Highway 61 Posts

Pretty Drive Around Lake Superior Near Duluth in 1921

This postcard image is dated 100 years ago today — July 9, 1921. It appears to be two families parked on the side of old Highway 61.

PDD Video Lab: Old Highway 61 Footage

Take a cruise up Highway 61 in this edition of the PDD Video Lab, featuring old footage from Duluth’s Lester River, past the Loneyville Motel to the edge of Silver Creek Cliff before a tunnel was built there, and on to Gooseberry Falls State Park and Silver Bay.

For music, an excerpt of a cover version of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” by Sparklehorse & Thom Yorke from the soundtrack to the 2005 movie Lords of Dogtown.

Postcards from Silver Creek Cliff

Before the Silver Creek Cliff Tunnel was built in the early 1990s, Highway 61 wound around the edge of the cliff. Drivers relied on skill and luck to avoid tumbling boulders or anything that might send them plunging over the edge into Lake Superior. The Gitchi-Gami State Trail was later built following the old Highway 61 path.

Silver Creek Cliff (less than an hour from Duluth)

Paul Lundgren kind of stole my thunder on this with his excellent photo-essay on the North Shore earlier this week, but I was out in the same neighborhood for a work project last week myself. Truly I was in a big hurry and swamped with about a dozen things, but I just couldn’t help but stop for half an hour and snap some photos on the way back. It was the same day as the big Vikings-Packers game and I thought if they turned out it might make a good PDD post/tip for armchair quarterbacks on a great (brief) weekend road trip, but … that didn’t happen and now we may be past peak colors up in those woods. Still its a great drive anytime of year. And it’s fun going through the tunnel, too.

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