The plan today was to hit Al’s for breakfast, then zoom up to Duluth and spend the day there. We heard it was an underrated, overlooked jewel of the north. We were going to get there by noon and give it its due, before leaving around 5 for the Apostles. That was our plan. Apparently we haven’t learned our lesson yet about trying to make them.
First off, Al’s. Gut-bustingly insane. Luke took me there when I visited him up here eleven years ago, and it was just as I remembered it: friendly people, joyous atmosphere, and pancakes to melt your heart and stomach.
We bit our tongue and hit the interstate in the name of expediency. It was if we’d forgotten everything we’d learned over the last two days. A leaden stomach led to a sleepy driver led to an excuse to pull off to the side roads. Nothing to wake a guy up like the scenery of ten thousand lakes.
It only took about twenty minutes before I had to pull over and find our way to some of that gorgeous water. Sarah, worried about our time, hemmed, but saw my look and gave in even before she had a chance to haw. We drove up, changed, and within ten minutes we were in the cool water of Moosehead Lake. Duluth would have to wait.
It was, of course, lovely. A bunch of locals were playing water volleyball and invited me to join. After our team won, I swam out with Sarah to the floating dock and practiced dives with the Moose Lake kids. Then we floated about and relaxed in the sun.
Our hair was still damp as we finally rolled into Duluth, which deserves every praise we’ve heard, though we owe it apologies for only giving it a couple hours of our attention. We spent it well, with sandwiches from Sir Benedict’s, ice cream from The Portland Malt Shoppe, and a walk along the stunning lakefront path to the Aerial Lift Bridge. It’s on our list of places to return to; we’ll just need to give ourselves more time to make it there.