the wandering chick
a trip to Duluth and the North Shore
This page is dedicated to my great niece Madison. It was our first overnight trip together, and along with Mookie, her grandma, we had a fantastic time. Madi is twelve. She, Mookie and I took a two-day trip to Duluth on a nice August weekend.
Seems we always want 'just one more day,' but we made the best of our time together and look forward to our next getaway, wherever that may be.
Madi and Mookie at the Two Harbors Breakwater Lighthouse
On the waiting list at Betty's Pies on Highway 61, the North Shore Scenic Byway. We knew we were in for a treat when we saw the number of cars in the restaurant's parking lot. We were not disappointed. Betty's serves breakfast, lunch and dinner....and lots of pies.
Gooseberry Falls is within the Gooseberry Falls State Park and sits on the shore of Lake Superior. It has three major falls, the Upper, Lower and Middle.
The grounds of the mansion include beautiful flower and vegetable gardens, a boat house, a garden house and the carriage house.
Madi bought her scarf at an art booth where she was able to choose the colors she wanted to dye it. It started out a silky white, but she turned it into three different colors that mingled together beautifully. By the end of the two day trip she had found some 11 or 12 different ways to wear it, either around her waist, her neck or her head. Some of them were pretty funny.
The Glensheen Mansion was built between 1905 and 1908 and owned by the influential Chester Congdon, his wife Clara and their seven children. The 39-room estate sits on the shore overlooking Lake Superior just north of Duluth. Its decor and furnishings are all original, and the rooms have been left as they were when lived in by the family. The family no longer lives there, and the estate is owned by the University of Minnesota Duluth.
This is one of three lighthouses that can be seen from Duluth's Canal Park. They mark the entrance to the Duluth Harbor Basin.
Duluth's two main lighthouses are positioned on long breakwaters on either side of the Aerial Lift Bridge.
Both by day and by night, the Aerial Lift Brige is a pretty impressive structure. It's called a lift bridge because the section on which cars travel actually rises to allow tall ships and boats to travel between Lake Superior and Duluth's harbor.
Our first event was the Art Fair that was going on at the Bayfront Park. We spent a couple hours there. Madi bought a scarf, and I bought a hat. Mookie bought lunch.
After the art fair, we walked through Canal Park, under the Aerial Lift Bridge and out to the lighthouse. Madi enjoyed all the seagulls that were flying around.
The SS William A. Irvin is a huge, huge freighter docked in Duluth. It is owned by the U.S. Steel Company and was named after the fourth president of US Steel.
fWhen we got tired of walking, we decided to take a trolley ride around town to see Duluth's highlights. We were disappointed because it only took about 15 minutes and we had already been everywhere it went anyway. Bummer.
After our trolley ride, we got in the car and took a drive along a long skinny strip of land to see a sandy beach. We enjoyed the drive along the peninsula which separates Lake Superior from Duluth's harbor. The road ended at the airport, so we parked and headed for the beach.
We made a B-line for the beach, shucked off our shoes and let the cold water and wet sand ooze between our toes.
After our beach excursion, we grabbed a bite to eat at Grandma's Saloon and Grill, then rushed back to the hotel so Madi could get in some pool time. Yes, Mom, we waited the required 20 minutes so the crabs wouldn't get her....I mean the cramps. Madi was the smart one...the only one who took a swimsuit along!!
After the pool, we took a nice, easy stroll along the Duluth boardwalk (It's called the Lakewalk), over the bridge and back to the hotel. Madi sat in a moose's lap on a Canal Park shopping street.
She slept fast and hard that night and was still sleeping the next morning ... or at least we THINK that's Madi.
Mookie and I enjoyed a wonderful cup of coffee on the boardwalk behind the hotel before breakfast. After breakfast, we headed up the North Shore Scenic Byway, stopping at sights along the way. Gooseberry Falls, here we come!
Our first stop along the North Shore drive was the famous Glensheen Mansion owned and lived in by Chester and Clara Congdon and their children. We walked the grounds before our tour of the mansion started.
Fischer Creek runs through the grounds, offering a peaceful stroll through more than seven acres of land.
Ending the trip with a Cookie Dough Blizzard from DQ!
While driving along the north shore drive, Madi had spotted this teepee where she knew her dad had been and wanted to walk in his footsteps.
It's a "so long" for this trip. I thank Madi and Mookie for making it such a fun one. We'll be doing another one, I'm sure.
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The following year, the three of us took a trip to Door County, Wisconsin.
We thought she'd found every way possible to wear that scarf, but two weeks later, she found this one. We were on our way to the Oxbow Park Zoo near her home in Kasson. I think it's pretty dang scary looking!!