Thursday, July 31, 2014

Northern Road Trip, Day 7: Duluth lakeshore walking ... and walking ... and walking.

It proved to be about 3.5 miles from our airbnb residence in Duluth to the city center. On Thursday, we decided to walk into Duluth. First we wandered the grounds of Glensheen Mansion (the historic Congdon estate), and then explored the Rose Garden at Leif Erickson Park, before returning to the lakeside pedway.

The ruin known locally as Uncle Harvey's Mausoleum was an object of interest.

The next stop was Canal Park Brewing Company for restorative pints, and fine ones at that.

Having consumed scant grocery store sandwiches earlier, and sufficed a liquid lunch, a palpable hunger began to set in. Thus we arrived at the Dubh Linn Irish Brew Pub, located downtown on Superior Street. My curiosity was piqued by an Irish pub of the traditional American model that has chosen to brew on premise as well as serve the usual Irish fare (another, Carmody's, is down the street, though we did not make it there).

These would appear to be differing business models, but the Dubh Linn's brewing system is strictly "nano," meaning very small, and manned by a visiting brewer. The Guinness hegemony really isn't being threatened. However, the beers were solid, and the burger filling. That's why we have Irish pubs, right?

And here is where it gets hazy, and not so much owing to my sampler tray of beer. Usually after eating a big meal, I'll sit for a bit and let it settle. In this instance, I'd packed it in, secure in the knowledge that we'd be calling a cab or taking the bus. Somehow, it was decided to walk back to our room ... another 3.5 miles, in late afternoon, with temps in the 80s and a long, steady uphill incline. I'm in reasonably good walking condition, and yet it was a trek. An hour later, snores filled the air as we indulged in an hour-long power nap. According to our Fitbits, we both recorded record days in terms of mileage.

Luckily, sleep eventually dissipated, and with dusk shaping up wonderfully, we drove to the Enger Park Tower. It stands atop the ridgeline, with a commanding view in all directions. It was lovely on July 31; probably not as much in January when the winds are coming off the lake. The view is north, east and south.

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