Summer 2012 travel blog

Yesterday it rained in the am and we took the day off to relax. Today we took a guided tour of the cirrus factory, located at the international airport in Duluth. They normally give tours on Wednesdays, however added this tour due to demand. The tour guide works in the warehouse area and is not a pilot, the other people on the tour weren't pilots either. They limit groups to 10 people and it lasted about 1 1/2 hours and was comprehensive. Before the tour a plane came in after a test ride, the air national guard is on the airport and 8 jets took off during our time there. The manufacturing process is very interesting, mainly gluing of parts, very few bolts. The Fiberglass parts are mfg in grand forks, this is the assembly plant. We saw the way the parachute is built into the body of the plane, and the tour took us through all stages to final paint and striping. Due to the characteristic of the bonding agent and composites, the factory is temperature and humidity controlled. We saw some Chinese trainees on the floor - the company has been bought by a Chinese firm and now production of their jet will move forward. We saw a jet prototype in the plant. Our tour guide was the 10th person to take a flight in it.

We then drove the skyline parkway that goes along the ancient sea ridge in the hills above the city. It is scenic providing views of lake superior, the busy harbor, forests and rivers. We stopped at enger park and climbed the 531 ft tower that reminded me of the Wenk's tower. It was built to memorialize Bert enger, a Norwegian immigrant who donated land for the park. It was dedicated by the prince and princess of Norway in 1939.

Today was clear and in the 80's - above average for Duluth but really comfortable.

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