Travel Theme: Bridges

The lift bridge in Duluth, Minnesota is a unique feat of engineering that is best demonstrated as one stands to the side watching the center lift for the numerous lake freighters and ocean vessels that stop in the city.  The port of Duluth is the farthest-inland freshwater seaport in North America.

Duluth, Minnesota's Aerial Lift Bridge

The Duluth Public Library has an interesting collection of historical photos along with this brief summary of the Aerial Lift Bridge’s history:

The Aerial Lift Bridge, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Minnesota, was constructed in 1904-1905 as the Aerial Ferry Bridge. Before that time, Park Point was only accessible by ferry boats and, during the winter months, a temporary suspension bridge. The original Aerial Ferry Bridge consisted of much of today’s structure but, instead of the lift span, a suspended car, or gondola, ferried people and vehicles on a one-minute trip across the canal. The gondola could carry the equivalent of a loaded street car, two loaded wagons with teams, and 350 people. The gondola made twelve trips per hour between 5:00 a.m. and midnight and two trips per hour from midnight until morning. The lift span was added in 1929-1930 to handle increased traffic. At that time, the bridge operators moved from running the gondola to working in the control house in the center of the span. The bridge first lifted for a vessel on March 29, 1930. The Aerial Bridge lifts an average of 5,500 times a year, and over forty times a day during the summer months. It is owned and operated by the City of Duluth.

You can enjoy a “live” webcam view of Duluth’s canal and harbor by viewing one of the Duluth Harbor Cam‘s many webcam links.  The Duluth Harbor Cam website also has a rich variety of facts and history about the bridge and the ships that frequent it.

Ship coming through Duluth, Minnesota's canal
Ship coming through Duluth, Minnesota’s canal (2001)

As I looked through my photos, I was struck by how few pictures I had taken of our time spent down by the canal, watching ships arrive into and depart the port.  Perhaps it is one of those sights that as a local that you accept as part of the landscape, and while always getting a thrill as the ship and bridge call back and forth with their loud horns, it is not a sight that you frequently go to see with camera intentionally in hand.  As the years go by, it instead is often a sight you see while in Canal Park for dinner or some other event, coincidentally timed with a ship’s passage.  I do believe that I need to make an “intentional” trip to the lift bridge soon, with camera in hand!

Ciao! ~ Kat

Join in Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme at Where’s My Backpack? — “Bridges” is this week’s theme.  Details on how to participate and other responses to this week’s theme can be found here.

Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme: Up

A person cannot help but look up when standing at the base of the classic icon of Paris – the Eiffel Tower!

eiffel night view

Join in Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme at Where’s My Backpack? with this week’s theme of “Up.” Details on how to participate and other responses to this week’s theme can be found here.

Ciao! ~ Kat

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy and Travel Theme: Animals

As I started to pull together photos for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, finding those images that reflect what makes me “Happy,” I noticed a recurrent theme — the pets who have been part of our family throughout the years.  So often, they were part of the happy memory, frozen in time through a snapshot.  We believe in adopting our companions from the local humane society or rescue league, and sometimes the animals may join us in the later part of their lives, resulting in a shorter tenure with our family.   They frustrate us at times and can be naughty beyond belief.  They romp and play, they snuggle and dry our tears.  And, whether their time with us is short or long, their unconditional love is timeless — what more do we need to be happy?  I cannot imagine our family without these furry companions!


Coincidentally, the submission for the Weekly Photo Challenge also satisfied Ailsa’s Travel Theme challenge this week, which was Animals (click here for more information on the weekly Travel Theme).  Wind Against Current also combined the Weekly Photo Challenge with the Travel Theme Challenge, which helped to inspire my combined challenge response.  Details on WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge and how to join can be found here.

Ciao! ~ Kat B.

Travel Theme: Foliage

Where’s My Backpack? was kind enough to remind me of her weekly challenge (for those of us going through withdrawal since Friday, waiting for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge!).  Ailsa’s theme this week is “foliage” which has been wonderfully abundant here in northern Minnesota the past couple of weeks!

judge cr magney 5 9_29_12

This shot is from the Timberdoodle Trail at Judge C.R. Magney State Park along the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota.  The leaves may be past-peak in terms of classic fall colors, but the late afternoon sun still beautifully illuminated the color that remains.

Ciao! ~ Kat