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Monthly Archives: November 2016

As I mentioned in earlier blogs the fall leaves were not that great this year in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Everyone blamed it on the wet weather we had. Our only fall excursion in Minnesota was a short trip up the North Shore to Oberg Mountain. If you can catch the leaves just right it can be a spectacular location for photography. This was taken on an earlier visit.

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This year the leaves didn’t have much color and heavy winds had taken down many of the leaves. There were a few patches of color and some nice color in the sheltered areas on the loop trail.

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I watched the Great Lakes Trader sail into Duluth Harbor. This is an unusual type of ship for Duluth because the Great Lakes Trader is a barge and is pushed by  the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort.

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The Pilica had been setting outside the Duluth Harbor for a few days waiting to load grain. Apparently if they enter the harbor they have to pay a fee for each day it is in the harbor so ships anchor out in the lake until their dock is open. I hadn’t realized the Pilica was entering the harbor until I saw the pilot boat returning. It had gone out to deliver the pilot to the Pilica.

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The Pilica was met by a couple of Great Lakes Tugs that will help it navigate to the docks.

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I was out on the South Breakwater Light to greet the Federal Rhine as it sailed in to Duluth, Minnesota.

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The ship was not carrying any cargo as rode so high in the water that the propeller was almost out of the water.federal-rhine-duluth-minnesota-16-8-1997

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As it sailed into the harbor it was met by two Great Lakes Tug boats that assisted it into the docks.federal-rhine-duluth-minnesota-16-8-2024

I happened to be down at the Duluth, Minnesota harbor when the Johanna C was moving from the fueling depot over to the grain docks. It was being assisted by two Great Lakes Towing tug boats. International boats require assistance in moving around the harbor.

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This past July Northern Wisconsin was hit by a sever storm bringing torrential rains. Many roads were closed and some roads are still closed. One of the places we always stop on our fall trips to the Ironwood area is Saxon Harbor. We weren’t sure that we would be able to drive to Saxon harbor because of the devastation but it turned out the road was passable. This photo was taken several years ago in the fall. The boats and docks were out of the harbor at that time.

Saxon-Harbor-15-10-_1142There was a temporary bridge allowing us to drive down to the lake. This is what the small stream looks like after the flood. One person was killed and millions of dollars of damage was down to the idyllic little harbor.

saxon-harbor-16-10-2383This is what the harbor looks like today.

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On our way through Ironwood we decided to stop at Interstate Falls. Things have changed since our last visit. In the past you had to drive down a muddy road and there was only room to park a couple of cars. Now there is signage and a large parking lot. It was still raining when we started our hike and conditions were ideal for waterfall photography. We were not disappointed when we reached Interstate Falls.

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On the way back toward Ironwood we decided to see if we could find Sunday Lake Falls. This is one I had never heard of but it was listed in Phil Stagg’s book Waterfalls of Michigan. Turns out it was also on Planter Creek and just across Highway 28 from Root Beer Falls. There is no parking lot so we pulled off of the road next to Planter Creek. There is also no trail so we just worked our way along the creek. I didn’t really expect much because the book showed that it wasn’t much of a waterfall just a rapids. As it turned out this was one of the more photogenic falls we photographed during our fall trips. It had started raining as we walked into the falls, providing some ideal conditions for photographing waterfalls.

The water comes comes out of an old mine shaft that was blasted into the hills and apparently drains Sunday Lake in Wakefield.

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What really made the visit was the fall leaves and rocks that provide an unlimited number of intimate photographs of the creek.

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The next morning it looked like rain. We checked and it was east of Ironwood so we decided to drive back over to Wakefield and try and find a couple of more waterfalls. Our first stop was Powderhorn Falls. This was another falls I had tried to find on an earlier trip but didn’t find it. This time we drove out to the Powderhorn Ski Area. Just before crossing Powder Mill Creek as you enter the Powderhorn Ski Area parking lot we parked at a small parking lot on the right. We walked along the river on a wide trail that appeared to be a snowmobile trail. Fortunately we had on our Muck Boots because the trail was very muddy. It was well worth the trip. There is also another trail on the other side of the river but we didn’t have time to take it on this trip. Glad to have bagged another waterfall.

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I converted a couple of the photos to black and white.powderhorn-falls-16-10-2127

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After leaving the Presque Isle River we decided to see if we could find Root Beer Falls. I had tried to find it on an earlier trip but didn’t have good directions. We looked it up in Phil Stagg’s new book Waterfalls of Michigan and found it was not too far off of the main road. I had been looking for it in the wrong location. Turns out it is just east of Wakefield off of highway 28 just past the turn to Porcupine Wilderness State Park and the Presque Isle River.  We turned off on a dirt road and intermediately started looking for a wide place in the road to park. We couldn’t see the falls so we drove a little ways and turned around. Just as we were leaving I spotted it back in the woods. It was well worth the search because it is a beautiful little waterfall. It always feels good to bag another waterfall.

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