An All Souls Night and Duluth Faering Project Weekend

We hadn't been up to Duluth nearly enough this year. So, it was time to head up again. We left around noon on Friday. We should have had lunch at home because we were hungry soon after we left.

Instead we tried to find something to eat along the way. We ended up settling on the Whistle Stop in Hinckley.

This place had coloring books for kids. Meadow lucked out with a Daniel Tiger book.

It turned out to be a perfectly good diner. It's a little bit of a drive off I-35, but a good respite from the Tobie's of the world. Plus anyplace with Mickey pancakes is good in my book.

Actually I think it was supposed to be a bear.

Blake was still in the Halloween mood and provided us with candy on our arrival.

Meadow sporting her recently made crown.

After catching up we decided to go for a walk in the neighborhood. Last year on this same weekend it was unusually warm.

Blake was still living in West Duluth back then. Though we miss that house, his new neighborhood has beautiful architecture on every block.



We promised a playground for Meadow.

Zissou even joined in.

Meadow was quick to play with the early snow.

It's always interesting to see missing architectural features on old homes. It's even more telling when one side of a duplex still has the original stoop roof.


Blake then suggested a fish fry for dinner. We all agreed on the Breeze Inn a bar/restaurant near Blake's land. There was plenty of snow on top of the hill.

This place is always busy according to Blake.

But that's OK, we entertained ourselves.

All-you-can-eat fish.

The wait staff is a bit slow and, in our case, forgot to bring our beers. Then she brought the wrong one. So, I got one on the house.

Meadow went with the mac and cheese instead of the fish. This is the first time in awhile that she actually finished all her dinner. Well, minus a few fries.

This is definitely one of the better fish fries we've been to. We'll be back again.

The next morning we all slept in later than we planned. Meadow didn't want to wake up.


We couldn't go to Duluth and not have the breakfast buffet at Black Bear Casino.

Every time we go, I say, "Never again." But then we always return. It's just that good.

Across from the casino were signs for an estate sale.

So we followed them to a home tucked away on country road.

We went home with a scooter and drawing pad for Meadow. All for only $1.75.

Then we had to make a trip to Hobby Lobby for face paint. Meadow loves this store.

She also loves Target, which is funny because we hardly go there.

Back at Blake's we watched some Hamtaro before getting ready for the night.

Blake and I painted up our faces.

While Meadow waited patiently.

These guys are getting pretty into it. I just like being an interested observer.

Meadow requested a rainbow this year. We had gotten her an awesome skeleton shirt, but she refused to wear it. She was all sunshine and rainbows for the event.

There's the skeleton we just saw last weekend.

I was super excited to see it in the grand lobby of the Duluth Depot.


Our third time around and the All Soul's Night in Duluth is still so much fun.

There's Meadow's rainbow face paint.

The belly dancers had expanded to a foursome this year.

This guy makes me so nervous to watch. He goes up pretty high and has no landing pad in case of a fall. He also likes to purposely pretend to fall to freak people out.

Then the skeleton came to life during an epic serenade.

The weather was rainy, so instead of doing the grand march outside, they had us go through the depot.

We were lead to the Brass Messenger Band for a little dancing.

Well, at least Blake danced.

Meadow says this is her favorite part.

Instead of having the bands play downstairs, this year they had everyone back in the main hall.

Andrew Anderson of Smelt Run fame was back again. This time he had an awesome Run DMC puppet.

The giant skeleton puppet even busted some moves.

This was so cool.

Since we hadn't eaten since brunch we decided to pick up some munchies on the way home.

Deli pizza, donkey chips and guac and...

...mozzarella sticks. Even Daniel joined us.

What a feast.

The next morning Blake made us monster pancakes.

At the All Souls Night Jasper invited us to his Wool Mass at his studio. I suggested we check it out.

A few of Blake's friends are building a wooden boat completely by hand. 

While Scott helped cut wood Jasper showed me the 1800's Finish loom he's using for a weaving project.

He's making a weaving to use as a seat for the boat that can also be used to wrap yourself in when its cold. 


Meanwhile John made the oar locks with a volunteer.


After giving me the how to, I took over for awhile.


The main point of all of this is the building of the faering. John and Jasper are building it with help from community members.

We tried forcing the split, but it took some more pounding of spikes to split the oar lock.

All the tools they are using are traditional hand tools. No power tools involved.


While Brooke and Meadow weaved, Blake and I learned to make nails out of copper wire and old pennies.

First we cut the wire.

I din't know the nails were even hand made. This boat is pretty impressive. 

And then pounded a penny onto the straightened wire, snipped the excess and hammered the copper onto the penny rivet.



I can't wait to see this in water.

Meadow was my little helper with the weaving. 

We each took a few turns.


Meadow played music with old drill bits when she didn't weave.

She was more interested in helping me than doing the woodwork.


Then she built a ramp out of wood scraps the aforementioned drill bits.

When a group of UMD students passed by and looked in, John invited them and had them make a nail.

We hung around  for a while longer and John and Meadow started playing with a soccer ball. I've never heard her laugh so hard, for so long.


Before heading home, Blake made us fish tacos from the leftover fish from our fish fry.

We had to go home, but we'd be back in Duluth soon enough.

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