Holy crap, it's already...
day 50
duluth, minnesota

"I feel like I'm in a meeting with Aubrey." -a.
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Miller Time:
Distance from T.Bay: 306km
Duluth Gas: $1.34/gal
T.Bay Gas: 65c/L (1.75/gal)
$1 US: $1.56 CAN
Shopping Worthwhile: No

Claim to Fame: Target!

Patriotic Clothing Item of the Day
What was brought down from Canada by friends & family:
Jalapeno & Cheddar Chips
Popcorn Twists
Nescafe Rich Blend
Nipigon Nylons
Mittens w/ Finger Flaps
Kev's Car Insurance

The Persian:
If you've been following the Persian debates, well, guess what. They're not over.

We thought that if we were meeting Kev's parents in Duluth, they could provide us with some first hand insight into the Persian crisis. Is it raspberry or strawberry? We told them to go to the source, Mr. Nucci himself, for a signed declaration of its true flavour.

The Answer:
Nucci ain't talkin'. It's a family secret, to be forever hidden from the world, along with the Colonel's list of herbs and spices and how they get the caramel into the Caramilk bar. However, we did get some other information. Did you know...?

The Original Story:
The Persian is named in honor of U.S. General Pershing of the First World War. Fascinating, but does not solve any of our other problems. Perhaps this will.

The Taste Test:
Since no one knows a solid answer, and we've been told on two different occasions by two different Persian Man employees two different answers, we decided to put ourselves to the test. We each took a fingerfull of icing and analyzed it, rolled it around our mouths, isolated distinct flavour particles, and here's what we found:

The icing definitely contains RASPBERRY.

This does not mean that it doesn't contain strawberry, for it may very well be a combination of the two. But we were able to isolate, for lack of a better word, "kernels" of raspberry. That is, round segments, joined together, with a seed inside and a distinct raspberry flavour.

Whether they also contain strawberry is something Mr. Nucci will take to the grave.

If you have further persian information, please
email us.

Previous reports on the persian are located here:
1 2 3 4 5 6

Duluth: Where Thunder Bay Goes For A Wild Weekend
Oct 15 - Ah, Duluth. Our old stomping grounds. We remember you well, your depth, your culture, your lower gas prices, your higher quality Sears. The rest of the world couldn't possibly know what Duluth means to a Thunder Bayan. To America, Duluth is best described as "three hours North of Minneapolis," or occasionally, "up there near Fargo*." However, to Thunder Bay, it's an easily attainable destination (Happy Time Tours or no Happy Time Tours) for a classic Canadian pasttime: Cross Border Shopping.

Let us take you on an adventure, not only of sight and sound, but of taste...

The alarm goes off at 7 am, but you're already wide awake. It's the long weekend! It may be Thanksgiving, or possibly May 24th... any long weekend will do.

You're hyped and ready. You've been saving for this trip for weeks. Months, even, if you're Colin. "Calm down," you tell yourself, "It's only Duluth. It's not like I'm going to Winnipeg."

Your bag is packed for the weekend and you're waiting by your front door at 8 am sharp. Where's Danny? He was supposed to be here to pick you up by now. Every second counts! You start pacing. Finally, you break down at 8:15 and phone his house. His dad answers: "...........Hey-lo."

"Is Danny still there?"
"Em.... He just left."

Twenty minutes later, Danny shows up at your door. And you're off!

A mere three hour drive is nothing to a Canadian, and when those three hours are filled with scenes of beautiful Lake Superior's north shore, the time goes by in a snap. After all, it's not a solid three hours. Oh no, there are plenty of places to stop along the way.

Before a long trip, it's usually a good idea to fill up the tank. Ha! No way! Not until we get to Ryden's, the gas station and gift shop located only 30 seconds from the US border. Everybody piles out of the car and heads into the store for some American Candy. Heath Bars, Charleston Chew, O'Boisies, and a 20% exchange rate to boot. Well, 20% back in the day, anyway.

You consider stopping at Grand Marais to pop into the Ben Franklin's, but it's not worth the time. We'll save Grand Marais for a regular short weekend. But you do stop in Two Harbors at the Dairy Queen. After all, it's probably 11:00 by now, and you're already done your bag of Tato Skins.

After a brief giggle at your favourite roadside establishment, Lou's Fish & Cheese, you find yourself at the familiar residential outskirts of Duluth, quickly approaching the Perkins at the end of the 61. But you're not eating there. Not a chance. There are Perkinses in Canada, so it's not worth your time. No, you're heading directly for the bastion of American culinary artistry: Red Lobster.

While in the Canal Park area, you enjoy an hour or so wandering through the Mish-Mash of Antique Stores on the same block as the Red Lobster, or if you're feeling frisky, you take a short stroll up the street to Grand Slam Adventure World, home of every arcade game known to man, batting cages, laser tag, and Camelot Golf. A really big spender might even take in an Omnimax later.

You all hop back in the car and drive into downtown. It's a little confusing, all those one-way streets, but you manage. You've still got some time, so you find a place to park and everybody wanders into either the Electric Fetus or the Gigantic Labyrinthine Warehouse of Used Books and buys nothing. Back in the car and over to the Best Western for a good night's rest.

Good morning! It's a great day to go to the mall! Miller Hill Mall, that is. And if you're lucky, you might even have time to go to the Best Buy just up the street.

Your whole day is at the mall (or the Best Buy. Or the Best Buy, then the Target, then back to the mall). You pick up the CD you've been wanting to get (that you could have got in Canada) at Sam Goody, play Heart and Soul on the pianos at Schmitt Music, have a hearty guffaw at the naked lady novelty items at Spencer's Gifts, and try out the latest virtual reality skiing game at Aladdin's Castle (if you didn't already at Grand Slam).

Where the buffet you dream about comes to life.
But you don't eat. You don't eat a darn thing all day. You're saving yourself for the be-all end-all of Duluth dining. Welcome to the Old Country Buffet, where everything is battered and fried, and the motto is "Eat 'Til Discomfort."

Your belt loosened, your tummy full and your arms laden with Miller Hill madness, you head back to the hotel, groaning all the way. Careful over the bumps, or else someone might throw up on the upholstry! That's right, nice and slow.

The next morning, you'll probably want to get back on the road fairly early. But, there's always time for one last stop: the Cinnabon. Nothing starts your day better than a big ol' gooey cinnamon bun with white gloppy icing, especially after everything you ate the night before.

After a few last purchases, you bid your farewells to Duluth and jump back on the 61, destined for home. Maybe you've got the time for a stop at Sven and Ole's in Grand Marais on the way for a late lunch, or maybe you'll just want to stock up on more American Junk Food at Ryden's (you'll be stopping at Ryden's for gas anyway). Either way, it sure was a fabulous long weekend.

And remember, you don't have to declare anything that's in your trunk.

We know Fargo isn't anywhere near Duluth, but most Americans have seen the movie, so it's a good reference point.

canal park excitement...

Ultimate Fondue!

Amazing Caves!

Crap from the Antique Store!

Crappier Crap from the Antique Store!
more photos in the archive...

We've got mail...

Hey guys!
I've been behind on looking at your site, but I just looked at the Duluth page. I read it over and over just laughing and laughing. And me always with the numbers, I noticed your conversion from litres to gallons was wrong: 3.78L/gallon
So it's 0.65 * 3.78 = $2.46 and with the exchange rate divide by 1.56 and you get $1.58US, not bad actually, but at times it got up to be over 80c/L, or $1.94US :P
And i've been reading your other pages - So good!
Keep going and keep warm!
- Dan (aka Boffo), Thunder Bay ON

The Persian is strawberry, I am sick of this topic, you must stop this at once. It is Strawberrrrrrrry! Hows it going down there.
- Cliff & Laurel, Thunder Bay ON

The duluth day 50 pretty much sounds like I remember it... only it's worse when Dave's somehow got 'garbage' burps and the driver (me), has the 'shits'.
- Steve Tapanja, Winnipeg MB

Drop us a note!

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Duluth, MN

Next Stop: Mississippi River

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Thank heaven for Toques!

Daily Stats
Temperature:44F (6C)
T.Bay Temp:30F (-1C)

Sleeping Quarters
Hay Lake State Park

Site 10. Kev's parents spent the night at the campground, getting the full experience including a long drive through the bush, wet wood, pit toilets and sub-zero temperatures... Just like their place back home!
They slept in the back of their Jimmy. They may think they're tough, but we heard them turn the car on in the middle of the night.

Cost: $9.00

Ann Lake
All:Homer Cinnamon Donut-O's

Black Woods
Duluth, MN
K's Order:Black Jack Chicken Sandwich, Chili
A's Order:Chicken Pot Pie
D's Order:Steak Sandwich
Caesar Salad
S's Order:Hot Turkey Sandwich, Stuffing
F's Order:Chkn Cordon Bleu
Cost:Dad's Treat!

Hay Lake
Anything:Apples, oranges, a sausage, tortillas, jam, persians, a Coke, Ginger Ale, Butterscotch Schnapps, corn twists...

It has been 5 days since our last shower.
© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. From our family to yours.