Minnesota or Wisconsin #3: Frozen ships

The Lake Superior freighter American Century parked for winter layup in the Twin Ports.
The Lake Superior freighter American Century parked for winter layup in the Twin Ports.

They call it the Twin Ports because the harbor located on the western end of Lake Superior is shared by two cities: Duluth, Minn. and Superior, Wis.

That makes the highly photogenic place a great location for the Nick Up North “Minnesota or Wisconsin” game.

Each winter around this time extreme cold, thick ice, and closures at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. halt Lake Superior freight traffic.

The enormous iron ore freighters park in harbors across the Great Lakes for something called “winter layup.” Seven ships will ride out the season in the Twin Ports this year.

For the next two or three months, workers attend to these idle giants like doctors with blow torches, wrenches and cranes. They conduct annual maintenance projects and, in some cases, complete large retrofits or overhauls.

Here’s a picture of the 1,000-foot American Century in winter layup. It pulled into port a few days ago in subzero temperatures. The ice still coats its bow like frosting dripping off a birthday cake.

But where is it parked? In Duluth, Minn. or Superior, Wis.?

Make your guess below. You don’t need to be a ship captain to win this one. Correct answers will qualify for a chance to win a two-night stay at the NickMoore Hotel Duluth.

Anchors away!

5 thoughts on “Minnesota or Wisconsin #3: Frozen ships

  1. The correct answer is Minnesota! The American Century is parked for the winter at the end of Rice’s Point. In the background, you can see a sliver of Minnesota Point. Congratulations to Keith and Tom!


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