Day 28: Greetings from the Northwoods

A trouble-free day with spectacular scenery:  forests, bays, lakes — and all-day blue skies.  I felt a bit apprehensive this morning when I saw the little transmission fluid puddle that had accumulated overnight.  But I kept checking all day, sticking my head under the frame, backing up and inspecting.  Not a single drop on the ground all day long.  Is it possible that the mechanics at Jiffy Lube had overfilled it — and this past two days has been gradual seeping of overflow?  I’ll keep my eye on the situation.  Engine light remained on all day — but no problems.  No blown fuses.  It took some courage to take on the foresty nowhere territory, surely out of AAA cell phone range should something have happened.  But I feel a bit more confident for more of the same tomorrow.

Nik, also, seems to have healed overnight.  He’s about 90% himself.  Just a little ouchy with a front foot but no more body tremors.  The more I think about it, the more likely he suffered some major bruises, etc. from his fall — maybe shock to his system as a result.  Less likely that he ate something toxic since he’s usually not a scavenger like the other dogs.  When I poked around on-line last night I was fearing the worst:  kidney failure, etc.  But no vomiting, normal poop — so I just held my breath.

So, full speed ahead with a week of shooting to go.  Will try to bang through the northern half of MN.  Many of the cities today were first times for me — and tomorrow’s stops I think are all completely new.  I don’t think I’ve been north of Two Harbors before so this is exciting!  At this point, wherever I go in the country, about half of what I shoot are reshoots of stuff I’ve seen before.

Started the day in Pine City:


Gail is looking a bit faded at this point.  In fact, she appears to be a tack-on to the sign.  Maybe a  replacement of a similar figure or covering up a symbol or word?


On to Duluth — where there’s no shortage of bars and liquor stores:

Even the polar bears drink up here:


From Hermantown — these King Koin Laundry signs were mass-produced — a few versions of them scattered here and there — but very rare now:


Across the bridge from Duluth for some quick stops in Superior, WI.   A fun and interesting town — new one for me.  I don’t know the original bar name but glad they kept this guy.  This repaint looks more like a woman in drag to me:


Must be an adapted sign, no?


The storefront of this building is a yucky coverup — but the details on top are great:


I asked a local about this rocket ship shaped thing.  It’s a microwave communications tower.  Built in the 1980s, cost a fortune and was only used about three years.  The technology changed and made this thing irrelevant.  Sure hope they leave it alone — it’s fantastic!  FL Wright would give it a thumbs up:

More signs from Superior, WI:

Lots of ICO gas stations around these parts — a new brand to me.  Nothing remarkable about their stations but I liked this life-preserver entrance.  This station’s closed though — so this will probably be gone soon:


Moving on to Two Harbors.  I had heard that the Pierre the Voyageur statue had been moved.  Sure enough!  I arrived to find him being fitted with spotlights.  This is a very happy ending.  The statue had been abandoned for years and was soon to be bulldozed when this hotel stepped forward to offer him a home.  He was restored and relocated — no easy task since he’s concrete not fiberglass — and twenty feet tall:
The Earthwood Inn (where he’s located now) has made a new paddle for his right hand that’s been gone for many years.  He’s now at the entrance to town — and will be a town symbol.  Makes me so, SO happy!


Also from Two Harbors — a bit of neon and wood.  Note the building is simply painted to look log cabin-y:


On to Ely where I was running out of light — but luckily some neon there just being turned on:

Last one for the night also from Ely.  This one’s not lit any more — except for the one light bulb on the bottom.  But you can visualize the beaker on top with neon drops pouring into the glass below.  And the stars sequencing on the left:


Before I forget — got word from Diner Larry last night that the building in last night’s post was probably not a “real” diner.  Also, I wanted to mention that the Valentine diner in Minneapolis that was abandoned for years is gone now — nothing but an empty lot:


Tomorrow, on to Hibbing, International Falls, etc.  Maybe I’ll throw in some nature shots in the next post as proof of how gorgeous it is up here.

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