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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Jacob's Well

Jacob's Well is a perennial spring in the Texas Hill Country.  It is located north of Wimberly,  Texas. The mouth of the spring here is 12 to 15 feet wide. The shaft goes straight down for thirty feet and then angles down until it reaches the aquifer 125 below. The width of the cave changes as it heads down which may relate to the deaths of at least eight scuba divers and the last few decades.

The spring creates a unique ecosystem along Cypress Creek.

The State of Texas has a Master Naturalist Program and we were lucky enough to take a tour with two of them. 

The creek bed above the well. The naturalists were helpful in identifying  the different grasses and other plants.

In geology, this rock formation above the creek is known as "Glen Rose". It contains many fossils.

Fossil samples


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Searching for the Right Travel Mode

We took a trip up Hwy 61 from Duluth, Mi to Grand Portage, Mi. We decided to take something different than the truck. Luckily, we were able to buy a fire truck as I was once a fireman and felt quite at home in it.

Jeanette particularly liked turning on the hood mounted emergency light. She made a lot of people pull over, It was fun but I was looking for something more manly.

SO we "borrowed" a 1940's iron hauling train. I did feel mighty manly powering up the hills. At 128' long it was a sight entering the tunnels.

Jeanette liked ringing the bell...too much...and I did look a tad too manly in it so we decided to scale it down.

That's more better. It still had a bell and Jeanette could drive it.

I followed behind in an antique hand car built for a single person. It was OK going downhill but going up grade soon tired me out so.

I took a nap in the caboose while Jeanette drove.

Since we were traveling over 150 miles on the shored of Lake Superior, we decided to cruise along the shoreline.

We stopped at a place where they made canoes and managed a swap.

This beauty is 38' long. It was too hard to paddle.

One of the canoe makers.

All hand made and covered with birch bark.
But this looks like the right ride!  We could leave the RV here and be home in ten hours.

Highway 61 Revisited: Sightseeing and Bob Dylan

 Highway 61 begins at the tip of Minnesota, Grand Portage to be exact, passes by Duluth,  and runs to New Orleans.  Bob Dylan was raised in Duluth and has remarked that Hwy 61 held an important reference to it, stating:  "I always felt like I'd started on it, always had been on it, and could go anywhere from it."

As far as the song goes, the crossroads of Highway 61 and Highway 49 is where Blues legend Robert Johnson reportedly sold his soul to the devil to become a renown musician. Later Bob Dylan would "revisit" this highway which was the downfall of so many. 
 
As far as sightseeing goes...this is what it looks like along Highway 61 going north  from Duluth to the tip of Minnesota, Grand Portage. 


Court house in Two Harbors. They used to just have some bleachers here. In The sun. Out on Hwy 61.....nevermind.

Had to stop at Betty's Pies




Gooseberry Falls

Groan...more steps...but look where it leads...

Temperance Falls



Split Rock Lighthouse

Coming into Grand Marais, Minnesota. Way up north.

An island off of Grand Portage on the Canadian border.

Things are pretty simple in Grand Portage
I guess we'll be having hominy and smoked whitefish again tonight.
At least we have a place to stay tonight


Cozy
Privacy fencing is good
Old trading post









We got some shopping in.

Fashion

Northwest Trading Company

SIte of many a rendezvous back in the fur days
Click to enlarge and see what the trading post used to look like.

Duluth, Minnesota...Going Downtown

Last remaining whaleback ship in the world. May sailed the great lakes over a century ago.

The city of Duluth has about 86,000 people living it and probably just about as many tourist visiting it on Labor Day weekend.  It is known as "San Francisco of the Midwest".  Many streets descend over 800' to the port. Your bicycle better have good brakes!




It is a modern city

the skywalks are for winter pedestrians ... kind of gives you an idea on how cold this place gets in the winter, but the summer is glorious.


We like towns that are modern that retain their history.



Some of the old buildings were breathtaking





Brew, shopping, and dining.






We enjoyed hanging out on Bob Dylan Way who was born and raised in Duluth.  His song Hwy 61 Revisted is in reference to his hometown and the scenic highway that goes from Duluth up the the North Shore of Minnesota.
As we said before, people up north love ice cream.  Hey, wait, is that Wayne and Kobe in line?


Along downtown, there are these beautiful brownstones, a train track, and a walking trail called Lakeshore Trail, and of course, Lake Superior.

You can walk dogs there...
Go for a romantic stroll or sit with your love on a bench and just watch the waves roll in.



The Lakeshore trail goes for miles and miles and miles.

People in Duluth know it was Leif Erickson and not Columbus that discovered America.  Viking symbols on the overpass.

Click to enlarge and see the drop