« From the Audio Archive | 1980 | Main | Chester Park Home For Sale »

Stay-at-home summer?

Friday's 70-degree sunshine (I live up over the hill) got me thinking about all the places around the Northland I'd like to explore this summer. And then it got me thinking if this will finally be the year that gas prices will be a primary reason - instead of lack of time, or other commitments, or being sick, or whatever - that causes me to cut back my plans.

In all the places I've lived - and especially since I've come to Duluth - I relish having the chance to hit the road on a day off work and go somewhere interesting - to Ely, or the Gunflint Trail, or going hiking at Tettegouche... Two days off? Maybe a camping trip to Sleeping Giant up in Ontario, or the Porcupine Mountains in the U.P.

But maybe not this summer. While I have the means to cover gas costs for getting groceries, going to work, etc. - and I'm thankful for that - gas prices are getting to the point that I'm looking at scaling back my trips around the region - fewer new trails hiked, fewer chances to see wildlife, fewer chances to enjoy all the reasons I love living here - and that really bums me out.

So for everyone else who loves to make trips to canoe, hike, etc., how are you handling this? Gritting your teeth and making those trips, no matter the cost? Cutting back? Planning on getting really, really familiar with trails within the Duluth city limits this summer?


I just returned from a road trip to Iowa City, which is 800 miles RT. It cost me a fortune in gasoline, definitely over $100. I'm going to be much more selective in where I travel this summer. Maybe buy a horse (just kidding). I think we'll be doing more biking and walking this summer -- which isn't a bad thing. I just hope people realize now that a train to the TC is an imperative. Maybe even a train to Ely or Grand Marais?

I would definitely recommend getting familiar with the Duluth leg of the Superior Hiking Trail. It's 39 miles of mostly rugged terrain, and each segment offers something different and interesting.


-Ride your bike up the North Shore
-Ride east and explore Northern Wisconsin
-Drive with friends and split the gas cost
-Isn't there a bus that goes between Duluth and Thunder Bay?
-Build a sailboat and sail to your Lake Superior destination. Hey, wind is free.

A train to Ely or Grand Marais is a huge carbon foot print just for some moose decor...

if you can hitch a cheap ride to the cities, you can catch the megabus for dirt cheap. you can head to madison or chicago and i've never seen it go over $22 a trip. in fact, if you book far enough in advance, you can get a $1.50 fare. i got a trip out to madison in july for that cheap. fewer stops than greyhound so you'll get there a lot faster.

that link should be http://www.megabus.com

One of the great things about being a touring musician is the people you meet and the couches you crash on. When you can't travel, offer a traveler a place to hit the hay. They probably have some great stories to share and it's the next best thing to being on the road yourself!

a green tortoise style bus would be most excellent. On the SHT, there's a shuttle that leaves from the SHT office in T Harbors and stops at pretty much all the trailheads on a scheduled basis. It's spendy, but it'll get you there.

A stay-at-home summer? I just had a stay-at-home winter! I want to go places, and will sacrifice quite a lot of other things to keep buying gas. Maybe I'm part of the problem?

A couple years ago, my son and I took a trip to Chicago on the Megabus. On the way down there were only 5 other passengers. We got into Union Station right on time, and walked to our hotel and stayed a couple nights, walking around Chicago, visiting the King Tut exhibit, the Sears Tower, the Institute of Art, etc. On the way back the bus had maybe 20 other passengers. It was an hour late coming back but our total transportation costs for the three days/two nights amounted to $4.50. (The train will cost you at least 25x that and will be at least 3 hours late). You have to book early enough and/or travel mid-week to get the $1 rate on Megabus, but I highly recommend it.

As I'm in the process of buying a new home I'm actually looking forward to a "stay at home" summer and work on the new abode. Also I have several friends and family members traveling to me and I'll be playing host, which means I get to play tourist in my own hometown, which is a fun game.

we're purchasing as well, so aside from a trip or two to the SHT and perhaps a fam camp @ Echo or Sawbill...we're staying home. I guess one positive aspect of high gas prices would be more time spent @ home, working on my impending "honey do" list.

I echo those to wrote about the Lake Superior Hiking trail. I would also say explore any of the National Forests in Northern Minnesota. While everyone in Duluth knows about Superior National Forest not many mention Chippehawa National Forrest north of Grand Rapids. Get a National Forest map (I think they are free or nominal cost) and find a secluded place to stay and go! Did you know that you can camp any where in National Forrest land? One of the few perks we get as tax payers. Also Jay Cooke State Park is a great place to explore.

I plan to ride my smallest motorcyle, at 65 mpg I can go just about anywhere for $20!

Deafyet -- you talk a mean talk, but can you put the tire to the road? I dare you!

you too Baci, Put up or shut up.

Duluth is my vacation destination every summer. We travel 1200 miles just to enjoy the Lake.

Almost two thousand miles for the season, on two bikes, spanning 44 years of motorcycle history.... Oh wait thats me burning up yer front yard!

i'm also buying a house this summer... maybe us new home buyers can take summer trips to each other's yards. how exotic!

Don't forget Amnicon and Pattison State Parks over there in Wisconsin. Or the mouth of the Brule River.

Plus, you can always travel in your imagination by reading a book! :)

Post a comment

Seriously: If you click "post" more than once, you're going to end up looking really stupid.

If you don't see your comment after it's published, try refreshing your browser.