Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Duluth Day 2-Trains Kristen, Trains

This morning, Kristen and I ventured to the historic Depot in downtown Duluth. The Depot is home to three museums including the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. I had attended the museum in one of my first visits to Duluth when I was much younger, however, this was Kristen’s first time visiting the museum. We were both impressed by the train museum and the trains on display, however, I was a little disappointed and that there could have been more.

Although the museum had an impressive collection of locomotives, there were pieces of their collection that we didn’t get to tour. For example, the Depot had a historic Streetcar in their collection that I would have loved to tour and even read the plaques about. As a Transportation Major at the University of Minnesota, Streetcars and Regional/Intercontinental transportation systems are an interest to me. There were a number of passenger trains that were out in their yard that I would have liked to have seen. Both Kristen and I enjoyed the snow plowing trains used to clear snow from the tracks in the mountains. I understand that the museum has mostly a local focus with its exhibits that served the iron and taconite mines of Duluth and the importance of the railroads for transporting these resources.

The big disappointment was that the museum hadn’t changed since the first time I saw it many years ago. Also the employees at the Depot where not very interested in answering questions or to thrilled about their jobs. I would have enjoyed seeing a section of the museum that focused on the future of railroading be it freight or passenger including Duluth’s and the museums position on the development of transportation possibilities for the future of Minnesota. For example, how would they react to a high-speed rail connection from Minneapolis/St. Paul and onward to Chicago? Or their reaction to the partnership between Amtrak and Bombardier?

As for the other museums in the Depot, they were equally disappointing and have nothing on Minneapolis and St. Paul museums. In fact, at the end of this adventure, the KU and I are hoping to finally see the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis or catch a show at the Science Museum’s Omni Theater in St. Paul.

After checking out the Depot, we proceeded to the lake front and enjoyed lunch at Little Angie’s, a sweet Mexican joint recommended by the coffee makers at the Caribou Coffee down the street from the restaurant. Kristen and I were very pleased with the food and service of Little Angie’s and would definitely eat there again.

After lunch we enjoyed a walk along the lakefront, took a few pictures, and hopped in the car to drive the North Shore scenic route along Highway 61 to Two Harbors. We had hoped to see “the Light House”, however, the one in Two Harbors was not the famous lighthouse of Duluth. With the scenic drive under our belt, we headed back to the hotel to recover from lunch and figure out the rest of the evening.

Kristen and I did some relaxing in the hot tub and swam around in the pool, and later in the evening enjoyed dinner at the Blackwoods restaurant up the road from our hotel. We were also a little bad and picked up some ice cream at the Super America to enjoy back at the hotel.

Tomorrow morning we are hitting the slopes of Spirit Mountain. This will be my first time at a major ski hill and my first time downhill skiing. Kristen has been downhill skiing before, but is still excited to go skiing with me. I hope the slopes are nice to us, and I am sure the hot tub will feel great on the sore muscles in the evening.

Wish us luck at Spirit Mountain!!!!

Until next time when I post all bruised and battered from the battle with the mountain



Erik said...

haha, well my recommendation still stands (that the train museum part is cool)!

Kristen said...

Even though we were disappointed by the train museum it still was a great day!