Friday, July 8, 2011

By the Shores of Gitche Gumee

Lake Superior, a two-hour drive from our house

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
'By the shores of Gitche Gumee, by the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis, daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest, rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them; bright before it beat the water,
Beat the clear and sunny water, beat the shining Big-Sea-Water...'

Cruisin' along Lake Superior
a little cruise boat, not to be confused with the monster international freighters  that come into the port of Duluth

Resident Gulls

Lake Superior is so huge that you can stand on one side and not see across to the other side (one of the things I love about it.) The surface area of Lake Superior is 37,100 square miles. It contains more water than all the other Great Lakes combined. There is enough water in Lake Superior to flood all of North and South America to a depth of one foot. Over 300 streams and rivers empty into this Great Lake. The average underwater visibility of Lake Superior is 27 feet, making it the clearest of all the Great Lakes. In some places, the underwater visibility reaches 100 feet! The lake is 350 miles long and 160 miles wide. Lake Superior would not be your best choice to go swimming; it's nearly freezing cold!  These facts, except for the first and last, were found online at the University of Missouri website. (??!)

It's like the ocean - without the salt.
Boardwalk parallels train tracks at the edge of Lake Superior at Duluth 

The Duluth Public Library (r)
Duluth Train Museum (l)

The library, an attempt to resemble a freighter

At the entrance to the Duluth Public Library.
Clever, huh.

The Duluth Train Museum
and Immigrant Museum

And inside the building, there are many more, including the huge snow plows and cow catchers.
I've been to the RR museum in Strasburg, PA. I think this one in Duluth is better.

My husband commented that years ago they called it progress when they could rip out those miserable old brick or cobblestone sidewalks and replace them with concrete. Now we call it progress to tear  out the concrete and replace it with brick or cobblestones.

St. Louis County Court House, Duluth

"The people's laws define usages * ordain rights and duties * secure public safety * defend liberty * teach reverence and obedience * and establish justice"

The skywalk, part of St. Mary's Hospital, Duluth

Along the boardwalk, facing the lake

Follow the pier to the right and you will find...

...the aerial lift bridge at Canal Park, Duluth
the largest, farthest-inland (2,432 mi) freshwater port

If you have nothing to do for the next five minutes, you might enjoy this YouTube video of one of those monster ships going through the canal at Duluth. They're quite spectacular.

And in case you're interested, there's a live video cam at the aerial lift bridge, so you can watch what's happening all the time.

For a schedule of arrivals and departures, go to



Unknown said...

Wow, who knew I was missing so much by never being to Duluth! Love the train museum!!

Joyce said...

This is a part of the US I've never seen. Thanks for sharing!

Empty Nester said...

Are you sure it's JUST a LAKE? LOL A couple of those pix do look just like the ocean!

Duluth is a beautiful place that I had never seen before! Wouldn't it be grand to just travel around the US and see all the wonderful places here? Or have you done that already Ms Travel Woman? LOL

Robin said...

Looks beautiful there, great pictures. I love brick and cobblestone roads and sidwalks. Hope you have a great weekend.

Heide at ApronHistory said...

I have never been to Lake Superior. Becky and Ian keep talking about taking me. After the Great Lakes the ocean is not very exciting. I was very dissapointed. lol! I can't imagine how cold Lake Superior is, Lake Michigan is cold enough!

I always forget that poem is written about Superior....

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

I think I've only ever seen Lake Michigan and Lake Huron (they're wonderful, too). Now I'm determined to see Superior. And who knew about Duluth! I mean, I have nothing *against* Duluth, but it never occurred to me to go there. Now I really want to!

Prairiemaid said...

Judy, from snails to history, you got it going on, girl!!! And I enjoy, a lot! Duluth looks interesting. I've seen Lake Michigan, but that's it!

And who knew the U of Missouri would have so much on Lake Superior?

Have a great weekend!


Carla from The River said...

Hi Judy,
Last June, Jeremy and I went to Duluth for the day. We saw four college students swimming to the pier - they made it and were exploring it. They were turning blue and one guy was not sure how he would make it back. He did not want to get back in the water. But it was a cool day out, so he was really cold in the water and out! Finally, they had to jump in and swim back to shore.
Have a great weekend.

Under Her Wings said...

Oh, what wonderful memories these pictures invoke! My husband said that with his business we might have to go back up there sometime. Aw, shucks!

Unknown said...

Hiawatha so came into my mind when I saw your blog title! It's been a long time since I visited Duluth, and the big take away I left with was the agates. Mom and Dad let me pick up a small but very pretty collection of those rocks somewhere along the way to Ely, Minnesota where we fished on Moose Lake. We made the trip three times dueing my "tween" years, and I loved being out in that pristine wilderness. Thanks for the memories!

Judy S said...

Nice photos of Duluth, Judy. We've not been there for a long time, and it's great to know about the train museum. DD#1 will be interested, I'm sure. I didn't know that Lake Superior was Hiawatha's Gitchee Gumee....we sang a cantata about his story long ago back in junior high. Thanks for the memory! PS. I've tried countless times to post under Google and am going to try something else....weird.)

Debbie said...

Your pictures are amazing! And, in case I did not tell you when I visited the first time, I LOVE the name of your blog!
Thanks for sharing:)


J_on_tour said...

A Superior Lake indeed. Difficult for me to take in that scale as I always expect to see the other side of a Lake. I'll just have to imagine a 30 minute drive to Tynemouth and not being able to see Denmark from there !
Architecturally, the town has a variety of stunning buildings, I particularly like the library. The train museum looks like it has some fascinating exhibits. Thanks for the town tour and an insight into life here, very interesting.


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