Thursday, June 23, 2011

Visiting Duluth, MN - and a cool draw bridge!

We drove into the city of Duluth, MN to stay at the Duluth RV and Marina location close to the famed Aerial Lift Bridge built way back in 1905. As we drove through the Canal Park area (in the coach), the bridge lifted and stopped traffic. At first, we could see nothing coming, but then, saw why the bridge was lifted.

If you compare this shot with the top one, you can see what appears to be a red wall in front of the road -- that is actually a VERY large ship passing through the canal. This is the ore ship Joseph L. Block, which is 728 feet long, and carries over 37,000 tons of ore.

Now, you can see the bridge of the ship looking like a building as it passes through the bridge area through the canal. We were delighted to see this sequence as large ships like this only pass a few times a day.

Shortly after the ship passed, the bridge lowered into position and we were ready to go. Here, you can see the bridge deck as it is just about ready to connect to the roadway.

Our site is literally on the water. The boats right in front of the coach are docked in the marina which made for an interesting view out our front window.

We were not far from the lift bridge, or from downtown in this RV site. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate with us to enable us to walk downtown. Indeed, we experience 50 mph winds and heavy rain.

Regardless of the weather, we still were able to see many of the sights in the area. This is a shot of the Duluth Shipping Canal (where the Joseph Block came through) and the lift bridge. You can see why the bridge deck needs to be lifted for the shipping.

Interestingly, as you can see from this historic photo ( when the bridge was first built in 1905, instead of a roadway that lifted, there was a trolley that carried people across the canal. This trolley could carry up to 125,000 pounds and took 60 seconds to cross the canal. This was replaced in 1929 with the current road deck.

Rick is standing in front of the Army Corps Maritime Museum which was great.

This early marine engine was one of many exhibits in the Maritime Museum. Naturally, Rick enjoyed learning about these, some of which were from the late 1800's (steam engines).

1 comment:

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Nice tour. That is my kind of campground-right on the water.