As Kemosabe had slept the last 40 miles or so on the drive into Duluth the
previous afternoon – he was not at the wheel this time ! – we reckoned on a
leisurely stopover day ahead - having got the washing, drying and ironing
done the previous evening and dashing out for a bite to eat with the Edges &
Your scribe was woken at 05.15 with K scrabbling to open the complex window
system to capture a striking livid sunrise over the flat expanse of Lake
Superior – dreaming on proved impossible. From dreams to our favourite bete
noire (or bete vert !), as the first task this morning was to fit the Rutter
frontal mounted fan to Gerry Pell’s car - reassuringly Arthur Edge’s correct
water pump that had also arrived but was not on the agenda, as all was now
OK apart form a small drip.
Mission accomplished with help from Vern we decided that a long haul to
Split Rock Lighthouse, a lake boat trip or even a ride in a lilac horse
drawn carriage were not for us! A leisurely drive along the delightful
shoreline road at our own pace fitted the bill admirably and so we set forth
in the crispness of mid morn.
The North Shore drive off Route 61 along the Brighton Beach Road (so aptly
named for one from Sussex) gave scintillating lake views, delightful coves,
superb vistas and some rather swish and desirable properties. Much
speculation as to cost, as a lot building work and upgrades were evident.
We eventually arrived at Two Harbours, a town dominated by the three
remaining ore loading facilities and a port still heavily used by fishing
In 1883 the Minnesota Iron Co constructed the first iron ore railroad from
the Vermilion range to the then Agate Bay (renamed Two harbours in 1888) and
the first loads arrived for shipment in 1884 from the Soudan Mine. Two
wooden loading docks had been built and eventually by 1907 there were 6 in
all, the last being of concrete and steel (with 2 rebuilt later in same
materials). In 1909 it handled 9million tons, only 2million less than that
shipped by Asia & Europe through the Suez Canal. Such raw materials proved
vital to the war efforts, and in 1944 19.3 million tons were shipped! Even
today with the move to taconite pellets, boats 3 soccer fields long with
70000 tons capacity berth at these gargantuan structures.
At the same site we found a lighthouse and typical regional fishing boat of
the 1930’s era was dry berthed, with hull of oak and Cyprus planking – this
vessel’s claim to fame having been christened by Crown Prince Olav of
Norway. Finally the massive conglomerate that is now 3M was founded there in
1902. History lesson over!
Then onwards we visited the Gooseberry Falls Park, a series a massive rock
slabs with only a moderate cascade but ideal for the photo shots and quite a
plethora of bird and wildlife. En route we had noticed an intriguingly named
“Betty’s Pies” and on our return journey made a strategic late lunch stop
to be greeted with a time warp atmosphere and décor, with good old fashioned
waitress service and great food – joined later by Rod & Vern.
On our return to base we found Ben & Judy waiting with the correct voltage
amplifier from Bill Fink, so sleeves up for K leaving the temporary Jaguar
item in situ and just fixing to distributor and doing a bit of rewiring as
the layout was slightly different from the original – car fires up and Ben
takes it for a spin around the block. Also captured the impressive lift
bridge across the parking lot in action
Ahead of concours judging a quick wash of TOE16 - no Jeremy is not deformed
its just the plate number of his lilac car, which gets 3rd place – a spruce
up for ourselves and so to the gala buffet at Blackwood’s Grill &Bar. A
great meal although Andrew Duncan was spotted snaffling the last of our
strawberries – just not on old boy!
The Minnesota Morgan Owners club had made us so welcome with drinks and
information packs on arrival the previous day and now come up with superb
handcrafted prizes at the buffet. Jeremy made his first speech of the Tour
(see website –Ed) that seemed to draw a good amount of laughter.
On returning to the hotel the final technical assistance of the day was to
help Trudy replenish the oil in Jim’s car – he had told us and her it did
not use any!!
Hot chocolate and so to bed and sweet dreams!