Popular Hwy 61 Wayside Serves as Memorial For Influential Figure

By KBJR News 1

October 14, 2011 Updated Oct 14, 2011 at 6:15 PM CDT

Waysides along nationally recognized All-American Scenic Highway 61 give people the opportunity to stretch their legs and enjoy the natural beauty along Lake Superior.

One favorite stop an hour north of Duluth has enhanced accessibility and safety in honor of a man who's love of the shore made these changes happen.

It used to be quite difficult to access the shores of Lake Superior at the Split Rock River in the past with crossing Highway 61 being an obstacle obstructing eager site seers.

"There was a need for safety improvements at this site. There was a lot of potential accidents that could be occurring so when wanted to go ahead and find some money and reconstruct the site and make it safer" said Brian Anderson of the Minnesota Department of Transportation on the windy shore of Lake Superior.

The North Shore Scenic Drive Counsel recognized this problem, and with four years of planning and a year of construction, they're cutting the ribbon and celebrating the vision of one man, Larry Moon, the founding chair of the Scenic drive counsel.

His love of this Highway and the shore called for the wayside to be a memorial for him after his death.

His family was present for the ceremony; reflecting on his impact on the North Shore.

His son Charlie Moon spoke fondly of his love of this place.

"Words can hardly describe how our family feels. This is a wonderful area and I hope people will appreciate this area for a long time"

People will appreciate the changes to the wayside with enhanced trail head access, safety improvements and an underpass leading straight out to the lake, making it possible to enjoy the shoreline without crossing traffic and leaping guardrails.

All changes that would have put a smile on Larry Moon's face. It was all smiles for the Moon family on a brisk, fall morning to see their father, grandfather and husbands vision come to fruition.

"Very Proud of our father's work up hear and that of everybody that has been involved in this project"

A grant from the federal National Scenic Byway grant with matching funds from the Minnesota Department of Transportation funded the construction for this wayside project.

Written for the web by: Zach Vavricka