It’s important to recognize and honor weird, secluded locations for outdoor alcohol consumption. In West Duluth, back in the day, the quarry was the best of those places.
Its full name is Casket Quarry, but everyone in the neighborhood just called it “the quarry.” To teenagers back then, the word “quarry” was synonymous with “kegger.”
The view is great from the top of the ledge, but drinking was always done at the bottom. This decision wasn’t based on safety, but the fact that no one wanted to drag a beer keg to the top.
The main trail to get to the quarry is wide enough to drive a truck on, so there tends to be a few discarded appliances around. It’s fun to stick firecrackers in the rusty old clothes dryer.
Throwing things off the top of the quarry is, of course, irresistible. There aren’t many loose rocks left up there, but finding a dead tree branch isn’t too difficult.
If you roll up a giant snow boulder and shove it off the ledge, you might think it will practically explode after plummeting that far. In reality, it just makes a soft, anti-climatic plop.
On a winter day, you might find ice climbers at the quarry. On a summer day, you might find teenage girls sunning themselves in their underwear. Most of the time, you won’t find anyone.
Then again, you might come across two grown men just standing there confidently, wearing neck braces for no reason at all. Legend has it they stashed a bottle of mead up there somewhere. It’s probably underneath a boulder.