For quite some time now I've had the rather strange idea of one year wintering in the northern Minnesota port city of Duluth. The operative word is "strange." I mean, I've generally only ever visited Duluth in the summer, and so can only imagine that it's a rather inhospitable place in the dead of winter.
Yet still, there's something about its no-nonsense maritime atmosphere that makes me think it would be something special to hunker down and make it through an icy, frigid winter there - like some iced-in freighter defying the northern darkness and its chilling-to-the-bone winds.
Yet as these photos attest, my latest visit to Duluth took place nowhere near winter. Rather, I visited the city today with my friends Phil and Noelle - and, of course, my sweet boy Quinn - on a beautiful spring day - the last day of spring, in fact. The rationale for our visit? Nothing more than to get out of the Twin Cities for a day and enjoy each other's company while taking in the unique sights of Minnesota's fourth largest city.
Warned of construction work on Minnesota's Highway 35, we opted to travel to Duluth via the more scenic Wisconsin 35 route, passing through charmingly named towns such as Luck, Frederic, Dairyland, and Moose Junction on our way to Superior, just across the state line from Duluth.
Our first stop was the Park Point Recreation Area, a long sand dune between Lake Superior and Duluth Harbor. The Area's website notes that:
The dense hardwood-pine forests, red and white pine forests, and sand dune beach habitats offer excellent opportunity for birding. Along with songbirds, look for common terns, and the occasional peregrine falcon. A public beach, a beach house with concessions, a short paved trail, picnic pavilions, playgrounds, recreational fields, and sand volleyball courts are all a part of the experience.
I certainly noticed the trees . . .
But actually think the most popular attraction this day was Quinn . . .
Back in Duluth proper, I posed with Phil and Quinn while perched (rather uncomfortably) on some kind of moose throne (left).
We then visited the city's famed Aerial Lift Bridge (above) and one of the lighthouses of Duluth Harbor (below).
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Climbing Barn Bluff
Road Trip to St. Louis