There’s a strange cosmic connection between Seattle, WA and Duluth, MN or at least Minnesota generally. A large contingent of Duluthians have moved to Seattle including the core of my long standing Burning Man camp, Buddhacamp. And likewise I’ve known more than one Seattlite to be drawn to Minnesota. There was even a Duluth themed bar in old Ballard (though recently closed).
I’m not sure what that’s all about but I do know that Minnesotans seem to be damn fine people, at least the ones that I’ve met, and I was excited to finally get to visit the city, and specifically visit my friends Evan and Adam Town who moved to Seattle for a few years and then moved back to Duluth bringing some Seattlites with them. Also finally got to meet Maggie (Evan’s 2 year old daughter), spend some time with Lacey, and meet Ashley!
Aside from having dinner with friends in Whitefish, this was maybe our first real social event since we left on our trip, and it was interesting to flex those muscles again, and navigate a visit in the time of COVID. Not exactly traditional, but we did get to see friends and a bit of the city. Luckily we could easily habitate in our Rialta and come out for backyard chill outs and even a movie in the garage one night.
I still feel like there’s more to see of Duluth and I didn’t even get to start on the food (basically MN is my fat heaven with endless cream pies and fluffy desert concoctions) but it’s just an excuse to come back. I just wish Duluth was on the way to something. Maybe next time we’re driving to Canada from Iowa. =)
Duluth kind of feels like a small port town except it’s actually an enormous fresh water lake instead of the ocean, Lake Superior. The area near the mouth of the port was pretty active, even with COVID, and lots of shops and restaurants were open, if limited. I had read about a fish smoker there called Northern Waters Smokehaus and Evan volunteered to drive us down for lunch a look around.
We had to order by phone but otherwise the full menu was available. I bought a half pound of the traditional smoked salmon, some smoked cheddar (which in retrospect didn’t seem to be done in house), and the saucisson sec which is always a favorite and we grabbed a seat outside before exploring the waterfront.
After driving down the long sand bar called Minnesota Point across the drawbridge in downtown Duluth, Evan drove us over to the Wisconsin side where the beaches are more deserted on Wisconsin Point. We had a few hours to walk down the driftwood strewn beaches but headed out before the thunderclouds arrived.
One morning Katy decided to take an early morning hike so I rode with Evan to pick her up at Enger Park and got to see a bit and hear some fun teenage stories.
Evan cooks up some meat at a backyard BBQ
Trying to stay as socially distant as possible, we mostly hung out in the back yard and had a couple of BBQs. Not many photos but I did grab a few on our last night.