The third installment of valuable cross-country skiing tips from Coach Cork, brought to you by Ski Hut.
The hyperbolic headline “The Town Cycling Saved,” is a tad unfortunate, but the interview with Duluth Mayor Don Ness in this month’s issue of Bicycling magazine is now online. In the print edition, the headline is “Transformer Man,” which is maybe only a little better. Other than that, however, it’s a fun and quick read. The mayor clarified on his Facebook page today that the recent improvements to bike trails is just one part of Duluth’s turnaround, saying “it’s because of Duluth’s revitalization and the new energy around town that groups like COGGS have taken on ambitious goals and have inspired hundreds of volunteers to take ownership of these trails.”
Nothing earth-shattering here, just a – nearly invisible! – close encounter with a curious aquatic bird this summer. Must be viewed in HD (ideally fullscreen) to discern anything, but it is there. I was unaware of this until reviewing the footage months later, but for a split second, behind me and to the left, some form of diving waterfowl peeks at me. This inconclusive footage is slowed down 16X to be able to get a glimpse of this ephemeral moment. It doesn’t even stick its head all the way out of the water but I believe a bill may be discerned, a white spot on the head, and possibly a crest off the back of the head although that may simply be a reflection in the water. Anyway, getting decent underwater footage of a curious loon or merganser is something of a holy grail of mine – these birds are often seen diving in the area and I know they sometimes approach human divers. So although thrilled to know I came close to one – within 10 feet by the looks of it – I am also frustrated to have missed the shot.
A question from PDD’s e-mail inbox:
I just moved here from Southern California. Do we have non-motorized events in Duluth? I mean joggers, walkers, bikers, skaters will gather and ride together. Example is CicLAvia in Los Angeles, where they closed downtown the city for motor vehicles.
One of our holiday traditions the past few years has been to watch Punkin’ Chunkin’ on the Discovery Channel. I just read that it was cancelled for this year, which is sad and means we’ll have to find some other boob tube diversion that night.
Got me thinking, though: does anyone do this in the area?
Perhaps Duluth’s most famous rock is Elephant Rock in Lincoln Park. It looks a bit like a giant, half-buried elephant, hence the name.
No great discoveries here, just a perfect weekend morning exploring a field of submerged boulders, summer 2014. Water clarity was great. Water temp wasn’t too bad, but the wetsuit definitely kept me in longer. Shallow freediving in 8-15 feet of water, maybe a little deeper towards the end.
It’s been five years since William Agenter built his high-profile home on Skyline Parkway. Although the mansion on Duluth’s western hillside was built legally on private land, some saw it as an intrusion on an otherwise woodsy section of the scenic drive perceived to belong to the public.
That controversy has come and gone, but another could be looming. Across Skyline from Agenter’s property sits 43.7 acres of wooded hillside, adjacent to popular hiking and biking trails, marked with Lynn Beechler Realty signs. Sale of that land to someone eager to develop more housing with expansive views of the city could happen any day, though the buyer would face challenges.