Diving the Breakwater Wall Ruins, 9/6/14

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gF8CNHx3Eo

Duluth’s outer harbor, between the Vietnam Memorial and the red buoy, hides the submerged ruins of a hundred-plus-year-old wall (essentially stacked wooden cribbing filled with rocks) that predates the lift bridge and the canal. This is what they used to park ships behind for safe harbor — before its destruction in a gale. Been waiting to return here since last summer, finally got my window. Tried early in the day but the water was too cold. So I spent the day on Park Point beach, then hit it on my way back — water had warmed several degrees. Sun was going down so I had to act quickly. Similar imagery may be seen in my video of last year, “Freediving the Ruins of Duluth’s Outer Harbor.”

This current video represents going farther from shore (maybe halfway to the buoy?), and deeper than before (up to 15 feet or so as opposed to ~10). Next year maybe I will dive the buoy chain to the bottom (30 feet). It would have been nice to do this series of dives when I was fresher earlier in the day with more direct overhead sunlight (the water was clearer too), but it was simply too cold. By the time I got to it, I had walked several miles, was hungry, and had been given a beer and a couple slugs of wine (don’t ask). So I wasn’t as hardcore as I wanted to be — had to swim out far, then deep too, without benefit of a raft or anything, so I was pooped and not willing to risk any further depth. Next time!

Diving Among the Boulders and What I Found There

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrQibiicQSI

A series of dives one afternoon exploring a field of boulders.

One Book, One Community … One Local Author

Visit Duluth Public Library’s One Book, One Community page and cast your vote for a book to be selected for this reading program. My suggestion: Support, Linda Grover’s The Dance Boots. Grover is the only local author on the shortlist, and this award-winning set of stories is perfect for this honor. (You might also check out Grover’s hot-of-the-press novel The Road Back to Sweetgrass.)

Chocolate Lab mix found in Lakewood

An old, somewhat overweight Chocolate Lab mix adopted us on Thursday, Sept. 3, during the thunderstorms. We call him Grizzly because his fur has a grizzly bear look to it. He has a shock collar on him. It’s red. His other collar is light blue. He has no tags. I’ve checked Animal Allies and the pound for any report of a lost dog matching this description. No luck. If you recognize this description please e-mail me at madewithaview @ gmail.com.

What is “In the Park After Dark” and why is it held before dark?

In the Park After Dark

Duluth Lawn-care Services

Does anyone know of a good lawn-care person/service in Duluth? We have a small yard, just outside of downtown. We just need a quick mow/trim because the battery in our mower is dead. As such, a mower must be supplied. We can supply a trimmer.

Any recommendations? Do you have a friend who likes to make extra cash? We called the lawn-care companies that showed up on Google maps, and none answered. Help!

Best Coffee Shop in the Duluth Area Poll (Elimination Round)

Through our usual highly scientific means, a list of nominees for best Duluth-area coffee shop has been developed. Now it’s time to narrow down the choices with a round of voting.

What is the best coffee shop in the Duluth area?

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This poll is now closed. The top three, advancing to the final ballot are:

Beaner’s Central Concert Coffeehouse
Duluth Coffee Co.
Jefferson People’s House

Diving at Lester River and Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum

http://vimeo.com/104860689

Video by Nathan Myers.

Grounded Eagle on Rice Lake Road

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM6As2AXrXc

This afternoon I was driving back from the dump when I saw a car with its flashers on on Rice Lake Road. I slowed to … basically to rubberneck, but, you know, to see if everything was OK. They were looking at this bald eagle that was staggering along the narrow green space between the highway and the wetland that it passes through.

Skyline Parkway Corridor Management Plan

Icy Street Panaramic

Does anyone have any word on building restrictions on Skyline Parkway? I’m asking because someone built a house on the lower side of Skyline a block above my house. Someone is working on a plot of land to the east which is also directly above my house and they need a variance (for which there is a meeting at City Hall on Tuesday next week).

My street has had a drainage issue ever since I moved in, but the first house to be built up there caused the issue to escalate. With more housing being built directly above, I fear that the problem will get increasingly worse. If anyone has any info on the corridor management plan or building on Skyline in general please let me know, and if you think this issue might directly affect you, let me know so I can forward the meeting info on to you.

I love Duluth and hope that we can work together to make things better. Above is a panoramic picture of ice taking up half the street due to water running down it.

Preston Gunderson with Jillian Rae – “Night”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3PKYspYcvw

Video by Peter Jamus and David Kasyanyuk
Shot at East Medicine Lake, Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles — all near Minneapolis
Actors: Laura Blak and Vinny Balbo

Preston Gunderson is a singer/songwriter from the Iron Range. His album While I was Gone cracked the top 200 on the iTunes pop charts, and his EP The Recluse peaked at no. 25 on the iTunes Singer Songwriter Music Chart. He was a casting finalist on NBCs The Voice, but did not appear on the TV show. He was also named the 2014 Bob Dylan Singer-Songwriter Grand Champion during Dylan Days.

Jillian Rae is known in Duluth for her days lending fiddle skills to the band Two Many Banjos. She performs solo shows and in a number of bands in Minnesota.

Trampled by Turtles : Tiny Desk Concerts from NPR

Listen to MP3 Here:

Duluth Trip

http://vimeo.com/104985105

Video by Jon Atwell.

Nominees for Best Coffee Shop in the Duluth area

It’s been a few months since we’ve done a poll on PDD, but we trust that with all the “Vote Duluth the best outdoor city in the galaxy or whatever” hype that most of you thought a break was for the better. Now it’s time to return to our quest to decide what the best city’s best things are.

Before we launch our poll to name the best coffee shop, we have to establish a list of nominees by asking you to rant in the comments. The ground rules are fairly simple:

  • As usual, the territory we are covering encompasses Duluth and anywhere within 10 miles of Duluth’s border — so coffee shops in Superior, Hermantown, Proctor and the various bordering townships all qualify; Two Harbors and Cloquet are out of bounds.
  • The criteria for what defines a coffee shop or what makes one “the best” is pretty open. Certain bakeries and restaurants kind of double as coffee shops, and that’s fine. Some places have a focus on live music or a kick-ass record collection, others sink a fortune into furniture or double as a place of worship. Feel free to consider those things along with the coffee itself, or don’t. In the end, voters will decide what’s important to the masses.
  • It’s fine to nominate a corporate giant like Starbucks, Caribou or Dunn Bros., but be specific if you do. Pick a particular location; don’t nominate the franchise as a whole.
  • Keep in mind that we are not issuing a challenge here to name every coffee shop that exists in the area. We’re just asking you to tell us which ones you think have a reasonable chance of winning a poll.

That’s about it. Make your thoughts known and we’ll launch the poll on Friday.

Lost Benchmaker Knife on Superior Hiking Trail

I lost a blue Benchmade pocket knife just off of the parking lot on the Superior Hiking Trail at Penn Boulevard in Silver Bay on Aug. 29. I believe it was on the four-wheeler trail just before hooking up to the hiking trail. Will pay reward and shipping to get it back.