St. Louis River - Two Far 2018 - Trailing through the Rust Belt - CycleBlaze

St. Louis River

Like the St. Louis River, our path took us from Floodwood to Duluth. Unlike the river, we had to climb some hills to get to Duluth. Much of the time we were following US 2. Many of the Minnesota state roads are in better shape than the US highways that cross the state.

US 2 is shovel ready, but apparently funds to repair it are lacking. It offered a wide shoulder, so it was always safe, even in places it was bumpy. Another reason to dislike rumble strips is that they cause the road to wear out. In places chunks of asphalt from the deteriorating rumble strip littered the shoulder.

Crumble strip on US 2.
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Today was sunny, so we quickly worked up a thirst. We stopped at a bar for a cup of joe and to talk to the locals. Kerry has been trying to cut back on his diet Coke consumption, so he had the bartender dilute his diet Coke.

It's always 5:00 somewhere.
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Between beverages, we learned that St. Louis county was once full of white pines, logging camps and a big lumber mill on the St. Louis River in Cloquet. Transportation was easy, get the logs to the river and let the current do the rest. About a hundred years ago a disasterous fire on the scrub left after logging killed hundreds of people and destroyed most of the town.

After the trees were cleared, farmers took over the cleared land. This area is about 60 miles too far north for corn, but it's good land for growing hay and oats for livestock. But these days most of the farms are gone and only a few dozen farms remain in the county.

The St. Louis River.
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The bar we stopped at was in the Fond Du Lac reservation.
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The pavement in the reservation was smooth as silk.
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Not sure what this is. Maybe a place for kids to wait for the school bus without freezing to death?
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Getting into Duluth involved a harrowing one mile descent down a steep hill. We crept down as slowly as we could, hoping the brakes would hold out. I kept thinking there must be some alternate route down the hill - there's no way they could have brought truck loads or train loads of iron ore down this route.

Finally getting close to the bottom of the hill. Lake Superior is at the bottom.
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Duluth has a touristy gentrified downtown. Our hotel is in an old factory/ warehouse. It's easy to spot because of the twin water towers on the roof. There's a beautiful walkway along Lake Superior that features art work and gardens.

Home sweet home for the next two nights.
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This old iron ore ship is docked near our hotel. Now it's a floating museum.
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If you look carefully, you can see the twin water towers in the distance.
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Leif Erickson got to North America, but I'm not convinced he made it to Duluth.
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Duluth has a rose garden.
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The rose garden has peonies.
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Birch tree. Don't argue Boris.
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Boris Fayferi don't need to argue.. but it is tree Birch..es
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11 months ago
Support peace.
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Two bears standing? A head down foetus?
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Boris Fayfer“Green Bear” is a bronze sculpture by Leo Fromich Lankinen and Valter Soyni of Russia, given to Duluth from its sister city of Petrozavodsk. The piece represents peace and harmony between nations as well as between people and three types of life —human, animal and plant. Given to the city during the Cold War years, the bears represent the two great powers of the time, the United States and Russia. The bears stand head-to-head and between them is a flower, which portrays protecting and nurturing nature. The open space between the two bears resembles a small child.
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11 months ago
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