Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Long Trip To Duluth MN. Grandma’s Marathon Packet Pick-up.

DSC_0763 What is there to say?  The day has been long!   We got up early this morning and went out for a short 4 mile run…as usual.   I was a little slow today, not really sure why.  I thought I had plenty of sleep…DSC_0764and time to get ready, for that matter.   But Cheryl was eager to get the party started. 

So,  Packing the car, feeding the cats, and making sure nothing in the apartment would explode…we were off! DSC_0782   

I drove almost to the Minnesota border,  just before Cheryl took over.  Aside from the welcome sign, and a field full of Windmills…there is not much else to note about the southern part of Minnesota.  It is pretty much like Iowa, and I think I have captured much of this area before on previous blog postings.DSC_0793

DSC_0802But then we finally arrived in Duluth!   Ah!  The Memories began to pour back in…Great Lakes Shipping, Big Water, And best of all…the smell!   DSC_0846There is nothing quite like the smell of big water in Iowa.   Even the muddy Mississippi smells …Different.    The Ocean has its own “salty” scent as well, but The Great Lakes will always have a fresh water aquatic life smell that takes me back to so many places.  If there is one thing I truly miss from Michigan…it is the small and feel of the The Big Lakes.DSC_0847

DSC_0809 We secured our room and walked over to the Expo Center to pick up Cheryl’s Bib and Number packet.   We also wanted to get some further information on spectator locations and check out the Expo Itself.     There were quite a few people there for it being the first day.   Tomorrow is the main day for pick up, and then the Man event is on Saturday.

DSC_0818Most of the vendors were selling nutrition and runner’s “swag”.  Cheryl was only really interested in a Grandma’s Marathon jacket and a 26.2 mile Car Magnet.   The motto is:  Nothing New on Race Day…including the free Beet Juice and gummy chewable which brag complete nutrition in three easy chewy squares. DSC_0830 Call me skeptical, but red flags pop up whenever anyone brags “complete” anything in easy to swallow ( or in this case:  Chew)  tablets.  It’s just a concentration of matter issue… can you pack in all the nutrition in something so small?  Without it causing SERIOUS problems to a digestive system that is used to …ah..EATING?   

DSC_0839 DSC_0843 After the Expo, we headed out on the quest for food.   having had noodles earlier today,  Cheryl wanted something different…..So we picked up some Walleye Fingers by the Lake and washed it down with a Black Cherry Flavored Soda.  Cheryl liked it!DSC_0880

The Pier and Lighthouse reminded me of Grand Haven…except for the safety.  Grand Haven never had “walls” preventing you from tripping and falling into the water. DSC_0894 ( Hurray for Michigan…Safety!)  In fact,  being washed off the pier was always one of those things that people used to talk about…must have been uniquely Michigan.

DSC_0890 DSC_0892 While were were there, a lonely Sailboat approached the Drawbridge.   We were going  to be able to watch the bridge rise up.   I don’t remember ever seeing a “lift “ bridge in action before…this was going to be fun!

DSC_0908 After the sail boat cleared the bridge…the bridge remained up for a long time after….then we saw why. DSC_0913

A very large ship was leaving and the bridge remained up until it cleared the canal.   We used to have large ships come into the Grand Haven Power Company to deliver coal.   I’m not sure if they were as large as this one.   But it is always a treat to see ships of this size in action. DSC_0919 DSC_0921

So, after that, we walked around Duluth and scoped out various places.   There were other pictures, but I’ll have to pot them later.   As for now,  we have a big day of  recon and planning tomorrow. DSC_0862  DSC_0866   And I have to see if I can wash off this travel dirt and catch some Z’s.   So I will hopefully post this now and fill in some missing items later.   Hope everything goes well tomorrow and hope everyone is having a grand time as we did today.

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