Thursday, June 19, 2014

North Country: Duluth

Jun 19 2013

OK, time to start heading towards Michigan, so I crossed over to Duluth today.

As I traveled from central to eastern Minnesota the terrain morphed from rolling woods to flat, boggy expanses of sickly looking pine then back to rolling as I approached Duluth. I don’t find flat and boggy all that inviting. . .

Along the way I stopped briefly along the shores of Cass Lake (OK, I had to pee and there was a rest area there!) and saw/read about something rather interesting. There’s an island out there in the middle of Cass Lake, Star Island, and right in the middle of the island is another lake! That's pretty cool!

There was only a couple hundred miles of road to cover so I had time to mess around once I arrived in Duluth. First I tried to go to the railroad museum in downtown Duluth, tried twice as a matter of fact, but could not find a place to park my 9'8" high rig and never did actually see the museum.

Frustrated I wandered across the freeway and tracks to the aquarium and the convention center on the east side where I saw a park/playground with a nice big parking lot. I figured I could just walk back across the 5th Avenue bridge but the lot had a two hour limit which wouldn't be near enough if I got in a room full of train stuff. 

Then I checked my map and saw that there’s a visitor center at Canal Park a few blocks away. Maybe I can get some pointers from there; except that there’s a carnival sitting right smack dab in the parking lot and you just know if you park at one of the restaurants taking up the only other space available on this little spit of land, the second you step off their property a tow truck is hooking you up!

OK, time to re-think this. . . it’s getting late in the afternoon now anyway.
(Update 2014. After contacting the museum I was told to use the lot at the base of 4th Avenue, up against I35 and tucked under the ramp that intersects with 5th Avenue. I saw that pretty much empty lot during my search for parking but interpreted the signs for 'Scenic Train Parking' as saying it was for people holding tickets for the excursion train the goes up the coast. Apparently I interpreted wrong. . .)

So now it was getting late and probably time to pick out a campground. I’ve stayed at one in the adjacent town of Superior before, but this is more of a mobile home park with a few RV sites. I remember it as being OK but wanted to try something else this time and had picked out two possibilities, each about 10 miles from Duluth, one to the west and the other to the east. According to The Book they looked about the same so I chose the one to the east because The Book said the one to the west is a cash/check only place.

Drove to my chosen campground, got my card out to pay, and was told they only take cash or checks. . . Oh well . . .

It was a day for driving, stocking up on supplies and exploring parking options in the city, so it wasn't much of a photo day.

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