Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Two Days in Duluth–Saturday

After our overnight at Walmart, we had just 10 miles to drive to the Lakehead Boat Basin Campground.  We took our time, but were still out of the parking lot by 9:15am.

The marina/campground is located on a peninsula that is connected to the mainland by the Aerial Lift Bridge.

With the bridge down, cars can go through

One of the most photographed landmarks in Duluth, or all of Minnesota for that matter, is the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. A clearance of 180 feet is attained when the span is completely raised. The span length is 386 feet and weighs approximately 900 tons! The bridge is very similar to the only other one of its kind in the world, which is in Rouen, France.

Going up!










We drove across the bridge (which was a frightening prospect, with no height listed!), and continued along the peninsula to the marina.  The main road was narrow, and the side streets were even narrower!  Bryce and I were leading in the car, and looking at the road that the GPS wanted us to turn on, we weren’t sure it was going to be a good choice for the RV . . . as we were contemplating our options, we spotted this sign at the corner!

Good thing we noticed this sign!

Good thing it was there – if we had turned where the GPS was directing, we would have had to make 2 tight 90 degree turns, on very narrow streets!!  By going one block further, it was a straight shot into the marina driveway.

We made it – bright and early!  Unfortunately, they were fully booked for the weekend, checkout time wasn’t until 11am, and there had to be some juggling of RVs before we could get into our site.

We pulled the RV into an empty area of the marina and waited.

Waiting for our site to open up

Walking around the marina, we talked to several of the other RVers, most of whom were there for the Dog Show at the Convention Center.  We learned that there was a website that listed the estimated arrival and departure times for freighters in and out of Duluth.

As freighters travel between Lake Superior and the Port of Duluth, they have to pass under the Aerial Lift Bridge.

Downtown Duluth, Aerial Lift Bridge, and the Marina

We were very excited to see the bridge operate when a ship came into port, and we didn’t have to wait long . . . a freighter came into port while we were waiting for our site to open up, although I wasn’t able to catch a picture of it under the bridge.

Freighter arriving into port

We finally got settled into our site,

Lakehead Boat Basin - site 7

and had some lunch.  The campground isn’t fancy, but they have full hookup sites, plenty of room, and a location convenient to downtown.

After lunch, we went out to explore the peninsula and downtown Duluth.

It’s mostly residential, with Park Point Beach at the end, and a small airport where people can take tours in seaplanes. 


As we were getting out of the car, one of the planes was coming in for a landing.

Seaplane landing on the river

They were pretty busy, and we saw another plane go up almost right after the other one landed.  This one had wheels on the bottom of the body, and drove in and out of the water!

Another seaplane

In the air now










We walked down to the beach,

At the beach

and despite the overcast day, we saw quite a few people enjoying the beach.     Even with overcast skies, there are people at the beach









We could barely distinguish the water from the sky!

Sailboat on Lake Superior


there weren’t many people in the water, though – it was pretty chilly!

Skipping stones

We continued our exploration, driving along the north shore of Lake Superior . . . we could have driven all the way to the Canadian border, but we didn’t.

We stopped at another beach, but this one was pretty rocky.

On the northern shore of Lake Superior

The stones along the shore of the lake are smooth and flat – perfect for skipping!     Walking on the rocks









Leif Erikson Rose GardenOn the way back into town, we stopped at the Leif Erikson Rose Garden.  It was a very nice garden, with lots of beautiful flowers in bloom!

Peony Garden




We weren’t the only ones enjoying the garden – there were at least two wedding parties there taking pictures.

Weddings in the Rose Garden

Wedding in the park










We could see downtown and the Aerial Lift Bridge from here, and the bridge to Wisconsin, too.

Bridges in Duluth

After a quick snack,

Stopped for a treat

We went to 4:30 mass, and then back to the RV for dinner.

With the sun setting over Duluth,

Boats in the Marina

it was a beautiful evening.

Walking over the Aerial Bridge

Tom and I decided to go for a walk over the bridge, through Canal Park, and along the Lake Walk.

The channel where the freighters go in and out

Horse & Carriage Rides in Canal Park


The humidity of the afternoon had dissipated and it was comfortably warm to walk around town – and there were lots of people around!

The Army Corps of Engineers operates the Bridge

Canal Park

What a wonderful evening!

Dual Lighthouses










  1. Gooseberry Falls and Palisade Head are worth going to see.

  2. I don't know if i'll live long enough to see everything you guys have seen in the last couple of years.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.


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