Sunday, May 16, 2010
Walking to Wisconsin
Since I moved to Duluth in October, I've been wanting to walk across the Bong Bridge into Wisconsin. I don't know what it is about walking on these big bridges but there is something that I find really appealing about it. Two Decembers ago Noelle and I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. When we lived in Kentucky and would visit Cincinnati we would park in Newport or Covington and walk across one of the bridges, usually the Roebling Bridge or the Purple People Bridge, into town. I've always wanted to walk across the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia as well, but never had the opportunity.
If you're curious about the name of the bridge, it is named (like half the public structures in Superior, Wisconsin) after Richard I. Bong, a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII, who was known as the "Ace of Aces" having shot down at least 40 Japanese aircraft during the war. The bridge is 11,800 feet long and was opened on October 25, 1985.
I decided that today was a good day for my bridge walk. It was warm, not very windy, and since I'm not sure what Noelle would think about the idea, she wasn't around to tell me how dumb the idea is. So I set off into West Duluth and parked my car off Michigan Street in the Lighthouse for the Blind parking lot. There were great views from the bridge and I was not the only person crossing it by means other than a car. There was one other pedestrian, a jogger who I passed twice and three people on bicycles making their way across state lines.
After the bridge walk I decided to explore the area around Wade Stadium a bit. I found a weird pedestrian tunnel that led to a pedestrian bridge over the interstate. The bridge led to the CN Railroad yard and the ore docks. There is an old visitor viewing platform there that is now closed to the public, but I walked over to the docks (possibly illegally though no one stopped me) to see them working on the Arthur M. Anderson.