My dad invented traveling "econo", way before they ever made a word out of it. We use to camp out during these diving trips, except for the last night when we'd stay in a motel to take a shower and get cleaned up before heading back. So there were really few comforts of home. My mother would have never stood for that, nor would he have done that to her. He did take her up there once or twice when we were really little (more on that later), but that stopped after a while (I think she hated it actually). But things were different with us boys-he had things to show us.
Now many of the wrecks we visited were best accessed from private property and my dad maintained contacts with the property owners over the years. Sometimes, (I'm thinking of one very photogenic wreck in particular) we camped right on the grassy shore just yards from the wreck itself (I'm going to do a whole blog post on that one when we get there). But mostly there was a lot of roughing it. I remember spending one night camped at a turnout on Highway 61. A big truck pulled over there too at midnight and idled all night until dawn.
We always set out in the morning from Madison, driving all day, stopping only for a Big Mac for lunch (my dad's favorite road food) but then not again until we hit the other side of Duluth. We always took I-90/94 to Eau Claire and then US 53 to Duluth to catch US 61. We'd always camp just on the other side of Duluth at a small commercial campsite.
Duluth is a very aesthetically pleasing city and well worth a visit. The city is built along a hillside and descends down to the harbor. It has lots of old Victorian homes and many old fashioned elm-lined streets (the perma-cold keeps Dutch elm disease in check and many of the elms are original). I'm sorry that I don't have any photographs of the city, except those in my mind. We were usually in a hurry to get on through and on with the trip. If I were to ever go back, I could see spending a little more time in that fair city.