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Old 06-13-2012, 01:50 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Cannonshot View Post
Required artillery picture . . . although this looks a little more like a mortar than a cannon.

From one Redleg to another - 'Bout time you got some Artillery Porn in this report. WWI-vintage German Minenwerfer Howitzer.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:14 PM   #47
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Silver Bay


Silver Bay is based on a taconite processing facility. In fact, this was the first taconite plant in North America and came into being in 1955. Good ore in MN was running out so people figured out how to raise the percentage of iron from low grade ore to 60% which made mining lousy ore profitable.


Once the mining companies decided the plant should be here, they went to work on building a city to support the plant. They worked round the clock from 1951-1955 to get everything in place.


Rocky Taconite


When you get inside this strip mall, you see industrial construction with big steel beams along the ceiling.


And of course, the town had to have a school. This one was finished in 1958.


Silver Bay once held the title for the longest ATV parade (1,632 ATVs). They lost it to some town in Utah (1,870 ATVs). This year they are making a full court press to get the record back. June 23rd is the date.


North Shore Mining.


The company would sell workers a house with a payment of about $50/month. The place was set up for up to 10,000 people, but they peaked at around 4K back in the 60s. I think they are less than 2K now.




A MN State Veteran's Home.


Ride up to the overlook (a big rocky hill). There are three overlook sites that have trails running to them. Worth the short hike.


Part of the taconite plant.


The way this works is 40T shovels load up to 200Ts of ore rock into big trucks. The ore is busted up to a certain size and then railed 47 miles to the plant.


The plant runs a couple of crushers that bring the ore rock down to a talc-like substance so the iron can be separated. They bring it up from about 20% iron to 65% iron content.


They mix this more concentrated material with bentonite to bind it into 7/16th inch balls. With heat they become very hard to stand up to being handled while being transported to the mills.


Typical taconite plant workers. North Country


The Hesper hit a reef near this new breakwall and sank in a storm in 1905.


Sixty mph wind and big seas heaved the ship up on a reef. She soon busted all to hell. The 15 man crew managed to escape in two lifeboats just before she broke up. The Captain had to walk all the way to Two Harbors for help.


The wreck lies in 42' of water just off the wall so it is an easy dive.


A look at the taconite plant/dock from the marina.


Ships come in to off load coal and take on taconite.


Tricky for ore boats to get in here. Involves some fancy jockeying around.


In 1979 the 600' ore carrier Frontenac was coming in to pick up a load. There was a 30 mph wind and 12' seas. Just as she got in close a blinding snow squall hit which wiped out the radar and reduced visibility to a few hundred feet. Not that it would have helped, but the navigation lights on the dock and an island were also out. The ship ended up on the rocks.


She was hung up out there. Over the course of three hours the Captain signalled for 57 forward or reverse movements to try to free the ship. All he managed was to turn it a little.


She took on more water than the pumps could handle so the Coasties brought in some big emergency pumps. As they were pumping bunker oil from the ship to a fuel barge, the ship suddenly floated free.


People from the Fraser shipyard came up to try to reinforce the steel hull on the ship. Part of the hull was crushed like a tin can.


Once they pumped it out, they found the cargo hold had been pushed up three feet and that it had big leaky cracks in the hull. Note the wood shims hammered into the cracks to stem the leaks. I should add that there is a strong belief that this kind of damage is what caused the Edmund Fitzgerald to founder. She lost her radar and was operating on 30 foot seas. She got close to an island and shoal as she tried to navigate. With swells like that people believe that she bounced on the rocky bottom holing her hull while in wave troughs. This explains why the pumps couldn't keep up and eventually she simply nosed under.


Eventually they got the ship down to Duluth and when they went to work on it in the Fraser shipyard they found that she was a total loss. In fact, they said it shouldn't have been moved to Duluth because she could have broken and sank at any moment.




Soooooooo, knowing about all this drama when I saw this ore carrier steaming along toward the port, I had to stick around to watch.


The ship is riding high without ballast or a load.


By the way, it takes 7 days for a saltie to get from here to the Atlantic Ocean. It takes five days to haul a load of ore to Ohio and return.


I was impressed with how well the big ship was handled. The bow thruster was getting a workout for sure.


A neat stop and backing turn brought the ship into the harbor.


She soon backed into the dock for a load. The fastest (record) for loading a ship was around 2 1/2 hours. I think it takes up to six hours. Much depends on the facility. The ship may have to be winched back and forth to facilitate loading as the pockets on the dock are emptied.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:25 PM   #48
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Bigdon Happy now.


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Originally Posted by Abenteuerfahrer View Post
Ever so great Cannonshot...just supper description of you continuous travels, history and culture. Write a book with maps and routes......am enjoying yours immensely. Thank you for taking the time to do this and it really takes time to do this...

Ride safe, ride far...

Cheers
Thanks! Indeed it is a lot of work to research this stuff, document it on a ride, and then come back and sort through it all to write a ride report. But there is some reward in knowing that is saves a lot of effort for others that might want to put together a ride of their own. This is a great place to ride and I hope this report encourages more people to give it a run if they haven't already - or maybe even another run with a closer look if they already looped the lake in the past. It looks like at least there are a few folks that enjoy the abbreviated history in the reports and find it entertaining.

Of course, I personally enjoy the research followed by actually visiting places while knowing more of the background. I was relaxing at a picnic table one night while on this ride thinking about how content I was just being able to wander around and look at stuff without a real schedule.

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Originally Posted by Gooner View Post
From one Redleg to another - 'Bout time you got some Artillery Porn in this report. WWI-vintage German Minenwerfer Howitzer.
Hi Gooner! The reference says that even though this rare gun has howitzer like traits it is still a mortar. I guess I'll have to come up with a picture of something more technically correct further down the line. After all, artillerymen strive for precision.

Thanks for the reference! It was an intersting read.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:29 PM   #49
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Thanks for your efforts! Very interesting and much appreciated.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:47 AM   #50
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On to Taconite Harbor.


Palisade Head is a rock formation that makes for a nice lookout and a place for rock climbers to enjoy. On a clear day, you can see the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin from up there.


The cliffs make for nice climbing.


When I was talking to these people they were pretty casual about the edge of the cliff. Cliffs aren't for me, I don't really even like being 6' 2" tall . . .






Nice vistas from up there.






I swung through here because I heard that had an original cabinola preserved. They show the interior on their web site but I didn't see the thing.


The guy that had this Ilgen City motor park invented the cabinola. Some are visible lined up on the left side of the photo.


I turned inland for a bit toward Finland. There are two nice state forest campgrounds back that way. Nice places to stay. Both are along the Baptism River.


Finland has a general store if you need supplies wile you are camping.


What I was looking for back here was an old Air Force radar station. This was part of a line of radar stations put in during the 1950s.


I rode up there to nose around. The people that took over the housing area after the station was closed now have it gated.


Nice view back toward the lake though.




Little Marais was a fishing town that started up in the 1890s. They sold fish to Duluth, sometimes rowing a load 40 miles to sell and pick up supplies. In 1912 they offered mail order fish. The first cow delivered here had to swim to shore from a ship. In 1914 a local fisherman loaned $1K to start up a phone company. This 1910 school house is now a community club.


You can see where these rivers really run with some rain.


Fenstad's Resort still has this old fishing shack set up intact on their grounds.


A pic from their website.




In 1955 iron magnate George Crosby offered 33K acres to the state with a condition that it be left wild. Manitou State Park.


Caribou River trout stream.


Sugarload Cove. They built log rafts here to tow across the lake to Ashland, WI. Consolidated Papers was part of this project.


They stripped the beach so they could stack logs on it.




These heavy booms are chained together to contain the logs in the raft being towed. There are a few boom sections and chains to see further along on the trip.


THis 1919 tug was built for the US Navy to be used a a floating radio station in the Carribean. She was coal fired. Eventually she came to be used to haul log rafts across Lake Superior to WI making 6-8 trips a year. The trip over took four days at 1 to 1 1/2 mph. It took 18 hours to sail back to MN after dropping the raft. During WWII she was pulled into service in Alaska for two years. In the 1950s she was traded for a tug that didn't have such a deep draft. This tug was converted to diesel and worked on Lake Mchigan as the John Purves. I think she is in the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay now.


Indeed it is in Sturgeon Bay. I guess I took a photo of it on my Door County ride.




Taconite Harbor was developed as an ore loading facility that used the best ideas from the past. Ore trains here run in a loop right across the top of the dock as part of the main route. They can unload without ever completely stopping the train.


There is a deep trench in the lake here and it is a fish research site as well.


A nearby landing and overlook has some mining stuff on display. This is a 6,100 pound hunk of iron ore. The lighter material is waste rock.




They were able to enclose a harbor around the ore dock by joining some islands together. It is kind of a tight squeeze getting in there . . . but I guess they all are.


Mines and other facilities need a lot of juice. Coal can be shipped in on ore boats pretty economically.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:48 AM   #51
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Thanks for your efforts! Very interesting and much appreciated.
Thanks! I'm glad you are enjoying the ride and the background information.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:17 AM   #52
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I like see ride reports about my neck of the woods! Don't blink or you will miss Tofte. After seeing all the pictures you took, I'm sure you wont
Great RR
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:26 PM   #53
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Simply a wonderful report. Thanks for doing it. I hope you went up The Gunflint and had pancakes at Trail Center. Good stuff!
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:20 PM   #54
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Your Ride Reports are among the best on this awesome site. I thank you for your efforts. I am especially enjoying this RR as we spend 2 months in Grand Marais escaping summer in TX. We also really enjoy eating at Rustic Inn and especially Trail Center on Gunflint Trail.

If you do come to TX in winter we would welcome you into our home if in the area. We are located about 35 miles SW of Ft. Worth and it is the top of the TX Hill Country area. Great roads and even better BBQ await you...

I am hosting a TX BBQ dinner July 14th at the Pavillion at Grand Marais,MN Municipal Campground for my fellow Northwood area ADVers. It is being served around 6PM. We would be honored by you coming by. FREE Beer, BBQ and fellow riders, does not get much better.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:56 PM   #55
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On toward Grand Marais.


Schroeder Baking Company on the grounds of Lamb's Resort. The resort has an old logging bunkhouse.


This heritage center is an old gas station/hotel.


Falls on the Cross River.


The loggers had dams and flumes on this river to move logs to the lake.


Nice flow right now.


The falls runs right under the bridge.


Heading out to the lake.


A very nice falls with easy access.


Father Barage, the Snowshoe Priest, heard of an epidemic at Grand Portage. He set out from Madeline Island in Wisconsin and crossed the lake to try to help. He got caught in a storm but luckily was blown over a sandbar into the mouth of the Cross River. He was so grateful that his crew wasn't killed that he erected a wooden cross here as a monument. This was in 1846.


I was lucky to see calm weather on the lake for my trip. I can't imagine paddling across this thing as it can be a killer.


The wooden cross has been replaced by this more durable edition.


I went looking for a falls on the Temperance River upstream from the lake a bit. I had to poke through the woods a little.


It was worth the short hike.




By the way, the Temperance River is so named because there is no bar at the mouth - for real.


There is an interesting gorge on the river near the highway.




This ranger station is made up of CCC built log buildings.




These small harbor access points are usually really nice waysides. They are a good place to take a break and enjoy a view of the lake.


There is a commerical fishing museum along the route.


When I think of commercial fishing on the Great Lakes I tend to think of big sturdy enclosed boats. I tend to overlook how it was early on. Small open boats were the set-up for quite a while.


Hand hauling nets had to be quite a chore.


Nets used to be made of cotton. They had to be spooled up to dry or to make it easier to repair the net. If you didn't dry the net, it would rot.


Modern nets are a little more durable.


Boxes of fish at a fish shack. I would imagine that many were smoked but some were kept fresh with ice. Certainly no shortage of ice to harvest and store. Once the highway opened in 1924, it made it easier to get fish to market which improved the business.


Primitive looking operation. By the way, 5,000 barrels of whitefish were caught, packed, and shipped from Grand Portage in 1839.


These guys had to be tough. It must have been difficult working the cold waters of the lake in some of the bitter weather of the season. No doubt the weather kept people off the water for significant periods.


I notice these guys would wear waders but I didn't see many Coast Guard approved personal floatation devices. I guess if you went into the water and couldn't get back into the boat, you would be dead soon from hypothermia anyway.


I stopped at the Cobblestone Cabins in this area and talked with the owner. He told me his son was on a long motorcycle tour on a KTM 950. His son's screen name is RoninMoto. His son worked in wind generators for a while and was taking a break.

This lodge is in the Lutsen resort district. It is a beauty from years past.


It is difficult to see because this lady is standing in front of the bin, but they have a solid recycling program here on the grounds.


They also have a number of bridges on scenic trails that cross streams on the grounds.


A few miles inland is the Lutsen ski area. They have a summer scenic gondola ride as well as other entertainment in this modern development.


I routed on the old shore road where I could. Sometimes it is gravel.


The Cascade River Overlook is another fine CCC project from the 1930s.


A lot of people don't realize that much of the work done by the CCC was done with only hand tools (picks, shovels, and maybe a single light dump truck in a camp).


This arrowhead shaped sign was part of the original design for the wayside.


As it appears today.


Oh yeah, the river is nice too.


The Pie Place outside of Grand Marais is down for the count.




More on Grand Marais in a bit.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:10 PM   #56
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I like see ride reports about my neck of the woods! Don't blink or you will miss Tofte. After seeing all the pictures you took, I'm sure you wont
Great RR
I managed to find a few things in the Tofte area! Very nice place.

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Simply a wonderful report. Thanks for doing it. I hope you went up The Gunflint and had pancakes at Trail Center. Good stuff!
Thanks Siyeh! We'll be heading up the Gunflint past Trail Center in a bit. I have to share some touring in Grand Marais a bit first.

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Originally Posted by FotoTEX View Post
Your Ride Reports are among the best on this awesome site. I thank you for your efforts. I am especially enjoying this RR as we spend 2 months in Grand Marais escaping summer in TX. We also really enjoy eating at Rustic Inn and especially Trail Center on Gunflint Trail.

If you do come to TX in winter we would welcome you into our home if in the area. We are located about 35 miles SW of Ft. Worth and it is the top of the TX Hill Country area. Great roads and even better BBQ await you...

I am hosting a TX BBQ dinner July 14th at the Pavillion at Grand Marais,MN Municipal Campground for my fellow Northwood area ADVers. It is being served around 6PM. We would be honored by you coming by. FREE Beer, BBQ and fellow riders, does not get much better.
Thanks for your kind remarks and generous offer! I hope to get back to Texas soon and it would be fun to meet up and chat. I hope you find some familiar scenes in these photos that evoke some pleasant memories of your stays in the area.

I'll give some thought to July 14th. Sounds like a great event and that park is pretty darn nice too! There are a few more things I'd like to explore up that way (when I am not on a circle tour).
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:10 PM   #57
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Thanks!

I love the shore and you're providing so much interesting detail! Another great ride report, thanks again. Neumie
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:56 PM   #58
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Commercial Fishing on the Northshore

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When I think of commercial fishing on the Great Lakes I tend to think of big sturdy enclosed boats. I tend to overlook how it was early on. Small open boats were the set-up for quite a while.
And they are still in use! Happen to know a few commercial fisherman in the area and they are still using small, open boats and hand-hauling the nets to pick the fish (herring on the northshore). http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/newslett...the_lore_.html

Thanks for the post! Enjoying the tour of my area (Duluthian). Some day I hope to do this tour.
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:16 AM   #59
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A look around Grand Marais.


The Coast Guard station is manned during the ice free months. Looks like the Border Patrol operates out of there too.






1879 breakwater. First lighthouse (wooden) in 1885. This metal one in 1920.




This place no longer operates.


I ate dinner at some place on the inland side on top of a hill as you first come into town. Trooper was there, figured it might be OK. It wasn't.


I probably should have gone here instead.




Coffee and wi-fi.


Old style Ben Franklin store.


Had breakfast here. Good stuff.


A local told me this was a good stop for breakfast as well.


Dropped a CannonCard here.


1912 court house.




Stayed at the municipal campground. Nice park.


Stopped here for lunch.




This place has some kind of following.


They also have a deal where you submit pix of yourself in unusual places around the world holding one of their World's Best Donuts coffee mugs.


Some interesting shots to enjoy with your coffee.


These signs mark the old entrance to the Gunflint Trail. We'll be heading up the trail in a bit.
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:40 AM   #60
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I love the shore and you're providing so much interesting detail! Another great ride report, thanks again. Neumie
Thanks and I'm glad you are enjoying it!

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And they are still in use! Happen to know a few commercial fisherman in the area and they are still using small, open boats and hand-hauling the nets to pick the fish (herring on the northshore). http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/newslett...the_lore_.html

Thanks for the post! Enjoying the tour of my area (Duluthian). Some day I hope to do this tour.
Thanks for the link! That was a great article. Interesting about a current making it difficult to haul up the net.
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