint Lawrence seaway can take shipments to the Atlantic Ocean. Steve and I followed part of that seaway a few weeks ago from northern NY State down to Lake Ontario.
Our plan was to take a scenic route through Wisconsin to eventually land in St Paul, MI. So we began our journey by driving down into the port and crossing a bridge into Wisconsin. That is when I realized that, what I thought were large buildings were only grain elevators. If Duluth has a business district, somehow we totally missed it in all of our tooling around yesterday.
As we drove down Rt. 63 in Wisconsin, we saw something interesting. It was a network of dirt trails beside the road. And on them we saw many four-wheelers driving along their own highway beside the main road. And in many places, these roads had signs at intersections where they could turn and redirect their machines. Many of them actually were crossing the highway right in front of the traffic. I am guessing that these are actually snow mobile trails
in the winter time.
We drove south through Spooner, Cumberland, Turtle Lake, and Clear Lake. And at one point we saw the St. Croix Casino just a little north of New Richmond. And I must say, what kind of name is this for a casino? The translation of St. Croix is Holy Cross. So actually, the name of the casino is the Holy Cross Casino. And to me, that is an absurdity.
In New Richmond we attempted to make a pit stop at McDonalds but, as we have seen a number of times on this trip, the dining room was closed. The restaurants are only open to drive-thru customers. When will the Covid Pandemic be considered over?
We arrived in St Paul around 1:30 PM and went directly to the State Capitol, which I must say is very impressive. Not only the capitol building, but the entire campus. Last time we were here, a few years ago, the capitol building was shrouded behind a covering as they were restoring it, so we were not able to enjoy the beauty that it possesses until today. It appears to be built of light colored granite with gray swirls in
the stones. The restoration has made this building spectacular. And the gold statue over the main entrance is really special. See photos.
After driving around that area for a while we moved on up the hill to a beautiful church, the Cathedral of St Paul. It is a stately piece of architecture in walking distance from the capitol and will catch your eye from a long distance away. Last time we were here, we went inside for a visit, but that was not possible today. I took a photo, but the light behind the church was so bright, that the photo pales in comparison to seeing it in person.
After filling the gas tank, we ventured down to the Mississippi River and walked around a wonderful riverfront park. See the photos. As we were leaving, a group of five barges pushed by a pilot boat maneuvered its way past us and under the narrow opening of the bridge just south of us. What a feat it was. This has to be a high pressure job for sure.
We checked into the Drury Inn in downtown St Paul for the night. This is a spectacular hotel. I would
encourage anyone to experience this place. Tomorrow, we head for South Bend, the home of Notre Dame. We probably will not have time to visit the university again, but it certainly makes this city an icon.
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