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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Gile Flowage Sunrise

Gile Flowage Sunrise

On Monday we were up early to catch the sunrise at Gile flowage outside of Hurley, Wisconsin. This is a great place to photograph the sunrise because county highway D runs through the flowage allowing you to photograph the sun rising over the flowage (right) as well as the front lit trees (left).

Ring-billed Gull

After photographing the flowage we headed toward Ashland, Wisconsin on highway 2. The trees along the route will likely be close to peak next weekend. We photographed this Ring-billed Gull on the dock at Bayview Park in Ashland. It allowed us to walk right up to it and didn’t make any attempt to get away.

We continued to Superior on highway 2. Again the leaves likely will be near peak next weekend. The trees closer to the lake will likely peak a week later.

Tettegouche Camp Dock

Once in Minnesota we headed north on highway 61 with our first stop Tettegouche State Park. After consulting the ranger we decided to drive inland and hike to Tetegouche Camp. This is a shot across Mic Mac Lake from the camp boat dock.

After our hike we continued north along highway 61 to Grand Marais. The trees from Duluth north were not very colorful. They are mainly birch and the birch are dying, they are also being stressed by the drought along the North Shore. The strong winds of last week didn’t help matters. The water levels in the streams are very low. Unfortunately I didn’t take my camera when we walked over to Gooseberry Falls. Given the fact that the parking lot was full I figured you wouldn’t be able to get a photo of the falls without people. I forgot that older folks don’t climb around the falls and the kids were in school.

Grand Marais Harbor Sunset

After a great dinner at My Sister’s we headed out to the harbor for some sunset photography. We just made it as the sun was setting. We walked out onto the breakwater where I took this shot, about a half hour after sunset, of the lighthouses with the Sawtooth Mountains in the background.

Grand Marais Harbor Sunrise

In the morning we were back at the harbor for some sunrise photography. I didn’t have a chance to scout out Artists Point for morning shots so I decided to shoot from the parking lot. This is the sun rising over the east side of the parking lot.

Juvenile Herring Gull

We had just finished shooting and I had already put my gear away when my wife asked me if I had ever seen a gull in a tree? I said no why was she asking? Well there is one in the Mountain Ash tree. I got my camera back out and took a shot of this Juvenile Herring Gull eating the berries on the Mountain Ash.

We then drove down to Oberg Mountain. This is a popular hiking destination in the fall because of the great views of the interior colors. We weren’t disappointed. The colors were some of the best we have seen. There were quite a few leaves already down but those that remained were worth the hike. We were a little surprised at the large number of people on the mountain. Normally we would expect to see these numbers on a weekend not during the week. This is a panorama shot from one of the viewpoints looking north into the interior.

Oberg Mountain

Heartbreak Hill

We took a couple of drives inland to view the great maple colors. This was taken at the top of heartbreak hill on the maple leaf drive outside of Tofte.  It got its name from the early logging days when loggers found their hearts were broken when their team could not make it up the hill.

I know it is a bummer but we expect 40 mph winds later in the week. I’m not sure what this will due to the leaves.

We then headed home. It would have been nice to stop at Betty’s Pies but the place was packed both times we passed it.

Last weekend we drove from Menomonie, Wisconsin through Northern Wisconsin to Copper Harbor, Michigan.

Chippewa River

The trip took us through Cornell where I took this photo of the Chippewa River from a small park at the edge of town.

Lac du Flambeau

We then drove up through Phillips, Park Falls, Lac Du Flambeau and on to Hurley. The leaves were spotty through Phillips. The leaf report said they were at peak in Phillips and north of Phillips but I think it will be later this week when they reach peak. This shot was taken outside of Woodruff.

Gile Flowage

They were near their peak around Hurley with some nice shots at the Gile Flowage. In some places the leaves were down from the strong winds.

O Kun de Kun Falls

We then drove from Ironwood to Bruce Crossing the trees were spotty with one hill at peak and the next hill green. We stopped to hike into O-Kun-de-Kun-Falls on  the Baltimore River north of Bruce Crossing. We have driven past this waterfall many times but have never stopped. As it turned out it probably wasn’t the day to stop. It was bright sunshine with the sun directly in back of the falls. In addition, a large group of students from Michigan Tech were camping at the waterfall. Late in the day we drove on Houghton highway 26. The trees were outstanding and at peak.

Sandstone Patterns

On the second day of the trip we drove around the Keweenaw the leaves were ok but will likely peak next weekend. Leaves on the Brockway Mountain drive will probably peak a week later. We typically drive the eastern shore of the Keweenaw on the way up. This photo was taken on a small pullout northeast of Gay. The sandstone rocks in this area are outstanding.

Lac La Belle

When we reached the small town of Lac La Belle we drove over to the public docks where this photo was taken. As you can see it will be at least next weekend before the leaves are at peak.

The drive along highway 41 into Copper Harbor was nice but I think it will be next weekend before the leaves are at their peak. We returned along highway 26 on the west coast. This area doesn’t have many trees that change color.


Returning to Houghton we then headed south on highway 26 where the color was excellent. The only issue was that some of the tops of the trees were bear because of the high winds earlier in the week. On the way up I noted that the trees in the Twin Lakes Campground look promising so we stopped on the way back. I wanted to take the traditional photo looking up through the trees but the space between the trees didn’t work so I took this shot of the sunburst through one of the trees.

The then headed over toward Ontonagon on highway 38 then on to the Porcupine Mountains on 64. It looked like the trees in this area wouldn’t peak for another week. When we reached the park we took south boundary road through the park. There was some good color but the peak will likely be closer to next weekend. We didn’t stop much because we wanted to make it to Copper Peak before the chairlift closed.

Copper Peak View

We made it with a little time to spare. The leaves were good but not as good as last year. The strong winds from last Thursday and Friday took down quite a few leaves. You can see that some of the trees have lost their leaves. The shadow in the photo is the ski jump. The good news from Copper Peak is that the international agency that governs ski flying has examined the jump. They noted the changes that need to be made to bring the jump up to international standards and work is progressing. Hopefully in the next few years they will have ski flying again at Copper Peak.

I know it is a bummer but we expect 40 mph winds later in the week. I’m not sure what this will due to the leaves.