Friday, July 27, 2012

Quad Cities of Minnesota

Today, our last in this area, we drove north of Duluth to visit the iron ore mining area surrounding the Quad Cities of Virginia, Eveleth, Gilbert, and Mountain Iron.

It was mostly a driving day so The Girls got to ride along. See how cute they look all curled up in their new car cushions?

Every once in a while though they get up and look out at the road for a while. Do you suppose that's just to make sure their driver is alert and on route?

Our first stop was in the small town of Eveleth. When G'pa saw it on the map, he knew Dylan would want us to stop at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and pay homage to his favorite sport.

This sculpture in front of the building is a tribute to John Mariucci from The American Hockey Players.

Here is another angle of this great tribute sculpture for our family hockey fans to enjoy!

Near Virginia, we turned onto a dirt road that led us up to Mineview In The Sky where we viewed awesomely enormous mine vehicles like this 240 ton haul truck which was named King of the Lode and the much smaller 85 ton hauler.

This beautiful scene from the Visitors' Center is the Rouchleau Pit. This open pit expanse stretches nearly three miles long, a half-mile wide and 450 feet deep and this overlook was originally built for the bosses to supervise work in the pit.

From there we drove to an overlook outside Mountain Iron where we could see the Minntac Mine.

Guided by Rich's eagle eyes and employing the magic of my 35x optical zoom, we captured photos from that enormous distance, of several of those behemoth machines at work carrying full loads out and coming back empty for more.

After lunch at DQ we headed to Gilbert to complete our visit of the Quad Cities. Along the way, I was admiring the big blue sky filled with large fluffy white clouds so I held the camera out the window and got a few shots like this one...WOW!

When we were driving around in Gilbert, we stumbled upon Lake Ore-Be-Gone, an artificial lake formed by the flooding of three open-pit iron ore mines. Folklore relates that the 10,000 Lakes of Minnesota were formed from the footprints of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox while they wandered blindly in a deep blizzard. Here we've seen that many of today's small, beautiful Minnesota lakes began as open-pit mines.

Lovin' Life ~~ And Small Cities Rich in History

1 comment:

  1. Northern MN is such a beautiful spot! I so enjoyed the summer I was able to spend there. Braden is going to be J.E.A.L.O.U.S. of those mighty machines that you got to stand right next too!!!!! Whoa! He would be mining for days after standing next to one of those haulers.

    Love your cloud pics. Looks like the perfect weather for an adventure...


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