We appear to be the only people at the Lake Breeze Motel who are not on a family vacation. This little resort features a heated pool (no one swims in the lake here) and a miniature golf course. When we sit on our front porch to look out at the lake, we notice we are the only ones who do not have beach towels and bathing suits hanging over our porch rails. The families here are cooking burgers on the grills and having campfires in the evening, while we are eating at the local restaurants and catching up on our e-mail.
We decide to begin our sight-seeing day in
As was the case with the
we find that the route is poorly marked and is interrupted by detours, so that we are often unsure of which way to turn. We are amazed to find that the roads are in the worst condition of any we have encountered--paved or unpaved--in over ten thousand miles of driving this summer. The roads here are paved, but they have been patched many times with materials of different colors and textures, so that they resemble crazy quilts. And, there are quite a few potholes remaining to be patched, as well. So, we bounce, rock, and jiggle along trying to follow the parkway, while our bicycle rack groans under the strain of our heaving bicycles, and the plastic plates in our picnic box clack like castanets.
When we have gotten our fill of aerial views of the city and its impressive inner harbor port areas, we abandon the
The best way to avoid the roads is to explore by boat, so we hop on a
Just one man controls the loading action via remote controls strapped around his waist which move the coal chute around in the boat's cargo bays to balance the load. The train cars on the trestle above are flipped upside-down to dump their load into receiving bins below the tracks. We also see steel docks where they load taconite pellets onto ships. (The most efficient way to transport iron is to pulverize the rock near where it is mined, collect the iron via magnets, and combine it with clay to make taconite pellets.)
After many historic plaques singing the praises of railroads on this trip, we learn from our tour guide that "ships are six times more fuel efficient than trains and sixty times more fuel-efficient than trucks."
Back on land, Dick manages to get us to a restaurant we saw during our boat tour. The restaurant is in an old Fitger's brewery, and sits high on a bluff overlooking the lake. We have a late lunch at a table on the patio, and imagine that the people in the tour boats that pass below us are probably looking up at us and thinking that they, too, would like to figure out how to get up here for dinner after their tour is over.