Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day

This has been a very quiet weekend. We ran errands on Saturday; and I did some house cleaning on Sunday, with the help of Rumi (or Roomie) our robot vacuum cleaner. (The spelling of the robot's name is not firmly established.) Monday we went to Duluth. It was a lovely day, sunny and cool in the morning, sunny and warm in the afternoon, with almost no haze, either heat haze or pollution. A lot of yellow autumn wild flowers are blooming. About half of them are goldenrod; the rest are flowers I don't know.

We stopped at the DM&I docks in Duluth and took photos of the Mesabi Miner, which was loading taconite there. The boat was in the dock's shadow, and my photos came out very dark; so I am not including any.

Then we went to Canal Park. We arrived just in time to see the Alpena come in through the canal. Patrick had his camera, but I left mine in the car for no good reason. So I have no photos of the Alpena. The Paul R. Tregurtha, the biggest vessel on the Lakes, was due in a couple of hours later, which gave us time to wander around the shops in Canal Park. When we first began visiting Duluth 25 years ago, the area was a rundown industrial area. Now it is full of art galleries and gift shops.

I am sorry about the loss of industry; but I'm glad something has moved into the old industrial buildings; and I'm glad Duluth has managed to recreate itself as a tourist center. Jobs are jobs. In addition, I like Scandinavian design, handmade pottery and jewelry, and North Woods art. I feel a little guilty about liking the last. I was raised in art museums and trained as an art historian. Surely I ought to like stuff that is more demanding that photos of wolves and pine trees and ceramic ravens and so on. But the people doing the work are real artists, who know what they are doing; and I happen to like pine trees and wolves and ravens.

This time, I bought a North Shore calendar for 2008 and a pair of Smart Wool socks, after looking at art I would have liked to buy -- except, as I age, owning things no longer seems quite so appealing. A loan would be nice. Could I rent art on a monthly basis and return it when I decide it's time to free myself of possessions? I would love to rent art.

Anyway, we finally went back to the shipping canal and watched the Tregurtha come in. It's a big boat, 1013.5 feet long, 105 feet wide, with a capacity of 68,000 tons.

This time I had my camera. A couple of photos are above. In case you are wondering, we were on the far side of the canal this time, so the angle is different from the photos of the Algolake.


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