Island Pictures 2018

Trip to Loon-a-tick Island - July 1-15, 2018 Andy, Suzuna, Melina flew non-stop on Delta from Haneda to Minneapolis. Louis, Chris, Ken flew in from Los Angeles and met them at the airport. The flight time from Haneda to Minneapolis was about the same as Haneda to Los Angeles. We then went to the motel nearby and the restaurant next door. The next day we drove up to the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth. Across the street from the aquarium is the University of Minnesota - Duluth, whose nickname is the Bulldogs. The first-rate ice hockey arena, AMSOIL Arena, is the home of both the mens and womens ice hockey teams since 2010. The Bulldogs were the Mens NCAA Division 1 Collegiate champions for 2010 and 2018 in the "Frozen Four". The womens team has won the Division 1 Championship five times since 2000. Ice hockey is a popular sport in northern Minnesota. We all had lunch at Five Guys; it had interesting hamburgers and fries made from potatos from specified farmers in Idaho. There were four guys and two girls behind the counter. Free peanuts! Chris' sister JoAnna flew from Milwaukee to International Falls where we picked her up right after she landed. We then drove across the Canada border with no delay and got to the dock at Paradise Point in Sioux Narrows right when Ron's boat showed up. We loaded up the boat and got to the Island in 10 minutes.


Great Lakes Aquarium - Duluth

Melina at the touch pool

Melina at the shipping model of the Great Lakes. The Lake of the Woods has the longest shoreline (by far) of any freshwater body of water in the world.


Melina with toy octopus


Activities at the Island

Greetings to the main activity in the north woods.

Louis is making cereal cookies with fruit. The kitchen still has more ingredients for the next batch.
Andy and Ken ride the hot dog around the lake.

Andy shows off the large northern (pike) that he caught in the weeds along the shore.

There was an expedition to the local trash dump. Last time there were bears; this time bald eagles.

A pair of loons built a nest on the raft in the lagoon.
Louis spent much time improving the path to the neighbor island.
We put the red fishing boat back into service for the trip.

Melina has a Katie companion on the dock.
Everyone goes for a dip on the front dock.

Melina picked blueberries and made blueberry ice cream.
Andy and Suzuna have fun in the kitchen.

There is Louis on his favorite mode of transportation: the Gator.
Ken catches these walleye (pickerel) right off the northern edge of the island.

It is Marilyn's birthday; she made prime rib with spinach salad and also served up the walleye that were caught.
On the way back from the Island, we crossed the border at International Falls again. On a Saturday morning at 10 AM, there was a five minute wait to cross the border into the United States. As we crossed, we notices a huge line of cars and trucks, half of which were towing boats, in the line to get into Canada. It must have taken several hours to get into Canada. We stopped at the Montana Cafe in downtown(?) Cook for lunch. Afterwards, we passed the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth. Nearby Hibbing has a huge open pit iron mine and is where Greyhound Bus was started. Off the main highway, the Soudan Iron Mine offers interesting underground tours.

Mall of America - Bloomington


After having fun at the Nickelodeon Amusement Park, we went up two floors to the jungle-themed Rainforest Cafe. The next day we went to downtown St. Paul to the Landmark building, built in 1902, that had the historical federal courtrooms. It was also the location of the old musical instruments from the Schumann Society. Ken played several pieces that were composed by some of the previous players of those pianos. Chris looked at the exhibits of wood turning machines. The modern versions are electrically powered lathes. There was a Bastille day celebration in the park in front with all things French. France has just won the World Cup in soccer, so there was much enthusiasm.

Mississippi River Cruise - Minneapolis

Below, the first bridge overhead is a replacement for the I-35W bridge that collapsed in 2007. The previous I-35W Mississippi River bridge was an eight-lane, steel truss arch bridge (built in 1964) that carried Interstate 35W across the river at St. Anthony Falls. It had been incorrectly designed and then overloaded with reconstruction material.
The Great Northern Railroad built the very pretty Stone Arch Bridge across the Mississippi to highlight their trains. On the southwest side there is General Mills Gold Medal Flour, and on the northeast side, there is Pillsbury's Best. Originally, the flour mills located here to use the power from St. Anthony Falls.

The Weisman Art Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, is at the University of Minnesota, across the river from downtown. After turning in the car at the airport and checking our luggage there, we took the Blue Line light rail line to the Mercury Restaurant downtown for dinner. In the Twin Cities area, like in other metropolitan areas, light rail lines are built on former streetcar rights of way(University Ave.) and former railroad tracks(Milwaukee Road). Ken played the piano both downtown and in the baggage claim area at the airport.