This past weekend Ellen and I traveled to Northern Minnesota to visit my brother. He operates the Whispering Pines Motel on highway 61 just north of Silver Bay. It was a great weekend to be out and about outdoors.
The motel location is on the corner of highway 1 and 61. Many years ago there was a fairly large hotel at this spot as the small towns up and down the North Shore were not fully developed yet. The area was called Illgen City…it is generally still marked on the state highway maps Robert’s motel includes a whimsical Illgen City jail, complete with a couple of ‘inmates’. Another interesting feature that lots of people have is chain saw art. One of the motel trees blew down in a storm and a wolf appeared from the stump.
The views of Lake Superior are spectacular in this part of the state. I enjoyed hiking around a bit. The March ice storm caused significant damage to trees in the area with lots of branches broken off. Minnesota is fortunate to have such a varied and wonderful landscape.
On the way home we stopped in Two Harbors. This is a beautiful little harbor town with Lake Superior providing lots of heritage. We walked around in the local park where there are two steam engines on display. The large engine, made in 1943, looks to be driven by 16 driver wheels! Imagine the tons of iron ore this machine hauled in its lifetime. There was also a smaller engine that appears to be from an earlier time.