After a pleasant drive up through Wisconsin yesterday, we got to Duluth early enough to look around a bit. The sky was clear, but the lake was dark gray in the cold wind. We started walking against the wind along the shore toward the Lake Superior Maritime Museum, but a storm last week had destroyed part of the walkway and we had to retreat to the sidewalks along the street.
I was in the Coast Guard for 21 years, five of which were on ships. I loved the work and loved the connection to the long tradition of going to sea. I don’t have any interest in having my own boat for pleasure, but I like being around the docks and the working boats. The museum recharged my batteries a bit, with its installations and pictures and stories and model ships.
This morning was clear and calm and almost warm at 37º. After more than a week of eating breakfasts at hotels and motels, we headed into the old part of Duluth for breakfast at the Lincoln Park Cafe. I think that part of town is called Corktown — an old section with some small industry.
After breakfast we toured the Aerostitch factory. I’ve had three Aerostitch riding suits through the years and have bought lots of motorcycling gear from them. They are located in an industrial building that was built in 1905. They custom sew riding suits and provide gear for serious riders. And I used to be a serious rider, putting on 20,000 or more miles each year in all kinds of weather. Those days are over for me now, but it was nice to go by the factory at last. And I did pick up a couple of souvenirs.
We headed south again in nice weather. Yesterday my lunch included a lefse, which is like a Norwegian tortilla that is made with potato. Today my lunch included sauerkraut onion rye bread, which tastes about as how you’d expect it to. We’re in the Minneapolis area again for a few days visiting a childhood friend and her husband. Gretchen was like a sister to me when I was growing up. We are family.