06.19.13 Duluth, MN – North Shore Scenic Railroad and Dr. William Schnell

We left Kabetogama around 8 am on Monday headed to Duluth, which is 144 miles away, for a doctor’s appointment.  We decided to mix some sightseeing in with the doctor’s visit and are really glad we did!

Roy’s appointment with Dr. Schnell was for 3 pm at Northland Medical Center in downtown Duluth. The North Shore Scenic Railroad and the Lake Superior Railroad Museum are near the doctor’s office so we went there first and enjoyed the 1-1/2 hour train ride through downtown Duluth and along the shores of Lake Superior up the shore to the Lester River. The railroad and museum operate with a strong group of volunteers and a fleet of historic museum equipment. It has grown into an educational and historically significant operation.  This is the museum’s tenth season operating the NSSR.

There is a beautiful walking path that begins in Duluth and goes for many miles along the lake’s shoreline.  There are little parks along the path for walkers, joggers, and bikers to rest.  I’ve read that the path goes on for over 200 miles but we only saw a small portion of it in Duluth.  One of the volunteers wore a real train conductors uniform which of course I had to photograph.

After the train ride we checked out the Railroad Museum but didn’t have enough time to go through it so I took a few pictures from outside the fence.  I’d recommend going to the museum if you go there with or without kids cause it looked fascinating from what we could see.

We left the train station and headed to the doctor’s office.  One thing I’ve found in Minnesota is that every one is so helpful and most even walk with you to where you need to go so you don’t get lost.  Maybe we have that old people I’ll get lost look, I don’t know!

We made our way to the orthopedic check in counter at Northland Medical Center and came across our first episode of people being confused because our Drivers Licenses now say South Dakota, our Insurance is from Louisiana and we’re living in Minnesota.  The check in lady figured it out and we didn’t even have to fill out the many sheets of information you usually do as a new patient.  Those forms always bother me because they ask everything about you and then the nurse, assistant or doctor ask the same questions during the visit and I wonder why don’t they read what I wrote.  Are they aware that brain has holes and they’re testing me???  Anyway, none of that at this doctor’s office.  They even have a patient’s portal where we can login on line to see Roy’s medical records and communicate with the doctor through it.  Very, very cool!

We got to the waiting room at 3:00 and were in to see the examination room at 3:02.  The nurse did her thing, they took Roy to have his knee x-rayed, and the doctor came in shortly thereafter. I don’t remember having a doctor come in wearing a suit before but Dr. William Schnell did.  He looked just like a TV doctor would, handsome, tanned and extremely nice. Roy gave him his medical history concerning his knee and the recent pain he’s having since he stands up so much at work now.  Roy was previously told he needs a knee replacement but until now it hasn’t given him the pain he’s experiencing.  The doctor agreed with that but since he can’t have surgery right now he gave him a cortisone shot which should help the pain for the remainder of the time he’s here.  He even let me take a picture of him examining Roy’s knee.  After the shot, while we were leaving, he told us about a hole in the wall store outside of Orr, MN on Highway 53 called Cold Springs where they make delicious pastries.  We’re going to make a day trip to Orr on one of our days off and we know for sure we’ll stop at Cold Springs.  In total we were at the doctor’s office 45 minutes and that included the x ray and cortisone shot.  On our way out Dr. Schnell showed us Roy’s x-ray.  Roy’s top and bottom bones on the inside of his right knee are rubbing on each other.  The other knee and the other side of the right knee are fine, thank goodness!  Roy liked this doctor so much he’s thinking about having the knee replacement done by him but we don’t know how we’d work out the logistics of him being laid up here.  Time will tell!

doctors office lake superior
View of Lake Superior from the Doctor’s Office
doctor schnell and roy
Dr. William Schnell examining Roy’s knee

Roy really gave the knee a work out the next day at the aquarium and hospital visit with Annie so he was very thankful to have had the shot the day before.  The pictures below are of the train, the scenery we saw along the ride and of the museum.

We made a stop at our much loved Sam’s Club while in Duluth and stocked up on some goodies.  Roy treated me to a dining night out by ordering a whole pepperoni pizza at Sam’s which we enjoyed there in the store!  Don’t expect to hear much about us going out to nice restaurants on our travels, we just don’t do it.  Sam’s Pizza was great and we enjoyed the mini cinnamon rolls on the way to the hotel for dessert!

Tomorrow I’ll write about the Great Lakes Aquarium and the following day about the Vista Fleet cruise.  I don’t seem to be very good at putting the pictures into the correct order so I’ve added captions below each to help them make sense!  I plan to take pictures of the houses in each city we visit so we’re not only capturing the sightseeing aspect but the real people living part.

Every time I take pictures I think of Amber DeJean and how I wish I had one of her cameras and the capabilities she has of taking magical pictures.  My pictures are all taken with my little ATT go phone or Verizon Android so that’s the best I can get!

train mini scenery
Big miniature railroad and city scene in the train depot
train minnesota sign
The sign outside of the Immigrant Waiting Room where immigrants from Canada or elsewhere would wait to get into America
train inside
Inside one of the old cars on the train
train conductor
Our Train Conductor
train from outside
Outside of the train we were on – this family in the picture helped us find the train (another one of those helpful Minnesotans!)
inside train car
One of the cars had two levels for passengers
immigrant waiting room
The entrance to the Immigrant Waiting Room
immigrant dressing
Some of the clothes immigrants wore long ago
train museum 1
Two of the trains on display in the museum
train museum entrance
Roy at the entrance to the museum
train old station
Part of the old original train depot
train out the back
Looking out the back of the train as we went down the tracks – this was my favorite view
train rosalyn 1
Lil ole me enjoying the train ride – yes I have my coat on! – it was about 50 degrees outside and windy
train station lobby
The train depot

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

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