CRUISING THE GREAT LAKES #5: DELIGHTFUL DULUTH, MINNESOTA

It’s funny how the mind works.  After choosing “Delightful Duluth” for my title, I remembered a blog I had written about our previous visit to Duluth in 2017.  It was such a beautiful day last time we were there, so I wanted to include a link to those photos.  After including the link (see above in blue font), I noticed on my site I had used the same adjective to describe Duluth—“Delightful!”

Although this was one of our only gloomy days during our entire 16-day trip, this visit to Duluth was delightful. We were fortunate to have just missed the rain that fell before we arrived.

Like a few of the other ports we visited while aboard Ocean Navigator, Duluth is located on Lake Superior in Minnesota’s Arrowhead Region.  Tourism is the main industry, and the population swells from less than 90,000 residents to anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million in the summer.  I would imagine it must feel like a ghost town in the winter when the average temperature is -2 degrees, the snowfall is typically 80” and the snowbirds flee along with the tourists.  The lake rarely freezes over; however, the water temperature averages 39 degrees.  I’ll give a big miss to swimming in those waters!

We heard an interesting statistic about Lake Superior to add to the facts we had learned so far about this Great Lake:  There is enough water in Superior to cover North and South America with one foot of water!  It’s also touted to be the cleanest and purest lake in the world with an average visibility of 27 feet.  What a nice environment for the 78 species of fish that live in it!

It sure can be a wicked lake though.  The largest wave ever recorded on the lake reached 31 feet!  That explains why there have been so many ship wrecks, including the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, which sunk on November 10, 1975.  For those of us who have been around awhile, we immediately think of the beautiful song Gordon Lightfoot wrote about the 29 crew members who lost their lives that day. 

Throughout our cruise we learned a lot about the Edmund Fitzgerald in the various maritime museums we visited, including the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center.  We also had an “aha” moment after we learned that lake freighters that stay on the lakes are called “Lakers.”  Now I know how my favorite childhood sports team got its name!  Prior to becoming the Los Angeles Lakers, they were the Minneapolis Lakers, and the name was inspired by Minnesota’s nickname, “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” 

Following our visit to the center, we walked all around the area before returning to the bus for the remainder of our included tour.  These shots were captured along the way:

The Aerial Lift Bridge is a Duluth landmark dating back to 1905. It was first constructed as the United States’ first transporter bridge, and then it was converted to a vertical lift bridge in 1929-1930.
This is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that connects Canal Park to the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center
What a clever idea for a lakefront takeaway restaurant! It is situated at the end of a parking lot and along Duluth Lakewalk.
This restaurant, located next to the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center and Aerial Lift Bridge is also a clever idea. They converted a cargo container into a takeaway restaurant.
Then, there was this. Hmmm. It is located just behind the takeaway and is a dine-in restaurant. At least they have a sense of humor!

Next up:  Touring Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada