This weeks Let’s Blog Off topic is “The Edge of the World.” We all have places of comfort and familiarity. We also have a vast world that we don’t know and don’t understand.
It can be scary to push the boundaries of our comfort zones, but it’s necessary to grow. Not everyone is interested in growth, but I am. Michael and Claudia Good at Rise365.com are doing an interesting experiment in pushing outward. The I Don’t Care Project aims to have people intentionally put themselves in situations where they normally would care about what others might think and follow through anyway.
When I was younger, I played a bit of Warcraft on the computer and I think it illustrates my point quite well. When you start a new level on Warcraft, there is a map that is almost completely black. You don’t know what’s around you. You don’t know what danger is lurking out there. You don’t know what treasure is out there to be had. You don’t know.
As you continue on, as you expand your horizons, the world become clearer. You define the enemy. You define your assets. You can put together a plan.
The edge of the world that I’m going to push is one that has eluded me for a couple of decades. From the time I was a child, my family often visited Duluth, MN as a sort of getaway. We usually visited for a day or the weekend. We played in Canal Park, watched the ore boats come and go, watched the Aerial Lift Bridge raise and lower. We took a train ride once. All very cool.
We usually took pictures of the lighthouses guarding the canal. Often, we’d continue up the North Shore of Lake Superior to Two Harbors and on to Split Rock Lighthouse. There is a lighthouse I’ve never been to. It’s only a few miles from the lighthouses at the canal, but I’ve never seen it with my own eyes.
The Minnesota Point Lighthouse only operated for a couple of decades in the 1800’s before being decommissioned, but it is of historic importance for a couple of reasons. It was the first lighthouse built in Minnesota. Interesting, but not much more than trivia.
The other reason is why the ruins of this lighthouse still exist. In 1823, H.W. Bayfield of the British Royal Navy was assigned the duty of surveying Lake Superior. He designated a spot on Minnesota Point as “Zero Point” — the spot from which all other reference points come from. The tower designates “Zero Point.” All surveys of Lake Superior from that point forward use the tower of the Minnesota Point Lighthouse as the official starting point.
Because of this, the federal government wouldn’t allow the tower to be torn down completely. In 1975, the ruins were placed on the National Historic Register, protecting them from demolition. If not for the fact that the lighthouse marked that important point, the tower would have been torn down in the 1800’s, like the keeper’s house was.
Reaching the lighthouse requires a 2ish mile walk on a sandy trail each way. That’s a long walk in sand. I’m a little nervous about being able to go all the way.
In less than 2 weeks, I’ll be in Duluth for a wedding. I’ll have about 6 hours to kill before the ceremony. I’m going to move the edge of my world out just a little bit and finally cross this place off my list.