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Category Archives: Lake Superior

After driving down to Cascade River State Park we drove back to Grand Marais and then out to the harbor to take a few more photographs. There were some nice waves hitting the breakwater. A few years ago the area just outside the breakwater was not covered with water. Folks were out building structures with rocks. The high water on Lake Superior has dramatically changed the landscape.

 

 

While we were in Grand Marais the wind was blowing and the waves were pounding the beach. I took a few shots of Artists Point.

There was some great light and clouds over the harbor.

We drove around to the south side of the harbor to get a few photos of the waves pounding the rocks along the shore. Several other photographers had the same idea.

 

After visiting Amnicon Falls State Park we drove through Duluth on our way up to Grand Marais on the Minnesota North Shore. Our first stop was Gooseberry Falls State Park. It is the most visited park in Minnesota. There had been a lot of rain during the previous week and the water was high in the Gooseberry River. I have been dealing with an Achilles problem so we limited our hiking.

Our first stop was upper falls.

This shot of middle falls shows the amount of water flowing in the river.

This is a classic show of the trees lining the river when the water levels are high.

A bench overlooking the beach area where the river flows into Lake Superior.

Normally not a shot I take at Gooseberry but I though it made a nice composition given the light and the colors on the trees.

It was mid afternoon when we finished doing some shopping. As we were driving down toward the harbor in Duluth we noticed that a ship had just gone under the Aerial Lift Bridge. It was the Kaye E. Barker which we had seen over in Frasier Shipyards earlier in the day. It was the first ship to leave Duluth for the season. Since it didn’t have any cargo I was wondering where it was going. I checked Marine Tracker and saw that it was headed for Two Harbors to pick up a load of taconite.  I also noticed that it was being escorted to Two Harbors by the Mackinaw. It was a beautiful day so we decided to drive up to Two Harbors and catch the action.

On the way up we took photos of the two ships.

The Mackinaw arrived first and promptly sailed into the harbor to start breaking ice.

I’m always amazed at the number of people who come down to the harbor to watch the ships come in.

When the Mackinaw was finished breaking ice it sailed out into Lake Superior to break a trail to the Soo Locks. The next day the ice shifted and a couple of ships were caught in the ice. The Alder had to sail up from Duluth to free them. The Kaye E. Barker had been waiting out in the lake. When the Mackinaw finished it slowly sailed into the harbor and worked its way into the docks. There was a tug in the harbor but it made it without any assistance.

 

 

 

After watching the start of the second stage of the CopperDog 150 at Eagle Harbor we drove highway 26 to Copper Harbor and then up to the end of highway 41. Highway 26 is a nice drive along the shore of Lake Superior. This is a shot of the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse.

We pulled off and took photographs at several places along the road. There were a number of folks out on the ice taking selfies. The second shot is a panorama looking out onto Lake Superior.

We drove out to the end of highway 41 and took some shots of the Copper Harbor Lighthouse. It was a little disappointing because there was not a lot of ice formations this year. Usually we stop at Fort Wilkins but there was not as much snow as we have seen in the past.

While we were watching the American Spirit leave I started talking with a fellow boat nerd. He mentioned that the Cason J. Callaway would be coming into dock at the or docks. It had been an overcast afternoon and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to stick around. I checked the Marine Traffic Report and noticed that the Callaway was underway. I also noticed that the sun was just about to break out of the clouds providing some late afternoon sun on the boat and the Wisconsin Point Lighthouse with dark clouds in the background. Apparently quite a few other boat nerds saw the same thing because about a dozen of them turned up to watch the Callaway come in. The shipping season was ending this week so the boat nerds will have to find something else to photograph. More photos from Wisconsin Point can be found on my website.

After hiking from Miners Beach to Mosquito Beach  and back we decided to drive into town and see if we could get tickets to the sunset tour of Pictured Rocks. This is the best time to view the Pictured Rocks coastline because the late afternoon sun brigs out the vibrant colors on the rocks. We had a couple of choices. A ride in a smaller boat that went out as far as Chapel Beach or a ride in a larger boat that went out to Spray Falls. We took the latter. It was a great trip on a beautiful day. The fall colors along the shore were not yet at their peak but strong winds had bringing down the leaves. Two days before our trip there had been a storm come through causing 18 foot waves along the coast.

The first stop is the East Channel Lighthouse on Grand Island.

Bridal Falls is the first thing you see on the tour along Pictured Rocks. Normally this time of year it would not be flowing but heavy rains had most of the streams running with lots of water.

Miners Castle. This is where we took some great sunset photos the evening before the boat tour.

The colored rocks are what the Lakeshore is named after.

This shows one of the trails down to Mosquito Beach. We spent a wild day out on the rocks in the foreground one day when the waves were really pounding the shoreline.

Indian Head Point with the evening light shining directly onto it.

Chapel Rock consists of a small pillar with a tree growing on top. The tree roots extend over a void to land.

Spray Falls with lots of water flowing. We were starting to loose the direct sunlight at this point.

The ride back was spectacular as sunset approached.

 

 

When we arrived at Mosquito Beach there was not much of a beach remaining but there were some nice rocks.

I love taking picture of water patterns along the beach.

Rocks and other things I find on the beach are also fun to photograph.

On the way into Munising we stopped for a photo along the lake. The sun was on the trees and the color was great.

We grabbed a bite to eat then headed out to Miners Beach. I had expected to find quite a few photographers but didn’t see a one. In fact during our whole visit to the Munising area we only saw a couple of photographers. Normally in the fall we have trouble getting photos because there are so many photographers around.

Several years ago the lake was lower and I could walk on the beach over to Elliot Falls but that is no longer the case.

The sun was starting to set so we decided to drive over to Miners Castle to photograph the sunset.

It was about lunch time when we left Judge C. R. Magney State Park so we decided to drive over to Naniboujou Club Lodge and see if they were serving lunch. They weren’t but they were just about to start so we wandered around taking photos of the place. It was built in the 1920’s as an ultra exclusive private club with  Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey and Ring Lardner among its charter members. A membership of 1000 was originally sought, but when the stock market crashed on “Black Tuesday” precipitating  the 1929 depression, the club began to fail. In the mid 1930’s the club reached a state of financial shambles. The mortgage was foreclosed, and it was sold. It is an amazing place and we vowed to come back and stay on our next trip to the area.