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This past weekend we took a road trip to the Minnesota’s North Shore. We didn’t know what to expect because a major storm had moved through the Northern Wisconsin earlier in the week. Duluth was supposed to receive a major blizzard but it turned out the storm track moved south at the last minute and on the farm we received over 15 inches of heavy wet snow. As we neared Superior we found they had not received any snow. In fact most of the snow was gone from the ground.

Amnicon Falls

Our first two stops were in Wisconsin. Anytime we head for the North Shore we always stop at Amnicon Falls State Park. This was my first visit to the park when the snow and ice were starting to melt so I was able to capture some photos that were not already in my portfolio.

Wisconsin Point Lighthouse

The second stop is usually Wisconsin Point Lighthouse. There was some ice in the harbor entrance and the ice along the shore was piled so high that it was difficult to see the Lighthouse. The recent storm had pushed the ice onto shore.

Two Harbors Lighthouse

That evening we stopped at Two Harbors for a fine dining experience at the Black Woods Bar and Grill. I had hoped to get some nice sunset and sunrise photos but conditions were not all that good. I managed a few photos of the lighthouse and some of the ice hanging on the railings on the breakwater.

Gooseberry Falls

Icy Steps Gooseberry Falls

The next morning we drove up to Gooseberry Falls State Park. I really didn’t expect to find much water running since it had been cold but there was enough running to start the spring breakup of the ice. Again I had never been at Gooseberry when the ice was starting to break up so it offered a different photographic experience. As you can see from the photo on the left the walking conditions are not the best this time of year. We wore traction devices on our boots.

Ice Formation Tettegouche State Park

After Gooseberry we headed on up to Tettegouche State Park. We basically stopped at this park to use the facilities but things quickly changed when we discovered that the storm that passed through earlier in the week created some surreal ice sculptures. I described this stop in the previous post.

Ice Patterns

After spending most of the day at Tettegouche we headed up to Grand Marais to rest up after a difficult day of bushwhacking around Tettegouche looking at the ice formations. We did take a little time to take some photos around the harbor. The day had been warm so what would have been interesting ice patterns among the rocks was just water trapped among the rocks. I concluded that it would be much more interesting after a cold night. We headed off to a great dinner at My Sisters Place and then called it a day.

Ice Patterns

On Sunday morning we again went out to the harbor for some photography and to look at the ice formations. As I anticipated they were much more interesting after the water trapped in the rocks had a chance to freeze.

White-tailed Deer

This is defensive driving  season on the North Shore. On the drive from Two Harbors to Grand Marais we saw well over 100 white-tailed deer along the road. We had to stop 5 times to let them cross the road. The highway is along a south facing slope which is the first area to see snow melt and uncovered grass. The deer seem to gravitate to the area in the early spring. Of course we saw a large number of dead deer along the road. This also attracted crows and bald eagles. We saw at least 15 eagles along the road.

We then headed home with a stop at Betty’s Pies, just outside Two Harbors, for lunch.

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