Day 14 Saturday, September 6 – Tofte, Minnesota to Hibbing Minnesota – Today 178 miles – total miles 3365
I was born in Hibbing, Minnesota. Hibbing is in the heart of the Minnesota iron range and is also where Bob Dylan grew up. Friday we left the shore of Lake Superior and drove to Hibbing. On the way we stopped and saw what turned out to be a highlight of the trip.
We stopped at the Soudan Underground mine and took the tour down into the old iron mine that U.S. Steel closed in 1963 and gave to the state of Minnesota, First you put on hard hats and go down in the rickety old cage that the miners used. It goes down at a speed of 10 miles per hour and it goes down into the earth half a mile! When we got out of the elevator cage we were on the last level that was actively mined, the the 27th level below ground, From the vertical shaft we got into a little ore train and rode out three quarters of a mile to the area where they were mining. It was pretty cool to be so deep underground.
In Hibbing we saw the first house I lived in and visited the Hull Rust Mahoning Mine View where we saw one of the biggest open pit mines in the world. My Dad's first job was as a an engineer for Oliver Iron Mining Company. Dad told me that he used to go down into the Hull Rust mining pit to collect samples when it was 40 degrees below zero.
Day 15 Sunday, September 7 - Hibbing Minnesota to Eau Claire, Wisconsin- Today 229 miles – total miles 3594
From Hibbing we drove to Duluth and into Wisconsin. We spent the night in Eau Claire with my Aunt Dorothy. It was fun to see her and catch up on what is going on in the family. We went out to dinner and did laundry.
On the drive to Eau Claire we stopped in Duluth and toured the S.S. William A. Irvin an iron ore ship . It was very interesting to see the ship that used to be the U.S. Steel flag ship. Now it is owned by the city of Duluth. Coincidentally they are using the hold where they used to put the cargo to set up a haunted house that will be open for Halloween.
Day 16 Monday, September 8 - Eau Claire, Wisconsin to Manchester, Iowa – Today 256 miles – total miles 3850
From Eau Claire we headed south and a little west to Manchester, Iowa. where Duke grew up. On the way we stopped at Effigy Mounds National Monument and saw some of the Indian burial mounds that are shaped like animals.
Day 17 Tuesday, September 9 – Manchester, Iowa – Today 0 miles – total miles 3850
It was nice to stay in one place today. We visited with Duke's brother and his wife and with Duke's Dad. We also went out to the house where Duke grew up and mowed some of the yard and pastures. Duke cut down a tree in the fornt yard and hauled it out to the far corner of the property.