Arlo Gutherie was performing at Bayfield, WI so Kathy and Jim Young plus myself decided to see the performance. We left my place early afternoon of July 7th. Had lunch at an A&W restaurant in La Crosse, WI; proceeded on to our destination of Eau Claire, WI where we had reservations at the Best Western Trail Lodge. That evening we had dinner at the Green Mill restaurant; food was good. Next day, we checked out of our lodging and continued our way to Bayfield. We made a liquor and lunch stop in Ashland, WI.; lunch was at the Deep Water Grill. The food at the grill was excellent with a great atmosphere. Continued on to Bayfield where we checked into our lodging, the Seagull Motel. My room had a view of Lake Superior. After settling in, Jim and I drove into town for some exploring of Bayfield and their shops. Returned to the motel and had a drink on the deck which offered a fantastic view of the lake. That evening we had dinner at Maggie’s, a restaurant with lots of flamingos displayed because it was located right across from the Flamingo Park. For the first time in my life, I had whitefish livers for my meal; before any of you gag, they were quite tasty. Returned to the motel and had another drink on the deck before turning in for the night.
On Thursday, we had breakfast at The Egg Toss Bakery Cafe where they served platters FULL of delicious food. It was then time for our Apostle Islands Cruise; the cruise lasted 4.5 hours and covered 57 miles of our weaving between and around the various islands. We saw lighthouses, fishing camps, sea caves, picturesque standing rock which is a resting place for seagulls and swallows, sail boats, kayaks, canoes, fishing boats, and lots of blue sky. It was a beautiful day and the boat captain was very informative of the history and stories regarding the islands or its past occupants.
After the cruise, we had lunch at Greunke’s First Street Inn. This inn is a bed and breakfast that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is the former LaBonte House built in 1863. After lunch, we “stumbled” across a small park which featured old boats, pond with metal sculptures of children, and beautiful beds of flowers.
Before leaving for the concert, we spent time on the deck talking and watching the view. We decided to have dinner at the venue so we drove to Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua, a non-profit performing arts organization. This is the nation’s only all-canvas tent theater and it seats 900 people. As we were eating at one of the picnic tables, we talked to a couple from Minneapolis who recommended we have breakfast the next day at the Delta Diner which was featured on television series “Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives”. After eating and shopping for souvenirs, we entered the tent and waited in anticipation for Arlo Guthrie. He is an American folk singer who, like his father Woody, is known for singing songs of protest against social injustice. Guthrie’s best-known work is “Alice’s Restaurant”, a satirical talking blues song about 18 minutes in length and celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Arlo did not disappoint us with stories of his musical career which started when he was 18 years of age. Tom would of thoroughly enjoyed the performance; there were times when Arlo was singing, I could hear Tom singing right along while bouncing to the music. It was a great night ending with a drink on the deck back at our lodging.
Friday morning I walked the trail along Lake Superior into Bayfield for a cup of coffee.
The three of us gathered around 9:30, packed the vehicle, checked out, and headed to Duluth with hopes of a stop at the Delta Diner for breakfast. We did find it…along with many other folks. We were added to the waiting list and was told it could be up to 45 minutes; however, it was much shorter than that and we were seated to an unique breakfast experience. A couple things of interest about the diner; it is a restoration of a 1940 Silk City Diner and it has a “no tip” policy with increasing the prices on the menu by 20% so personnel are making at least $15.60/hour. One other thing is they do not hand out menus; the listing is posted on a board and your waitress or waiter goes through each item with the customers without looking at written notes.
We arrived in the Duluth area and drove north up the shoreline to Two Harbors where we viewed the iron ore docks, an historic tugboat Edna G. built in 1896, and the light station museum. The iron ore docks process 10,000,000 tons annually with trains, full of taconite or ore, down load in hoppers and chutes drop down the product to the hull of boats. In 1885, because of the volume of ore being processed through Agate Bay, the Vessel Owners Association and the US Lighthouse Service recognized the need for a navigational aid at the bay. Thus authorization was granted by the US Congress to a build the light station. The station was fully automated in 1981 which eliminated the need for a keeper in residence. Congress passed an act in 1999 which gave the station to the Lake County Historical Society; the society opened a B&B as means to generate funds to maintain the facility. It is the oldest operating lighthouse in Minnesota. More information can be found at Two Harbors Lighthouse.
Upon returning to Duluth, we checked into our lodging and then headed down to the water front for viewing the Aerial Lift Bridge. Originally built in 1905, the bridge was upgraded in 1929–30 to a vertical lift bridge, which is rather uncommon, and continues to operate today. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 22, 1973. The bridge can be raised to its full height of 135 feet in about a minute, and is raised approximately five thousand times per year allowing freighters, cruise ships, sail boats, etc. to pass through. We had dinner by the bridge at a place called “Grandma’s Grill; it had good food and service but, due to the number of people, it was a little loud. After dinner, we drove through downtown Duluth where we saw many old, beautiful buildings plus some great views of the waterfront. Got back to our lodging about 8:30.
Saturday morning we packed the vehicle, checked out, and headed for breakfast. Jim had asked at the front desk a good place to eat and they recommended “The Sunshine Cafe” which turned out to have awesome food and service. We then proceeded to head south and home. Had lunch at Culver’s in Clear Lake and arrived home about 5:00 PM; the outside temperature was hot so it felt great to enter an air conditioned house with happy cats greeting me.