Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Day We Sank The Aerial Lift Bridge

I was in Canal Park in Duluth, a touristy area right on the lake. Someone decided the neighborhood needed to move further north up the shore because a big storm was coming.  Canal Park was actually all on floating platforms, and they unhitched everything and began floating it all up the shore piece by piece.  It looked so strange seeing all the buildings out on the lake.

My little brother Derrick and I were watching all this from the lift bridge.  We could see the black storm clouds coming in over the lake, with cloud-to-cloud lightning flashing and the wind whipping our clothes.

We decided to go home and get out of the way of the storm, but found we were too late and all of Canal Park was out on the lake.  There was no way to get back into town.

Then they unhitched the bridge and we drifted out into the lake.  Some of the buildings had been pulled ashore on the east end of town.  There were a few sailors manning the bridge and they put me and Derrick to work to help sail up to the new location.

But then the storm started.  It took only a few minutes of the strong winds and huge waves before the bridge twisted and capsized and started to sink.

Derrick and I swam away from the bridge so we wouldn't get pulled down by all the heavy metal as it sank.  Some of the crew didn't get away fast enough and drowned.  The rest of us tried to stay above water.  Derrick and I grabbed onto a big fish sculpture from a fountain in Canal Park as it floated by.  It was metal but hollow.  The survivors from the crew also managed to grab various Canal Park sculptures, the sailor in the raincoat, the Native girl with the twirling skirt, and we hung on for dear life.

Finally the storm passed over and a boat came out and rescued us, but they blamed us for the bridge sinking and called the deaths murders and put us in chains.  They left us on the deck as night fell, and in the middle of the night someone came and said they knew we were innocent and cut our chains.  We stole a lifeboat and rowed to shore near Fitger's.

Derrick and I headed up the hill.  We knew we'd have to get out of town and figured we might have to steal a car to do so, but Derrick wanted to look around for a cool one to steal.  We settled on an old Porsche, a bit rusty but pretty cool, and we tried to steal it but the owner came out and caught us.

It turned out though that he'd seen our story on the news and thought we were innocent, so he decided to help us.  He turned us into cats and gave us cheese tortelini to eat.

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