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Category Archives: Duluth Lakewalk

Last Thursday we decided to take a walk around Downtown Duluth, Minnesota. It had been a while since our last visit and we wanted to see what was going on. Our first stop was to check out the Superior Street Construction. Duluth has decided it was time to replace Superior Street and update the utilities under the street. This is phase one of a three year project. Unfortunately in redesigning Superior Street the Duluth City Council had it’s head buried in the sand. Rather than rebuilding the street for the future they decided to build for the past. After all parking was the top priority of the businesses along the street even though there was plenty of unused parking in adjacent ramps. Having traveled extensively I was aware that the future of downtown’s is in walking streets and both in this country and Europe are many good examples of walking streets. Reykjavik, Iceland turns their main streets into walking streets during the summer months. Well Duluth is not know to be a forward looking community.

 

We then attempted to walk down to the harbor area through the sky walk. Unfortunately access to the harbor was blocked off. A severe spring storm damaged the waterfront a few weeks ago. There were already problems along the harbor as the seawall had been undercut and the land was falling into the harbor. The storm made matters worse. This happens to be the area where the Tall Ships dock when they come to Duluth. Probably no Tall Ships until the area is repaired. There were workmen in the area attempting to assess the damage.

While we were checking out the damage we noticed some unusual smoke coming from the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior, Wisconsin. We figured there had been a minor accident and didn’t pay much attention.

 

We then had to take a circuitous route to The William A. Irvin because the harbor area is blocked off. This is an old ore ship that has been turned into a museum and offers tours during the summer. This area was already under repair because pier had been undercut by wave action. The $6.1 million Minnesota Slip seawall reconstruction project just resumed after a lengthy delay. Unfortunately the project failed to get the proper signatures and was closed down for six weeks. The plan is to drive new steel pilings then pour a new seawall. The delay has caused problems for the Vista Fleet tour boats one of which docks in back of the Irvin. If that wern’t enough the slip is contaminated and remediation is scheduled to take place this fall.

In addition the Blue Slip Bridge was undergoing painting and it was also closed.

This section of the seawall was breached in the April storm. Waves were above the seawall and sand still has not been removed. The waves were so high they touched the bottom of the Aerial Lift Bridge.

Canal Park remains a disaster zone. A sever October storm severely damaged the lakewalk. The April storm did even more damage. The pilot house used for the bike rentals is closed and will likely not open this summer and perhaps it will never reopen. Because of the damage to the lakewalk the city decided the rental bikes take up too much space in the remaining walk area. The bike path will have to be used for walkers and bikes because the boardwalk was destroyed in the October storm and experienced even more damage in the April storm. Current estimates are that it will take two years to repair the damage.

The city has not been able to assess the damage from the most recent storm because the boardwalk and surrounding area is still covered in ice from the latest storm.

After lunch we decided to take a walk over to Park Point to assess the damage to the beach area. As we started our walk we could see huge plums of smoke coming from the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior. We decided that we had to drive over that way to get some meat at Superior Meats so we should check out what was going on at the same time. As it turns out there was a minor explosion which is what we saw in the morning but around noon there was a major explosion and fire. Fortunately no one was killed and only one person was seriously injured. Most of the workers were having lunch in blast shelters at the time of the explosion.

This shot is from the Blatnick Bridge.

A second shot from Superior.

A shot taken near the Superior Airport which is near the refinery. As were driving toward Superior Meats my wife complained about all of the traffic. She though there might be an evacuation of the area. I thought she was nuts it was just a busy time of day. When we reached Superior Meats the door was locked but there was no notice on the door. About that time my wife received a mandatory evacuation order on her phone. The all of the employees came running out of the store. We decided that maybe we shouldn’t be driving around through a toxic cloud.

Later in the day we drove up to Enger Park to check out the fire in Superior. It was getting late in the day and the fire was still spewing a toxic cloud of smoke. There were a number of people watching the fire. Apparently some of them had been evacuated from Superior because the kids wanted to know when they could go back home.

After that excitement we drove down to Park Point. We love to walk the Park Point beach but between the eroded shoreline on one side and the high ice wall on the other there wasn’t much to see so it was a short visit. It doesn’t appear that this storm cause much more damage along the shoreline. The October storm caused considerable damage. That along with the the high lake levels in Lake Superior had caused flooding in the basements of many Park Point homes. They have been running sump pumps to keep water out of their basements.

What started out as a nice walk through Duluth turned in to a disaster tour of the Twin Ports.

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When we are in Duluth I like to walk down to Canal Park to watch the sunrise. On this particular morning I was setting up and heard a loud splash. A little while later I noticed that a couple of young men swimming out to Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum. This the first time I had seen anyone on the Mausoleum at sunrise.

I took their picture then did a couple of panoramas from the same location.

There were some beautiful clouds in the sky over the harbor entrance.

As the sun rose the South Breakwater Light just glowed.

There were some great shots of the South Breakwater Inner Light which is privately owned.

Sunlight and water always make for some nice shots.

It was cold and Dreary this weekend in Duluth. I decided to walk down to Canal Park and see if anything was going on. Not much happening. I was a little surprised at the number of people wandering around given how cold and dreary it was. The shipping season was just getting underway and there wasn’t much activity.

Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum

Duluth Harbor Lighthouses

Padlocks

 

When we arrived back in Duluth after our trip along the North Shore we realized the Duluth Polar Bear Plunge was still taking place in Canal Park so we drove down to watch a bit of it. Canal Park was surreal. It was almost 60 degrees in mid February and the place looked like it does during the height of the summer tourist season. People were walking along the Lakewalk in shorts. There was no ice to be seen on the lake. In a normal year the only area of open water would be withing the area where the participants jump in. The rest of the lake would be frozen. The first photo is from an earlier Polar Bear Plunge.

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It seems like every year at the Duluth Tall Ship Festival there is a day or two of stormy weather. This year was no exception.

When and If

When and If

Appledore V

Appledore V

Pride of Baltimore II

Pride of Baltimore II

I was out on the South Breakwater Light to greet the Federal Rhine as it sailed in to Duluth, Minnesota.

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The ship was not carrying any cargo as rode so high in the water that the propeller was almost out of the water.federal-rhine-duluth-minnesota-16-8-1997

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As it sailed into the harbor it was met by two Great Lakes Tug boats that assisted it into the docks.federal-rhine-duluth-minnesota-16-8-2024

I had walked down to the Duluth Ship Canal to photograph the sunrise. Before sunrise the American Century exited through the Duluth Ship Canal. It was a little dark to take photos but I managed a few as it sailed under the Aerial Lift Bridge and out into Lake Superior.

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We have been lucky enough to be in Duluth, Minnesota on Wednesday nights several times this summer. We always go down to the harbor to watch the sailboats come out for the races. The first boat out is usually the buoy boat. It goes out to mark the course about a half hour before the racers come out of the harbor.

Between 5 and 5:30 the sailboats gather in the harbor waiting for the Aerial Lift Bridge to go up. I usually goes up on the half hour during the summer months.

Wednesday-Night-Sailboat-Races-Duluth-Minnesota--16-7-_4268At 5:30 they all head out into the lake in a group. this is what is really fund to watch.

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Sailing on Lake Superior is Sailing on a real lake!

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It has been a difficult summer for sunrises in Duluth. I just haven’t been around when they have been very good. The other day I walked down to Canal Park hopping for a good sunrise but things didn’t look promising.

On the way down I stopped to take this photo of Endion Station. Its an old railroad station that was moved down to Canal Park and is now a restaurant.

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The last couple of years people have been attaching their padlocks to these posts. The collection continues to grow.

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I took this photo of the Aerial Lift Bridge during the Blue Hour.

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I had given up on an interesting sunrise when I noticed there were a few clouds, that looked interesting, in back of the North Breakwater Light.

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This is a shot I’ve not taken before. The back lighting on the north pier and lighthouse was interesting,

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I spend a few days wandering around the Duluth, Minnesota waterfront taking photos of various things. These are some of the photos that didn’t fit into any particular category.

A carnival was at the DECC during the fourth of July week. I happened to walk by in the evening and took a photo just before the rides closed for the evening.

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I’ve always wanted to stand in the road and take a photo of the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge as it was going up. I finally had the opportunity.

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It was a foggy morning in Duluth. I happened to be walking along the Lakewalk toward Fitger’s just as the fog was lifting.

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A photo of the Waterfront Plaza Marina.

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Construction continues along the slip for the Pier B Resort. Later in the day we stopped by the Silos Restaurant for lunch. I had by firs Lamb Burger. Probably was thinking of Lamb because of our recent trip to Iceland.

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The Vista Star tour boat approaching the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge.

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