It seems horribly unkind that everyone we told we were coming to Minnesota looked askance! Why there of all places! The answer of course, that David was teaching one of his lute-making summer schools at Dan Larsen’s Gamut Music workshop, seemed only to re-inforce their views that of all places in America, Minnesota had nothing to offer.
In fact it’s lovely, helped of course by a wonderful Indian summer with temperatures around 75-80 degrees. The lake is beautiful, the relationship of people here with their environment seems healthy, and everyone is kind and courteous, they call it “Minnesota nice”.
There is of course the fixation of some of the people here that Duluth was founded by Leif Ericson in 1000AD when he ‘discovered’ America, a fact which they celebrate with a rose garden and a statue (see photo). I suppose a museum of rape and pillage would not go down too well with the dozens of churches in the vicinity.
Running along the edge of the Leif Ericson Rose garden (which is very beautiful and smells of roses) is the Bob Dylan Way. Dylan was born in Duluth and lived in the city until he was 6 years old. No celebration of any significant nature – no sign indicating the house where he lived, I’m told that there is a commemorative man-hole cover somewhere, but I haven’t found it yet.
Just outside Duluth is Hawk Ridge, the crossing point for hundreds of thousands of birds, especially all kinds of raptors and ‘night hawks’ on their way south in Fall and back to their northern territories in the Spring. I’m hoping to get up there on Tuesday and see what I can see – watch this space!