Superior is the other side of the channel from Duluth, as well as the city at the top of the Minnesota and Wisconsin border.  Up from Duluth on Hwy 2, we crossed a bridge that soared high above the back channels of the Duluth Harbor, and then landing us back down onto Harbor View Road.  We were looking for a restaurant called “The Anchor Bar.” The roads were all torn up and our GPS was sketchy.

I have to be honest, the outside was not what you would consider a 5 star dining experience. There were multiple types of siding on the wall, and we parked in weeds growing up through a gravel parking lot.  A plain sign on the front of the building identified it as the correct place.It was dark inside. Lining the walls was paraphernalia from boating and fishing. As we had been on the road for a few hours, B and I needed to use the bathrooms. I didn’t see the interior of the women’s, but the men’s was the size of two airline lavatories, squeezed together.  

We located the person we had come to see in the hall outside of the bathroom. It was my wife’s childhood neighbor and friend (CF). She and her husband are dairy farmers in Ashland Wisconsin, which is a distance from where we live. Whenever B would document our vacation trip along the north shore, CF would see it and contact us to encourage us to meet her in Duluth/Superior. This last time we set up a time to meet as we passed through Duluth. She was as good as her word. She drove the one and a half hours to do lunch with us.

We decided to meet out on the deck. It would be lighter and not so noisy.  The food there was wonderfully inexpensive and B pronounced the hamburgers there, some of the best she has ever tasted. Our bill for two people was $9. Pretty amazing.

B, a retired senior management  and CF, a dairy farmer, spoke of different career paths. But, when they got to reminiscing about the fates of the people they knew, differences melted away.  They were who they had always been, good neighbors and good friends. It felt affirming to realize that time had changed in some areas, but also their willingness to go out of their way to validate their bond. And we found a local burger joint to boot.