Skip to main content

Great Lakes Road Trip Day 8 Part 1; Eveleth, Virginia, and Voyageurs National Park

I started the day out with the long journey up to Voyageurs National Park via US 53.  US 53 north of Duluth is a high quality expressway all the way to Cook.  I drove through the downtown areas of Eveleth and Virginia on what I assumed was likely the original alignments of US 53.  Both cities are part of what is known as the Iron Ranges which have historically had huge ties to the steel industry.

Eveleth was founded in 1894 about one mile southwest of where downtown is now located.  The town was moved in 1900 due to a new mine opening on the original town site.  I'm fairly certain US 53 originally ran through downtown on Grant Avenue.  There seems to be some abandoned road grades south of Eveleth near the mines which seems to indicate my theory may be correct.








There seems to be a major relocation project of MN 135 between Eveleth and Virginia that was causing some issues on US 53.  My understanding is that the current alignment of MN 135 is going to be mined hence why the new alignment is being built.





I do know for certain that US 53 ran on 2nd Avenue in downtown Virginia and used Chestnut Street in addition 6th Avenue around Bailey Lake.  When US 169 was truncated in 1934 it met US 53 on 9th Street.  Both US 169 and US 53 apparently exited Virginia northbound on 9th Avenue but I'll touch on that more below.













US 169 meets US 53 at the expressway but for some reason within Eveleth there is still signage showing the junction at 9th Street.





From 1930 to 1934 US 169 ran to International Falls while US 53 ended in La Cross Wisconsin.  When US 53 was extended to International Falls in 1934 it led to the truncation of US 169 to Virginia.  Interestingly MN 169 was created as a state route extension of US 169 to at least MN 1 and have been possibly planned to be extended to US 61 at Lake Superior.  Both USends.com and North Star Highways provide much more insight on the topic than I can.

USends on the terminus points of US 169

North Star Highways on MN 169; Reply #6

As USends describes there is more evidence than not that support US 169 being multiplexed for a time on US 53 to MN 169 before the alignment was shifted.  There was also a time MN 169 was multiplexed on US 53 to reach US 169 but it doesn't appear to be signed as such these days.




In Cook US 53 drops to a two-lane road but is actually pretty wide with huge shoulders.  I noticed that most US Routes and State Highways in Minnesota tend to have wide shoulders, I suspect they are people to pull over in the snow.




I pulled off of US 53 at the Ash River Trail which is signed as County Route 129.  I used Ash River Trail to take Mead Wood Road to reach Voyageurs National Park.







Voyageurs National Park is the 46th National Park I've visited, the only one I haven't in the Continental United States is now Acadia in Maine.  Voyageurs consists most of the lake lands surrounding the Canadian border in north Minnesota.  I stayed mostly near Kabetogama Lake and did about five miles of trail running.  The trails near Kabetogama a little harsh to run on with the tree roots and granite but it was to be expected in such remote country.












Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Deer Isle Bridge in Maine

As graceful a bridge that I ever set my eyes upon, the Deer Isle Bridge (officially known as the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge) surprisingly caught my eye as I was driving around coastal Maine one Saturday afternoon. About 35 miles south of Bangor, Maine , the Deer Isle Bridge connects the Blue Hill Peninsula of Downeast Maine with Little Deer Isle over the Eggemoggin Reach on ME 15 between the towns of Sedgwick and Deer Isle . It should be noted that Little Deer Isle is connected to Deer Isle by way of a boulder lined causeway, and there is a storied regatta that takes place on the Eggemoggin Reach each summer. But the Deer Isle Bridge holds many stories, not just for the vacationers who spend part of their summer on Deer Isle or in nearby Stonington , but for the residents throughout the years and the folks who have had a hand bringing this vital link to life.   The Deer Isle Bridge was designed by David Steinman and built by the Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville,

Former US Route 99 through Athlone and the last Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor expressway

Athlone was a siding of the Southern Pacific Railroad located in Merced County on the alignment of what was US Route 99 between the cities of Chowchilla and Merced.  The Athlone corridor of US Route 99 was one of the first in San Joaquin Valley to fully upgraded to four lane expressway standards.  The Athlone expressway corridor was inherited by California State Route 99 when US Route 99 was truncated to Ashland, Oregon during June 1965.  The four-lane expressway through Athlone was the last segment of what had been US Route 99 in the Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor to be bypassed by a freeway.  The Athlone expressway corridor was bypassed by the modern California State Route 99 freeway in 2016.  Despite being put on a road diet and narrowed what was the Athlone expressway corridor still displays evidence of being part of US Route 99.   Above the blog cover photo displays the Athlone expressway corridor of US Route 99 south of Merced as depicted in the July 1939 California Highways &

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley