Sledding pastor

While many of us may have been thinking of heading south this winter, the pastor of a church in Twig headed north — on his snowmobile.

Pastor Brad Shannon of New Life Covenant Church completed his nearly 2,000-mile ride from Twig to Churchill, Manitoba, at 6 p.m. on Thursday as planned, his wife, Brooke Shannon, said in a message via Facebook.

He had to backtrack a couple of times because of inaccessible routes, and he experienced cold weather, wind and snow and suffered minor frostbite, she wrote, “but all is well.”

Brooke Shannon and the couple’s three young children arrived in Churchill earlier after making the trip via a Chevrolet Suburban and by train after the road ended.

The journey, titled “New Frontier Expedition,” raised $23,000 toward the church’s drive to build a new home.

The family began their return journey on Saturday evening.

Amazing? We got it

Gothic cathedral in Colombia — yes. A mythical mountain in Tibet — of course. White marble temple of Rajasthan, with more than 1,000 intricately-carved pillars — you betcha. But Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands?


BBC Travel compiled a list of seven incredible places that many people have never heard of, and the Apostle Islands were chosen from more than 160 amazing places from around the world.

The report says the sea caves, formed by Lake Superior waves crashing against the sandstone cliffs, are treasures whether viewed via kayak in the summer or by walking out on the ice of winter. The caves are on Devil’s Island, Sand Island and the lakeshore mainland.

To view the curated sites, go to

Eh? Camera lost, found, returned to owner

Stories like this warm our Eh?-loving hearts.

Terhi Minkkinen, of Copenhagen, Denmark, was visiting Duluth during a recent trip to the U.S. and Canada. At some point while in the city by the big lake, Minkkinen lost her camera.

The person who found it turned it in to the Duluth Police Department. Based on the photos taken in Duluth, police got Minkkinen’s phone number from the bike-rental business she had visited that day, called her and sent the camera to her father-in-law’s house in Ypsilanti, Mich.

Minkkinen says thank you to the Police Department and the person who found her camera.

Know where you’re going on that bike

Bicyclists now have access to an updated edition of Minnesota’s bicycle map, the first update since 2001, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The new map is available in paper and electronic format. The free map provides bicycle accommodations across the state, making it easier for cyclists to plan long-distance trips. Map information includes roadway details, state and regional trails, state historic sites, parks, a city index and safety tips.

The electronic version of the map features more-detailed routes than the paper version. Paper versions of the map are available at the MnDOT Central Office Building in St. Paul.

Come sail away, Duluth to Chicago

Want to sail on a tall ship but missed out on getting a ticket for a day sail during next week’s Tall Ships Duluth festival? Don’t despair, there’s still space to sail from Duluth to Chicago aboard the S.S. Sorlandet.

Participants will spend 12 days aboard the full-rigged ship, boarding in Duluth on July 28 and leaving the ship in Chicago on Aug. 9. From July 29 to Aug. 7, they will sail across Lake Superior, through the Soo Locks and down Lake Michigan to Chicago. Once there, they’ll take part in the parade of sail for Tall Ships Chicago and receive crew passes to the festival. Costs are $1,800 for adults 22 years and older or $1,500 for those ages 12-21, and includes three meals and snacks daily.

For more information or to register, go to and click on “Dates/Fees.”

The S.S. Sorlandet will board in Duluth. (Bjarke Wahlqvist / The Ship Sorlandet)

The 210-foot-long, three-mast Sorlandet was launched in Norway in 1927. Built as a schoolship for the merchant marine, it served as the Norwegian pavilion during the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1933.

What a deal

Here’s a nudge to get you and the kids to some local tourist attractions you’ve been meaning to visit.

Great Lakes Aquarium, North Shore Scenic Railroad and the Vista Fleet have teamed up for a three-for-the-price-of-two deal. Their “Must See Duluth Pass” provides admission to all three attractions at a discount — $33 per adult, $15 per child.

That equals one for free.

You can get these passes at,, any of the three attractions or at participating hotels.

Passes include a general admission to Great Lakes Aquarium, a 1¾-hour narrated Vista Fleet sightseeing cruise and a 90-minute trip on the North Shore Scenic Railroad train.

Reservations are required for the Vista fleet and the North Shore Scenic Railroad. Passes are good through the 2013 season.

National attention

Grand Marais’ Dockside Fish Market was featured in the Travel section of Sunday’s New York Times as one of four restaurants in the U.S. “that celebrate their stamping grounds in ways that go beyond ingredients.”

The article, headlined “A Sense of Place, on the Plate,” noted the business’ ties to Grand Marais’ long — but mostly long-vanished — fishing heritage. Owners Harley and Shele Toftey operate one of the few remaining commercial fishing operations on the North Shore.

“It’s a dying thing,” Shele Toftey told the Times. “It’s a great livelihood, but it’s a hard livelihood.”

The article mentions, among other items, Dockside’s fried herring fillets and fried whitefish. It makes special mention of its herring roe, called Superior Gold Caviar, “that burst with a mild, briny tang.”

We’re No. 1! In this hemisphere!

Q. Where is the second-best adventure travel hub in the world?

A. Duluth, according to Outside magazine’s April Outside Travel Awards issue.

The magazine credits the trails, Spirit Mountain, Lake Superior, and its proximity to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It calls the city a “magnet for aerobic fiends who train year-round” and recommends taking a room at Fitger’s Inn.

Outside’s Best Adventure Hub in the whole world, by the way, is Kununurra, Australia. But no one beats us in the Northern Hemisphere.

Passport Day in the USA — not

“I hopped off the plane at LAX with a dream and my cardigan.” Oh, wait. That’s Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA.” This is something totally different.

Saturday was supposed to be Passport Day in the USA, but it has fallen victim to government sequestration. The day was going to be reserved for those who needed to renew a passport or get one for the first time with no appointments for routine or expedited service.

Passport-related info is available online or by calling (877) 487-2778.

Eh? just hopes Christmas doesn’t get cut next.

Does the DTA travel to San Diego?

The DTA won’t travel round-trip to San Diego. (2011 file / News Tribune)

Currently staying in San Diego, Duluthians Rick and Sheila Olson plan to head back north this month for the birth of their grandson.

Rick likes to keep up with what’s going on in Duluth by visiting (Thanks, Rick!) One day while getting his news fix, Rick saw an ad for the Duluth Transit Authority that suggested her type in his address and desired destination. This is what he got after typing his San Diego address as the pickup spot, a Duluth address as his destination and the desired date and time:

“Sorry, we don’t have transit schedule data for a trip from San Diego to Duluth at the time and date you specified,” the automated response from the DTA said.

So, Rick wanted Eh? to find out when the next DTA bus will be on its way to his place in San Diego so he and the missus are ready. (Plus he expects that senior-citizen discount.)

“The DTA didn’t say they didn’t have a bus going to San Diego,” Rick said. “They just said they didn’t have one on the date and time I requested.”

Sorry, Rick. Something tells us you’ll be waiting a while.