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October Trip to Duluth

Clint and I wanted to take a fall trip again this year (two years ago we went to Duluth; last year it was Grand Marais) but finding a free weekend to go anywhere this fall proved difficult for us until October. Originally he thought he wanted to take me on a scenic photography tour in south-western Minnesota, but we weren't sure about the fall colors that late in the season so we opted to head up to Duluth again.

Through some obscure connections we were able to not only procure a room at the Fitgers Hotel on short notice; it was a lakeside room AND we got it for a discount. Bonus.

We drove up Friday afternoon – after my cut & color with LaRae at Hair Matters – with surprisingly little traffic. It was a gorgeous drive with the setting sun illuminating all the colors on the trees. We got to the port city in record time and after trying to figure out the parking situation at Fitgers (evidently valet parking is complimentary so we didn't have to park the truck after the initial attempt) and checking in, we were ready to decide where to eat.

What we forgot is that in spite of Duluth being the 4th largest city in Minnesota, there really aren't that many restaurants from which to choose. Since it was already 7pm and we were starving, we decided not to fuss around and just walked over to the Pickwick. There was a 20-minute wait but the food (clam chowder and steaks) was really tasty and our waiter was pretty good, too.

The next morning we awoke in our hot hotel room and Clint made me hotel coffee while I watched the sun come up over the lake. After a quick breakfast-snack in the hotel we were ready to start our morning of hiking. We jumped in the truck and started up the scenic highway along Lake Superior, with no specific plans other than stopping whenever and wherever to hike around.

On one of our stops we saw a couple fishing and just happened to walk by when the guy pulled about a 10-pound fish (of some type I can't remember) out of the water. That was neat. After a few more stops, we ended up in Two Harbors. We stayed there for over an hour, walking by the lake and climbing around on the rocks. It was a beautiful, sunny, breezy morning...perfect for hiking.

After moseying back down to Duluth, it was time to think about lunch. We hoofed it on down the lake walk to Canal Park and decided on Little Angie's for some tacos and salsa con queso. Refueled and ready to be tourists again, we decided to head into the Great Lakes Aquarium to see the fishes and other aquatic life.

Give us a break – sure we've been there once before, but we were born and raised in Minnesota and it's not only fun to see all the wildlife, it's nice to contribute to the wildlife community. Or whatever it is that place does with the exorbitant entrance fees...

When we were all fished out we walked back to Fitger's and promptly took a nap. Since I was drugged up on antihistamines my nap might've been SLIGHTLY longer than Clint's (ahem...about 3 hours. Mine; not his).

Upon waking up and getting ready we were in another dinner quandary: Saturday night and no reservations in a town with little variety for restaurants. We ended up at Blackwoods and had a fairly decent meal in the bar. After that, it was obviously time to head back to the hotel and watch some TV before drifting off to sleep (again).

The next morning we woke up, packed and started our journey back to the Twin was a short trip but fun and we had great weather. Maybe next time we'll take that scenic byway vacation, but I always love heading back to Duluth :)