Over the weekend Alan and I went up to Duluth for our anniversary. Hooray! We’ve spent a lot of time on 35-N in the last year, so this trip seemed fitting. Also, it’s only 2 hours away, and I couldn’t get any time off work. So we kinda *had* to. Leaving the city it was gray and stormy, but we were promised sunshine and cold air Up North, which suits us just fine. We stayed in Canal Park, which is kinda like one big resort. It’s extremely pretty and there’s a shit ton of hotels and mediocre dining. We arrived just after sunset and I thought this area right outside our hotel looked like Bowerstone Market from Fable 3 (because I’m super detached from realty, as we know). Upon arriving, we drank a beer while watching The Weather Channel (we learned how to die of hypothermia, not to be confused with learning how to avoid it), then walked around and ended up at Canal Park Brewery, where we talked about a lot of stuff, including how baseball players are so basic despite having one of the largest on-average salaries of any major league sport (INHALE). We may have stayed up way too late, and woken up way too late the next day, so we grabbed brunch (Pizza Luce, which we do every weekend at home, because we’re massive yuppie tools!) then went south to Jay Cooke State Park. The real treat was coming back to the hotel in the afternoon and hopping in the hot tub with an ice cold Hopvale to soothe those hiking legs. We went to Grandma’s Saloon — as a joke — for dinner. It’s like, the lamest restaurant ever. No better than a TGI Friday’s or Applebee’s. Okay, so the boneless wings were decent, and you can get 22 oz beers, but OTHER THAN THAT… At night we walked around the peninsula and I tried out some night time photography. It went *ok*. Boom! This one is nice; you can see the stars in it. I placed this on the ledge by the water, and we stacked up our phones and Alan’s wallet, because I don’t really have a tripod. Pretty neat thing. I could never do nighttime photography with my old camera. Too hard to focus in the dark. Having live view capabilities makes all the different. The next day I woke up butts early and realized I hadn’t charged my camera battery overnight, but also the sun was just coming up so I sleepily put on my shoes and a hoodie and walked around while the city wasn’t quite woken up yet. The real kicker is that when it was time to go on our excursion for the day, to Gooseberry Falls State Park, many hours later, I had neglected to put my camera battery back in my camera. I have no high quality photos of the park, alas. It was a disappointing moment, and I almost felt like the trip out there was a waste. But we walked around and just enjoyed it, and I wasn’t bogged down with trying to capture every single thing. If there was something that was worth stopping for, my iPhone did in a pinch. I suppose it was a nice reminder that I tend to get a little over-involved with my photography a lot. Sometimes a hike should just be a hike.
But still, now that I’ve been there, I’ve seen what’s worth photographing for the next time. Although, with all the rain we’ve had this spring, the falls were *extreme.* And that would’ve been cool to document.
So we spent our actual anniversary at Gooseberry, then came back and did some more drinkin’ and hot tubbin’, spent some ample bank at a few little cool stores (the only two we could find) then went to a pretty decent Italian restaurant (BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE YOU GO FOR ROMANCE DUH). The biggest bummer was having to pack right after dinner, then wake up butts early (again) to race back to Minneapolis so I could go to work yesterday (yawn).
Duluth is so close to us, and I think we take it for granted a little. There’s a lot of parts of it I don’t like. But its convenience can’t be beat. I wouldn’t mind taking a few more sojourns up there this year, at least so we can make a trip to Bent Paddle, and some radtacular other state parks like Tettegouche. And I’ll remember the camera that time, and maybe I’ll just play it cool.