Skip navigation

Category Archives: Duluth Lift Bridge

When someone goes down to Canal Park to watch a ship come in and two ships come in and/or go out it is called a twofer. On this particular day the Michipicoten was coming in.

The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. was on its way out of the harbor.


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.

We walked down to the Duluth Ship Canal to watch the Paul R. Tregurtha sail under the Aerial Lift Bridge. Our first stop was to photograph the South Breakwater Inner Light with the interesting clouds behind it.

We then walked over to the DECC to watch the Tregurtha arrive and sail into the harbor.

This year we were in Duluth, Minnesota to view the fireworks. There are many locations to watch them and this year we chose to view them from the North Breakwater.

The Indiana Harbor arrived in Duluth while I was photographing the Sunrise.

We have had an urban cabin in Duluth since 2012 but had never attended Grandma’s Marathon. This year we decided to check it off of our bucket list. I walked through the finish area the day before the race to watch the workers putting up the stands and finish line.

That day they also had a spaghetti feed for anyone wanting to attend. After some effort I convinced my wife that we should attend. She was worried about the crowds but as it turned out most of the people attended later in the day so we just about had the place to ourselves.

As we were walking around I noticed some folks getting their picture taken with Grandma. I though it was a statue but when I went to get my photo taken it turned out to be a real grandma. She had been doing this for over 20 years.

We also waked through a health fair that was going on at the same time. My wife stopped by to purchase some Crapola. Turns out that it was very good. It is made at their world headquarters in Ely, Minnesota.

That evening I walked down to Canal Park to watch the start of the William A. Irvin 5k. I photographed the first wave of runners and decided that was the end of it. Turns out there were probably five more waves of runners to follow.

When I was looking for information about the race I noticed that the North Shore Scenic Railroad was running a trail up to the start of the race. It would wait for the start and then follow the runners along the course before returning to Duluth in time for you to see the finish of the race. Since we had never been to the race we thought this would be a great way to get an overall view of the race. Given the road clotures it would have been impossible to drive to various points along the race course. Here I am at 5am at the train station.

Turns out that the start of the race is staged at Sonju auto dealership just outside of Two Harbors.


I took most of my photos from the train. It was difficult to photograph from the train tracks because the weeds along the tracks were so high.

As promised the train followed the race course for quite a ways and we were able to watch the runners from a number of locations along the course. They had large water stations setup along the course. The train ride was very enjoyable with lots of local information provided as it steamed along the tracks. It had been over 20 years since we had last been on the train.

When we arrived back in Duluth we walked over near the finish line to watch runners come in. Runners from the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon were still coming in when we stationed ourselves along the course. I clearly had an incorrect view of the Marathon. I though everyone would be young and fit. Turns out all ages and body shapes were in the race. It was really inspiring to watch people finish the race.

It wasn’t long before the first racers from Grandma’s Marathon came along. Apparently the first two runners were running together but at the last water station one runner couldn’t find his special water bottle and he fell behind.

The Elite women were not far behind.

We found out the day of the race that the brother of one of our sons friends was running in the race. We were able to track his progress in the race on our phone so we stayed around to watch him head toward the finish line.

We then walked down the race course to the finish line to see what was happening. When we saw all of the racers bags lined up we were impressed at the organization the whole race must take.

We stopped and took some more pictures of the Menomonie runner so we could send them to his parents.

When we walked back our condo we went up to the skywalk system to watch the the racers come down Superior Street.

The next day when we walked down to Canal Park the cleanup was well underway.

We were driving back to Duluth from Wisconsin and noticed as we crossed the Blatnick Bridge that the Joyce L. VanEnkevort and Great Lakes Trader was approaching Rice’s Point so we exited the bridge and drove down to Rice’s Point to watch it go under the bridge. You will notice that the Joyce L. VanEnkevort is a tug and Great Lakes Trader is a barge. The back of the former ship has been modified so the tug can insert itself into the barge. Apparently it is far less costly to run a tug/barge combination than it is to run a ship.

A day later I happened to be down in Canal Park when the Joyce L. VanEnkevort and Great Lakes Trader was leaving Duluth Harbor through the Ship Canal.

I was up early to watch the American Century leave Duluth.




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

This past August we drove up to Duluth Minnesota to attend the Tall Ship Festival. This is a huge event in Duluth and it is the second time we have attended.There were nine ships at this year’s festival.

As we drove into town we noticed that the Pride of Baltimore II was tied up at the docks in Superior, Wisconsin so we drove over to take a look.


We were a bit disappointed with this years festival. The crowds were so large that it was almost impossible to get on the ships. This year they sold special passes that allowed you to go to the head of the line but even those lines were long. the last time it was held it was relatively easy to get on the ships but not this year. We had friends come up to visit the ships but they decided it wasn’t worth standing in line. They weren’t the only ones that gave up. We decided to skip the ship festival and drive up to Gooseberry Falls State Park. Turns out a lot of other folks had the same idea and there were no places to park at Gooseberry.

In addition to the problem of getting on the ships it was very difficult to move around the waterfront. The famous Blue Bridge was a huge bottleneck with long lines waiting to get across the bridge. It was even worse when the bridge had to open to let ships through. There was another bottleneck in back of the aquarium. There was an art show taking place at Bayfront Park and several times we just gave up and went back to the condo because the crowds were so large. I suppose the event was a success for the city but it was a very negative experience for the visitor.

My wife was particularly disappointed that the Norwegian Viking Ship  Draken Harald Hårfagre  was not able to make it to the festival. We had followed their five weeks from sail from the North Sea, across the Atlantic. We just missed seeing it in Iceland. As it turned out the ship couldn’t couldn’t navigate Lake Superior’s pilot laws. Apparently they were unaware that they had to have a pilot on board and didn’t have the funds to pay for one.

The El Galeón Andalucía was my favorite ship. Unfortunately it didn’t give rides and were weren’t able to get on it this year because of the crowds.

El Galeón Andalucía

El Galeón Andalucía

The Zeeto was docked behind the Mist of Avalon in this shot.



The When and If was giving rides and is shown here entering the Duluth Ship Canal with the North Breakwater Light and Duluth in the background.

When and If

When and If

The US Brig Niagara is showing entering the harbor during the Parade of Tall Ships. We watched the event from the War Memorial Park. The festival did offer an opportunity to sail on one of the Tall Ships during the parade and that is something I would seriously consider doing during the next event.

US Brig Niagara

US Brig Niagara

I happened to catch the Mist of Avalon sailing out of the harbor, early in the morning, as it was leaving Duluth for it’s next destination.

Mist of Avalon

Mist of Avalon

The Denis Sullivan was heading for the docks in Duluth Harbor.

Denis Sullivan

Denis Sullivan

Appledore V under sail in Duluth Harbor.

Appledore V

Appledore V

The Abby Road was a late entry into the festival. I happened to catch it entering the harbor right behind a large ship.

Abby Road

Abby Road