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All Souls - Canoe Duluth in November

It had been awhile since we have been to Duluth. It was the perfect time to come up since Duluth's All Souls Night was this weekend.

Blake bought Daniel this tablet controlled toy for his birthday. I think we were having more fun than Daniel.

That may have been because Daniel was at work. Still, it was pretty fun to play with the little droid.

Meadow danced to Daniel's tunes.

That is, when Daniel got home.

Blake and Daniel had to work this next day so we were on our own.

Meadow, What do you want to do today? Oh, you want to play with a pumpkin beach ball. Maybe we'll do something outside.

Since the guys were going to be gone most of the day we headed down to Jay Cooke State Park. On the way we stopped at this overlook.

We tried hiking down the very steep hill, but decided it wasn't worth it after a little while.

The weather was perfect today. If it had been 2 weeks earlier during peak color I'm sure the place would have been packed.

Not many leaves and not many tourists. Just how we like it.

Of course Meadow had to climb on every rock.

Meadow did her best Gollum more than a few times.

Even with all the leaves gone it still was pretty.

Eventually the trail veered away from the river. I didn't know they had hike in sites here, but we happened upon one.

With no rocks to climb Meadow became "tired."

I put her in the Ergo and we went on.

I wish we had brought our camping stuff. Although even with the nice weather it gets dark too early.

She would have stayed here all day.

She made us wait while she peered at the creek.

We eventually made it back to the river and realized we should have taken the more scenic trail. Next time I guess.

Once we made it back to the dalles she was happy to explore again.

I packed all the wrong clothes for weekend. It was too hot for long sleeves.

We were getting hungry and decided to try out Gordy's Hi Hat. Turns out it was already closed for the season.

Instead we drove back to the west side of Duluth and tried out Gannuccis finally.

On one side is the quintessential Italian deli.

On the other side is the silliest Italian pastiche dinning room. We each got something different. I got a meatball sammy, Brooke got ravioli and Meadow got spaghetti. Strange enough, each sauce was  a bit different. Not a bad thing, just not typical.

Back at Blake's we got ready for All Souls Night. Meadow only wanted a butterfly face painting.

We thought it would be cool to paint white around the butterfly, but she was a ok with just this.

Everyone got cool makeup, but we were a bit rushed.

Blake and Daniel looked great. I should have planned better and brought different clothes.

Then it was time for the festivities.

This guy did some cirques du soleil tricks for us. He went pretty high up and kept making nervous that he would fall. He did purposely scare the audience a few times.

The belly dancers are always mesmerizing. The guitar player was especially rad this year.

Outside we noticed some familiar horses.

We had just seen the BareBones puppet show in St. Paul with our friend Anna and Aaron. Having seen that we now know what the inspiration for this event was.

Last time we attended the All Souls the parade was much earlier in the day.

The night was still mild, it was perfect.

Of course the fire dancers were back. I think we recognized a few of these folks from BareBones. Guess that there are only so many fire freaks (I mean that in that best way possible) in Minnesota.

We noticed the giant butterfly behind the dancers. I guess Meadow was on to something with her butterfly face.

Afterwards we went back into the depot for live music and free range around the museum.

Meadow found the train tables.

Blake, Justin and Daniel danced, but we were too timid to get out there with the cool kids.

I'm surpised they let people have free range here. People were climbing all over the trains.

Blake found his pet.

Family portrait.

I'll have to have a plan for my makeup next year. I didn't decide to put on face paint until the last minute.

Blake and his buds spent the night on his land. We missed out because we didn't bring a tent. Pluse we slept horribly the night before on Blake's deflating air mattress. The next morning met up with them at, you guessed it, Black Bear Casino's breakfast buffet. 

After our bellies were stuffed we rested at Blake's before going on an adventure. Blake is actually moving in a couple weeks. I'm really going to miss this place that we have been coming to for the last 4 years, but I'm excited to see his new place.

It's for sale. We could just buy it and move to the greatest city in the world.

I packed along our life jackets when I saw how nice it was going to be in Duluth. Blake and I voted to paddle along the shore of Lake Superior to look at mansions. While waiting for Jasper to arrive we skipped rocks in the calm lake.

We parked right by two boarded homes that were being condemned. Sure they needed work, but they were perfectly sound homes. The suburban townhouses that surrounded had increased the property values to the point where the property taxes probably caused the owners to go into forfeiture. Gentrification at its worst.

It's too bad because that house would have been perfect.

With my recent surgery I got to enjoy the ride while the guys paddled.

Justin followed us along in his kayak.

Blake got an awesome Bending Branches paddle as a going away gift from his last job. This left us with an extra paddle for Meadow.

Meadow conveniently had to go to the bathroom as we were nearing Glensheen.

Blake works here again, so he was able to take Meadow inside to potty.

Sixty-five degrees in November means playing in the lake for Meadow.

She didn't want to leave.

Meanwhile,  I called my dad and told him to check the webcam at Glensheen. My sister was with him and took this screenshot of us waving.

Then it was time to get back on the water.

Brooke texted Chelsea and told her to checkout the Glensheen webcam one more time.

Then we decided to capture the ultimate selfie.

Hey guys!

Surprisingly most of the mansions on the water were quite ugly and fairly new. The only good ones were the Congdon decedents. Blake and I were always curious what some of the children of Chester Congdon's homes looked like.

At least the natural scenery was worth the ride.

Eventually we had to turn around before the sun set.

That is after Meadow took a potty break on someones private beach.

Before we made it back I tried a handheld 360. It's not as easy as I'd guessed.

Meadow stayed pretty entertained on the ride. 

We made it back just in time.

Goodnight Lake Superior.

None of us were really hungry, we were still full from brunch, but we didn't want to sit around at home. So Blake took us out to eat at Thirsty Pagan.

"I ate and ate and ate and ate."

A pitcher of beer and a baked potato pizza? Heck, yeah.

Meadow always lets me know when she see's people with colored hair. She kept saying she wanted purple hair. We picked up some grape kool-aid to give her some purple highlights. For some reason when I added a little water to the powdery mix it turned blue green instead of purple. I guess I should have bought two packets.

Meadow stayed up late with us as we discussed future business plans with Justin.

We couldn't agree on a name and Blake just "designed" steampunk life jackets.


Blake made us pancakes for breakfast. Pancakes never fill me up so I made myself a breakfast sandwich.

Brooke claims that all breakfasts don't make her full. Whatever I guess.

It was another awesome day so we brought the canoe out again. This time to the St. Louis River Estuary and Clough Island.

I used to get nervous in open water, but I'm getting better at staying away from shore.

We stopped at Clough Island to explore. This island used to have a house and a large working farm in the early century. The remaining buildings burned down in the 1950's, but most of the foundations are still visible.

Meadow had to climb along the foundation walls.

Then we made our way out to a clearing full of milkweed. We had a lot fun with that.

Blake would be the ultimate nanny. He should do extreme nannying.

This was where the barn and gardens were.

I bet this is beautiful in the spring and summer.

More fun with milkweed.

The barn floor could still be seen.

Back on the canoe we went.

This time we meandered through the Pokegama Bay in the Superior Municipal Forest.

Blake was sick of me taking breaks to take shots. Why else would I canoe than to capture some wicked scenery?

Everyone took a break I guess.

Two of my favorite things: knitting and canoeing.

Meadow kept losing her toys in the water. This is why I only bring things that can get wet and float.

We didn't want to have to canoe back to our car so we bribed Daniel into picking us up with a free dinner.

So we kept on paddling.

We went as far as we could until we ran into some rocks.

We left Meadow behind.

She thought it would be cool. So why not.

Then we parked Blake's canoe on the riverbank and waited for Daniel.

Blake used his magic to get Daniel to stop.

Meadow and I wandered around waiting for the guys to come back with our cars.

The only thing around was a few cemeteries. It was sad to see so many infants who died in the early 1900's.

Also notice Meadow's sort of green tips.

We decided on going to a Chinese buffet in Superior, only we found out that both places that came up as buffets were actually just sitdown restaurants. 

We settled on the second place option.

Who could pass up cream cheese wontons?

They had us at crazy Chinese strip club ceiling mirror.

A very American, Chinese feast. Why not?

See you in a few weeks for Bentelyville, Duluth.


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