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Duluth rock-skipping takes rightful place as greatest thing ever

With Duluth’s natural renewable bounty of perfect skipping rocks, the time is now to claim the mantle of one of the top rock-skipping destinations in the world. I propose a Duluth League that plays by its own rules, owing to our iconoclastic position as Outdoor Adventure Capital of the United States. Envision a day when Duluth’s rock-skipping force fans out over the globe to win championships and decimate festivals. Tomorrow (Saturday July 13, 2PM Leif Erikson Park) will usher in such an age. A Facebook comment about the contest said, “I remember a rock-skipping contest in Duluth in the 1950s.” It’s revealing of Duluth’s decades-long funk that this never blossomed into an annual contest, or festival, in the intervening 70 years. By comparison, look at what the Michiganders of Mackinac Island have going: they just had the 51st Annual Stone Skipping Competition and the Governor comes and skips the first stone. If Duluth had kept its 1950s contest going, we’d be ahead of Mackinac Island by 20 years…

Selective Focus: Susanna Gaunt

Susanna Gaunt is an artist who creates installations and draws on her background as a photographer. She works with paper, dimension, transparency and light to combine 3D structures with 2D layers and textures. She currently has work on view at the DAI until August 11.

SG: For 20 years, I worked primarily in photography, both exhibiting photographs and teaching at a private workshop school in Montana. In 2013, our family landed in Duluth and I decided to learn new mediums by enrolling in the BFA program at UMD. It was there that I began focusing on installation pieces that incorporate drawing, printmaking, collage and embroidery alongside the photography. The common denominator with all of these is paper – I love working with different types of paper textures and exploring the possibilities of creating layers of both meaning and visual interest. Experimenting with multiple finishes, such as shellac and encaustic wax, allows me to find the right amount of translucency to both conceal and reveal content. 

Selective Focus: Rainbow!

Hey, did you see the rainbow? Instagram did.

Announcing the People’s Free Rock-Skipping Contest

 

This Saturday, July 13, 2PM, Leif Erikson Park beach. Prizes are gift certificates etc. donated from local businesses (Pizza Luce, Vikre Distillery, Hoops Brewing, Sir Ben’s, Global Village, Whole Foods Co-op, Duluth Coffee Company). If the weather turns on us we will reschedule, but it’s supposed to be full sun and little-to-no wind, which is critical for great rock-skipping. From the folks behind the People’s Free Skate, this is the first of what must become an ongoing rock-skipping festival, either annually or more, a lifestyle choice. Aren’t we having informal rock-skipping contests all summer anyway? All I know is, Lake Superior produces truly great skipping rocks, and Duluth deserves to be known as The Rock-Skipping Capitol of the World. Read on for contest rules!

Postcard from Gooseberry Falls State Park

This undated postcard from Gallagher’s Studio of Photography offers a scene at Gooseberry Falls State Park.

Lake patrol continues

Working closely with the Sheriff to keep y’all safe over the past few days.

The True Story of My High Seas Encounter with the Sheriff

The lake was calm and warm with a mild breeze blowing inland. I put out in Floyd, my patrol flamingo, and went upshore via flipper power. Then I drifted back toward town on the prevailing breeze.

Got Pulled Over Today

I can’t drive 55

Selective Focus: Fireworks

Select Instagram images of Fourth of July fireworks.

Duluth View from Cascade Park in 1899

This photo from Detroit Publishing Company shows the view looking out from Duluth’s hillside at Cascade Park toward the Downtown area and Minnesota Point. William Henry Jackson is credited as the photographer.

The Library of Congress dates the image as circa 1902, but research by Mark Ryan for the story “W. H. Jackson’s Photographs of Duluth” for Zenith City Press puts the time of Jackson’s visit to Duluth as the summer of 1899.

Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography

Ashland Ore Dock – Ashland
Loading iron ore into the steamer Denmark.

Bridge over the St. Croix – Summerset
Soo Line train crossing the High Bridge.

The Lake Superior Railroad Museum at the St. Louis County Heritage & Arts Center has opened a new photo exhibition based on the work of American railroad photographer Wallace W. Abbey. Located in the museum’s Gallery Car, the collection follows Abbey’s life work as he traveled around the country capturing historic images of railroads and the people who worked on all levels to keep the trains running.

New Duluth Marketing Campaign

 

Selective Focus: Leif Erikson Park

Select Instagram images of Leif Erikson Park.

Postcards from Duluth’s Shipping Canal

There are a bazillion postcards of the Aerial Lift Bridge and various ships, but in this post the aim is to steer attention more to the shipping canal.

Mystery Photo #93: A Hard Day

With some Mystery Photos, we know a lot going in. With this one, we know very little. Who is this little girl and why was this photo shot on such a hard day?