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Cramer Tunnel in Lake County

About 70 miles northeast of Duluth, near Crosby Manitou State Park, is a unincorporated community named after its pioneer merchant, J.N. Cramer. There sits Minnesota’s longest train tunnel, connecting the former LTV Steel Hoyt Lakes taconite plant with its ore dock at Taconite Harbor. A recent post on photographer Dan Turner’s Substreet website features a collection if interesting summer and winter photos from the tunnel and surrounding area.

PDD Quiz Postponed

Due to changes to Qzzr’s terms of service, this week’s PDD Quiz on Twin Ports beer and breweries is postponed. We will resume PDD Quizzes after exploring our options for a new quiz platform. Stay tuned!

Hiking at Gooseberry Falls

Noah Penn and his new friends from the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Chi Alpha chapter, a Christian campus ministry, hike the majestic Gooseberry Falls State Park, about 30 miles northeast of Duluth.

Duluth featured on Gear Junkie website

Gear Junkie, a Minneapolis-based online publication for outdoor adventure news and product reviews, published a feature on Duluth this week as part of its series on “The Great Urban Outdoors.”

Meet Duluth, America’s Next Best Adventure Town

My Fancy Foreign Car is a Symbol of American Freedom

When the transmission went haywire on my rusty 1993 van on the day after Thanksgiving 2015, it marked the end of a beautiful seven-year relationship. The ol’ GMC Vandura cost me $1,400 to buy, and while it needed some work here and there, it was a major-league transportation bargain. My average annual cost of driving during those years was $2,200.

To clarify: From mid-2008 to the near-end of 2015 I drove wherever I wanted at an annual cost of $2,200. That number includes fuel, insurance, purchase price, repair and maintenance costs and all other fees. Six bucks a day to go anywhere – basically the same price as a daily pint of craft beer at the trendiest joint in town.

For many months after the tranny crapped out on the van, I continued to drive it short distances on flat roads, shifting into neutral when it fell out of gear, then shifting back into drive. If I needed to go somewhere involving hills or highways, I took a bus or arranged to use my wife’s vehicle. I just wasn’t eager to go car shopping. I figured I’d wait for a car to come to me.

And then a car came to me.

Selective Focus: Northern Lights

We sure do love our auroras up here. There are predictions of moderate activity tonight and Saturday according to the internet experts and local astronomical legend Astro Bob.

The week of Sept. 17-23, Night Sky Week will be taking place in Duluth. Click here for more information and a schedule of events. The project is organized by Starry Skies Lake Superior, a group raising awareness of the effects of light pollution.

One of the main events will be a showing of the movie Skyglow. The trailer below is pushing some product pretty hard, but there are stunning images in it.

“Restoring” Chester Creek?

This afternoon I went running in Chester Park for the first time in a while. I parked at the Chalet and immediately noticed this posting on a light pole:

Apparently the city and the Soil and Water Conservation District will be removing the old dams at the foot of the ski hill, revegetating the stream banks, and building a pedestrian footbridge. My first reaction to this was, “Cool! It’ll be great to have a restored stream habitat.” But as I thought about it a little more, I started wondering what it was exactly that needs restoring here.

Piano teacher has openings for new students

Openings for piano lessons for the 2017 school year and beyond! Email [email protected] or call 218-464-3287.

Charlie Parr – “Peaceful Valley”

“Peaceful Valley,” from Charlie Parr’s album Dog is a fantasy of closing the door, drinking coffee, listening to records and becoming a good recluse.

Animation by Jake Huffcutt.

Charlie Parr discloses depression in City Pages feature

Duluth musician Charlie Parr is featured in this week’s issue of the Twin Cities tabloid City Pages. In an interview with freelance writer Erica Rivera, Parr acknowledges a life spent battling depression and suicidal thoughts.

“It affects everything that I do, all day, every day — and all night,” he says.

Story link: Man of constant sorrow: Charlie Parr’s quiet battle to stay alive

Parr performs at Sacred Heart Music Center on Thursday in support of his new album, Dog.

Breanne Marie and the Front Porch Sinners – “Carousel”

New video for “Carousel” by Breanne Marie & the Front Porch Sinners. Shot at Chester Bowl by Michelle Truax of Duluth.com. From their upcoming album Wildflowers & Tumbleweeds, recorded at Sparta Sound with Rich Mattson.

The record release party is Saturday, Sept. 16 at Beaner’s Central.

Nat Harvie Trio – “Nat Harvie’s Birthday”

Directed by Caitlin Nielson. Crowdfunding campaign info at indiegogo.com.

Delivering Mail on Minnesota Point in Winter

Never mind the seasonal sentiment, this postcard was sent in the summer. It was in the trusted hands of the United States Postal Service 110 years ago, traveling from Duluth to South Dakota. It was postmarked at Duluth on Sept. 4 and received in Carthage, S.D. on Sept. 6, 1907.

Lost Duluth Trolley in Minneapolis

This former Duluth trolley makes frequent trips back and forth between Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. Trolleys are restored and operated by the Minnesota Transportation Museum.

Shrooming in Duluth’s Lake Place Park

A notable fairy ring of large white puffballs, ending with the biggest ‘shroom I’ve ever seen, bigger than a basketball or a human head. Lake Place Park.