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BigTrip Day 8

Amazing! Two nights in the same town. Despite a full day, today was wonderfully relaxing. We had breakfast at an overly touristy and rather maudlin place with a nice view of the lake. Nonetheless, after several days of one or the other of us being sick, it was great to finally have real food for breakfast.

Following breakfast, we drove up the north shore of Lake Superior along Route 61 (made famous by Duluth native Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited). Though a little lacking in wave action and sea salt aroma, it’s much like the coast of Maine: rocky headlands plunging into the water. Route 61 continues along the shore clear up into Canada, but we only drove the first 20 miles or so, as far as the small town of Two Harbors.

We ended up wandering around Two Harbors for several hours, even though it’s a pretty small place. The town has three huge ore docks, where trains deliver iron ore from the Mesabi Range, which parallels the north coast of Lake Superior, to waiting ships; this iron ore helped fuel the industrial growth of cities like Detroit and Gary. Though not at important as it once was, lots of Mesabi iron still heads down the lakes through Two Harbors and Duluth.

Before leaving Two Harbors, we had to stop at Betty’s Pies, recommended in Eat Your Way Across the USA, a book our friend Audrey lent to us before we left Seattle. The drive to Two Harbors would have been worth it for the pie alone. Thanks, Audrey! Now that Brad and I are eating foods other than saltines, we hope to consult this book often.

Returning to Duluth, we took a detour on Skyline Parkway, which winds its way along the top of the bluff above Duluth. It’s not really so much a parkway as a string of loosely connected roads, some of them dirt or very pot-holed pavement, but it lived up to its name in other respects; the views of the lake and the fall foliage were amazing. One part of the drive passes through Hawk Ridge, a local gathering spot for those interested in birds of prey. Though things were pretty quiet while we were there, apparently thousands of hawks, eagles, and falcons can be spotted on a single day. We saw only a few birds, including a Northern Goshawk who had been caught to be banded and was about to be released.

We spent the rest of the day hanging out, doing laundry. Tomorrow, we head through Wisconsin toward Chicago. The bells in the old clock tower here in Duluth have just rung midnight. Time for bed.

Today’s Photos: