I'm often asked why do we do so many sport shows in Minnesota. From a business standpoint it makes perfect sense; the highest per capita fishing licenses sold in the United States are in Minnesota. In other words, "we're fishing where the fish are." But, there other reasons why we love to come to Minnesota: 1) the beauty of the state, 2) it is where we grew up, and 3) it is where our families live today.
Of all the shows we do, the Duluth/Lake Superior area definitely needs a little more attention on this blog. It's also because I took a lot of photos and this is the best place to share them. Anyway, here's a little historical background on the area. Duluth is the 4th largest city in Minnesota with a population of 86,265. It's claim to fame is that it is the largest and farthest inland freshwater seaport in North America (2300 miles from the Atlantic Ocean). The main exports transported out of Duluth include coal, iron ore, and grain. Other little tidbits to know about Duluth is that it's affectionately called "the San Francisco of the Midwest" and "the Air Conditioned City".
An area that I really enjoy is Canal Park. It's located at the harbor entrance of Duluth/Superior. One of the many attractions in Canal Park is the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center which is operated by the US Army Corp of Engineers. If you like maritime history, and who doesn't, this is the place you'll want to visit.
Just outside the entrance to the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center there's a self-guided, walking tour of shipwreck recoveries from the lake. When we came upon this anchor Jane said, "hey, my dad recovered that anchor!" Pretty neat that my father-in-law, and diver extraordinaire, Bill Matthies, plays a part in the history of Lake Superior. Since 1959 he's been a diver and has explored and documented many shipwrecks throughout the lake. Because of his efforts, in 2011, he was given the Diving Community Contribution Award by the Great Lakes Preservation Society.
I'm not sure what this is but I think it's a shackle from an anchor. I took this photo because it looked like a really large RL Kenai River anchor. As a perspective, this chunk of iron is about as long as my river boat.
Here's a propellar from who knows how big of ship.
Here's another one. Since Jane is in this photo you'll get a better idea of it's size.
Thought I'd include this photo. Everyday during the sport show we had to walk from our hotel room through the skywalks to the DECC. Adjacent to the DECC is the Duluth Curling Club. This club was first organized in 1891 and moved into this building in 1976. It is the largest curling facility in the United States and trust me, they are serious about their sport. In the last winter Olympics the Duluth Curling Club represented Team USA.
Okay, I lied. I may have taken a lot of photos during the sport show, but this obviously was not one of them. The Lester River is a tributary of Lake Superior and it's located just north of town (thank you wikipedia for the use of a summer photo).
- hitch up your dog team and run the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon (Iditarod qualifier)
- put on your shoes and run Grandma's Marathon (Boston Marathon qualifier)
- hike the Superior Hiking Trail (Duluth to Canada)
- drive the North Shore in the fall to view the fall colors (this is huge)
- fish Lake Superior and it's tributaries.....duh!
- groove out to the Bayfront Blues Festival
- visit the Historic Union Depot Railroad Museum