« mCain pez! | Main | The first rule about Milk Club is you do not talk about Milk Club »


I'm learning to fly in this little sweetheart.

sept08 064.JPG

Some things I notice from above:

1. Duluth is small. With full foliage, you barely even notice a "city".
2. Once you're away from Lake Superior, it's easy to get lost. It's all forest, interspersed with homesteads, small farmsteads, and lakes.
3. There's an incredible river gorge near Carlton.
4. Did you know there's a decommisioned missile base near Two Harbors?
5. Superior, WI is nearly non-existent from 7000 feet.
6. We live in a beautiful place.

I'll try to take some photos from "up there" as training allows.


There is also a burnt out fuselage in the middle of some landing strip just SE of Superior.

I wish I knew the history of it.

Decommissioned missile base near Two Harbors!?

Do tell.

Do you mean the decommissioned radar base near Finland?

Superior, WI is nearly non-existent at any elevation.

The base in Finland wasn't a missile base. It was a radar base that was used to listen to Soviet transmissions. I poked around there a few times - a lot of the old buildings are still there. Pretty creepy. Also creepy - the "Air Base", as it's called, is also home to some nutty religious wackos. After Waco happened, some of them moved to Air Base.

The decomissioned missile base is near Two Harbors. It's just a square 10-acre plot surrounded by woods, with 12 underground silos, now covered with cement.

The missile base is on the Berquist Road about 2 miles up from the freeway. It is also home to some light manufacturing businesses. The skate park manufactures used reside there as well before they moved to the West End. Before all this, we used to jump the barbed wire fence and look in all the old buildings and missile silos. Very odd. There also used to be an old bar across the street called the Missile Inn. I never remember it being open but I do remember an old Fitgers Beer sign on the side of it that somehow ended up missing. You can still see a small pile of debris where the bar used to be. I bet it was fun to drink in that bar.

There were a lot of SAM sites scattered around the U.S. back in the day--in my hometown, one site had been turned into a park, while the Defense Finance and Accounting Service cut military paychecks at another. [http://ech.cwru.edu/ech-cgi/article.pl?id=NMB]

It was kind of striking to me how normal this was once upon a time, especially considering that your garden variety anti-aircraft missile in those days would frequently have been tipped with a nuclear warhead [http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/nikcules.htm].

That gorge is Jay Cooke State Park. One of the landmarks I look for when I fly into Duluth on commercial jets and yes, we live in a beautiful place.

The missle base was a BOMARC missle base:


Go to the bottom of this page and check out "Miss Bomarc." Most excellent.

I have been to the decommissioned radar facility. At the time I would have enjoyed going through some old buildings (especially the bowling alley!) but I was there for work and could not.

Which brings me to disturbing fact #1: The kids who grow up in that "kookie" conclave end up being pretty disturbed. The isolation necessitated by the cold war has made for some REALLY isolated families, only ... in a compound ... bad mix. Many reports of trouble, sad but true.

Disturbing fact #2: When I was traveling around Russia back in the 90s it really disturbed me how many weapons and missiles from my own home were targeted directly at me. Very creepy feeling. Kind of makes you wish they weren't pointed at ANYONE.

And finally. This was an awesome post Vicarious. Thank you and I agree the area is beautiful, including the creepy decommissioned radar station. Would LOVE to see pictures. Might even be a nice fall colors trip in the next coupla weeks for some enterprising and curious PDD'ers.

the finland base has a HUGE radio wireless interwebs connection...big pipe

I used to work at the BOMARC base...not for the military though. Creepy is a good work for it. We did climb up the water tower there. Talk about a stellar view of shores of the big lake.

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.