Vista Fleet

Last Tuesday we went down to the harbor in Duluth and took the Vista Fleet Harbor and Lake Superior Tour.  Since it was a Tuesday, senior citizens got the Grand Sightseeing Tour (1 hr. 45 min.) for only $5.00 (regularly $25.00)!  So, if you are ever in Duluth and want to tour Lake Superior and the harbor, go on a Tuesday if you are a senior citizen!

Our tour guide on the boat was quite knowledgeable.  She gave us A LOT of information about Duluth, the harbor and Superior, WI.  I really wished I would have written down this information (Duluth is on the north side of the harbor and Superior, WI, is on the south side of the harbor)!  The things she told us were very interesting, but now I can’t remember most of them.  😢  I will try share what I DO remember.

As we pulled away from the dock, we saw this HUGE ship leaving the harbor.  It was headed for the “draw bridge” and the open waters of Lake Superior.

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This draw bridge is unusual because it does not split in the middle with each side raising upwards for ships to go through. Instead, the whole bottom portion is raised with a system of pulleys and motors.  It has an interesting history (you can Google it), and it’s fascinating to watch.

Here you can see pictures of the bridge at different levels, and as our boat goes under it.

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First we took a short tour out on Lake Superior and viewed portions of Duluth.  Unfortunately it was a very cloudy day, however, fortunately it didn’t rain on us the whole hour and forty-five minute cruise.  I can’t say the same for the cruise that took off after our cruise.

Here are some of the best pictures I took 😊 along with a caption IF I remembered any of the information shared by the tour guide.  😬

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View of downtown Duluth from out on Lake Superior.

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Another view of downtown Duluth. Duluth is built on a steep hill on the north shore of Lake Superior. Because of the hill, Duluth is approximately one mile wide, but is about 26 miles in length!

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Leif Erickson Park along the shores of Duluth.

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Looking back towards the harbor and the draw bridge from out on Lake Superior.

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The dome structure is the Northland Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Duluth Lakewalk & Boardwalk.

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Another photo of downtown Duluth. Notice the two streets going straight up the steep hillside. We learned that the streets in downtown Duluth are heated with steam during the winters. With that steep hillside running the full length of the downtown area, I would say that is a necessity!

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There were so many ships in the harbor. Our tour guide told us about the history, age, and purpose of many of them. Unfortunately, since I did not write the information down, I don’t remember which tidbits of information went with each ship.

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This ship was being loaded with grain. It was almost full and scheduled to leave the harbor  later that evening. Before they started loading the grain, you could see a second orange stripe below the name of the ship. The weight of the grain made that stripe go below the water.

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This a picture of the bridge supports of the newest bridge over the harbor between Duluth, MN, and Superior, WI. Those large brown circle structures were put in around each support to protect the bridge in case one of the large ships accidentally veered off course. The ship would hit the brown structures before ever hitting the bridge supports. Pretty smart idea!!

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The harbor channels are drudged every year to keep the sediments from building up. I wish I could remember the depth the channel must be – I THINK it’s around 26-28 feet deep.

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There are 3 U.S. Coast Guard boats in this picture. The largest (obvious one in the foreground) is the size of a seaworthy coast guard ship. The other two are the MUCH smaller two boats behind the large ship.

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Another Duluth park (can’t remember the name, though) from the harbor.

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Look at those houses atop the hillside behind the buildings in downtown Duluth! Can you imagine the beautiful view they have of the harbor and Lake Superior?

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This is the Great Lakes Aquarium right along the harbor shore. It contains many samples of life in

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There are many ship berths and grain bins in the harbor on both the Duluth side and the Superior side.

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I really wish I could remember the name of this particular ship and what the tour guide said about It. I think it dates back to the late 1800s. Sorry … 😞

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The three small green boats are Duluth’s tugboats. Superior has their own tugboats and they look totally different. Tugboats are kind of expensive (the ships pay the tugboat fee), however, they play a very important role in the safety and smooth running of the harbor.

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The bridge in the foreground is the older bridge which was replaced by the larger bridge in the background.

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This is a gas station for the large ships. They can pump fuel into two of the large thousand-foot ships at the same time.

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A small section of the harbor separated by a breakwater is for personal and pleasure boats owned by individuals.

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This picture (and the next one) is of another one of the iron ore loading docks where the iron ore “balls” are loaded in the chutes from the rail cars and then “dropped” in the storage areas of a ship.

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Like I said earlier, this Vista Fleet cruise was well worth the money.  Just go on a Tuesday if you are 65 or older and you will get a $25.00 cruise for ONLY $5.00!

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So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

Wisconsin Northwoods

I have been a little negligent in my blog posts the last couple of weeks, and for that I sincerely apologize.  I will let you know where we are and what we have been doing in the next blog post.

This post, however, I want to devote to a place I discovered during our time in Woodruff/Minocqua, Wisconsin area.  When you are in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, you learn to live with very spotty (and sometimes total lack thereof) cell phone service.  Without a strong cell signal, it is difficult to connect to the internet, much less try to publish a blog post.

During our month-long stay in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin, I tried blogging in several fast food restaurants which only became frustrating because their “free” wifi was usually a very weak signal that frequently “kicked you off” of their network.  I even tried blogging one day at a medical clinic that a new friend of ours suggested (he goes there regularly for doctor appointments and cancer treatments).  It worked fine, but I felt somewhat “conspicuous” and was waiting for someone to ask me if I needed help or for security to approach me.  As a result, I decided I needed to find some place else.

That’s when it hit me!  A public library would surely have free wifi!  I googled “public library near me” and came up with the Minocqua Public Library which was only 2+ miles from our campground.  What luck!  I visited the library several times during our month-long stay in Wisconsin.

The library was located in a huge building that housed several different city facilities, as well as the Police Department and a community room.  You could tell it was an old building (I never did discover the date it was built) that had added on some newer sections.

That library impressed me EVERY time I walked inside of it.  It was modern, clean, had sections for various age groups, and had the friendliest people working there.  It usually had quite a few people there each time I visited.  One time I was there, the place was jam-packed with people!  I had trouble finding a place to sit near an electrical outlet because it was so full of people.  Everyone seemed to be on some kind of electronic device (smartphones, tablets, laptop computers, etc.).  Then it dawned on me:  it was a cloudy, cool, rainy day “at the Lake” and everyone was wanting on the internet!  Where else to go, but the public library!! 😂

On my last visit, there, the place wasn’t very crowded and I decided to take some pictures.  On my way out, I talked with one of the ladies working there and told her how nice their library was.  I also told her we were full-time RV travelers, and I was blogging about our travel adventures.  I asked if they would mind if I blogged about their library and how great it was.  She, of course, said that would be fine.

As you can see from these photos, the Minocqua Public Library was not only an awesome library full of books and reference materials, but was a great place to relax and do my blogging.

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This is the first room you walk into (the door would be on the left side of this photo).

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The first room again (librarians desk on right and entrance further to the right in this photo).

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When you walk straight back from the door and Librarians checkout desk, you walk into this lovely sitting/reading area.

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Another angle of the sitting/reading area. Out those large windows, you can see part of the lake.

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To the right of the sitting/reading area is this long walkway with more sitting/reading areas – all of which have a LOT of electrical outlets for you to use with your electronic devices.

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Lots of bookshelves to your right as you walk this the long sitting/reading area.

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That painting of a tree on the left marks the beginning of the children’s area.

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Children’s area.

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Children’s area.

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More Children’s area. Behind those windows is a very large room for children’s activities.

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More shelves of books. There were MANY more, but I didn’t take pics of them all.

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Even an area for teens.

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I loved the Minocqua Centennial wooden plaque on the top of those shelves.

If you are ever in the Woodruff/Minocqua, Wisconsin, area and have trouble accessing the internet, the Minocqua Public Library is the place to go for free wifi!

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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