2018 Summer Road Trip – Isle Royale Miss

We departed the Hungry Hippy Hostel at 6:30am and drove 90 minutes made it to the dock to catch our Ferry. The dock wasn’t open yet so we jetted to a convenience store where I accidentally bought and then ate a donut breakfast sandwich. It contained egg and possibly a meat and after 60 seconds of microwaving it was a hot soggy slightly sweet mess. Thinking I had minutes to consume calories before being on a ferry for 90 minutes to an island for a day without other provisions I wolfed it down. Returning to the dock we learned the lake was too choppy and the ride was cancelled. I think I would have been angrier if anyone else had been in any way angry but staff and other visitors shrugged with a “whatcha gonna do” look.  Almost all of the other day visitors were fit women in their 50s and 60s and I was curious what would happen to the people on the island expecting the ferry to return them to the mainland.

We drove back to Duluth to hit the Glensheen Estate and the Great Lakes aquarium which I had been told was amazing. It was not. One exhibit of note was the sturgeon petting tank. Shark petting tanks are common and the sharks will sometime swim by and you can two finger pet them. The sturgeons seemed to seek out fingers like they enjoyed being pet. If only they had enough face muscles to smile.

We continued on to the Glensheen mansion where the ticket vendor recognized us from our last time. The tour went through the house as it was in about 1910 where it was quite modern for the time. Central vacuuming, a central boiler, and electricity were present in each room. While the house was neat, the depth of knowledge from the tour guides was amazing. Most were students at University of Minnesota at Duluth and knew the origins of most of the major objects, most of the symbols used, and even what was original and what was redecorated. Guides were broken into three tiers and then one became a manager. I asked a question on one of the internal windows looking like it was in the Prairie style and he brought up the blog post he was working on about the history of windows for the house. One guide was particularly incredulous that I was in Duluth on vacation.

Guide: So you’re from around here?
Me: No…
Guide: Went to school here?
Me: No…
Guide: Here for work?
Me: No…
Guide: You have family in the area?
Me: No, I’m
Guide: Then why the heck are you in Duluth

Our next stop was lunch and we found that Duluth’s main corridor was being torn up. The Indian restaurant we wanted to go to had literally no side walk in front of its door but they were open. “Just take the skyway”. Duluth has a network of aerial bridges and corridors used to connect the area when it’s covered in snow. We took a back entryway and came upon a pair of white Duluth residents serving toothsome Indian food with all the patrons talking in a thick Minnesota accent. “This pah-nyeer is delish, don’t ya know” and such. The mango pudding was amazing.

Our next stop was Minneapolis which would be where my travel partner departed but first we had a goodbye dinner that a now long-time friend from the area joined. I’ve known him for about 9 years and he was the majority of the reason I visited Chicago so many times over the years. He’s doing well, having finally completed a large property sale his family had been working towards for nearly a decade and also having finally gotten treatment for a medical issue. He’s in his early 40s and trying to build. I feel spoiled that I got to spend my early 20s figuring out who I was and then my mid 20s figuring out a social toolbox. Sometimes I feel like I’m coasting on the work of previous Terries and will need to pay some bill for the social riches I’ve reaped. We went over much and it was just grand to see him.

This post was made on 2018-07-31 and is backdated.