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Category Archives: North Shore

When we woke up it was bitterly cold out and Lake Superior was covered in sea fog. This is a phenomenon that occurs when the water is warm and the air is very cold. There have been some spectacular photos of the Duluth Harbor area with walls of sea fog out in the lake. We decided it was too cold out to go cross country skiing so we decided to drive up the North Shore and check out ice conditions. Our first stop was Stoney Point where I captured a few photos of the sea fog out in the Lake.

More photos from Stoney Point can be found on my website.

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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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The drive down to Judge C. R. Magney State Park was beautiful. We stopped at a pullout and took a few photos. There were clouds out over Lake Superior. Lots of Birch Trees which had not budded out yet.

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The view into the interior was entirely different. Clouds in the distance and bright sunshine.

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We stopped to take a photo of some fish houses along the shore.   Minnesota-North-Shore-16-5-_3886

When I was looking for photos to use one the summer slideshow on my website I noticed I didn’t have any summer photos from the Minnesota North Shore. So in early summer we headed off for Gooseberry Falls. When we reached Gooseberry I remembered why I didn’t have any photos from the North Shore. Too many people.

Middle Falls

Middle Falls

In spite of the people I was able to get some nice shots of the falls. One of the reasons was the amount of water coming over the falls. Because of all of the rain this summer there was a lot of water flowing in the river.

Upper Falls

Upper Falls

Typically we drive down to the lake as our first stop. It was a beautiful sunny day and there were no other people around.

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We then drove back to the visitors center where we hiked over to the falls. Normally there would be people climbing all over the falls making it difficult to take photos but because of the high water it wasn’t a problem. There were a couple of places where I had to stand in line to get the iconic shot.

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We hadn’t stopped at Gooseberry Falls for a while so we decided to walk around and check out the frozen Waterfalls. For the most part they were not all that interesting this winter. After looking at the waterfalls we decided to drive down to the beach and check it out. This turned out to be well worth the visit. There was some great ice in the beach area.

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It has definitely been a bummer of a winter so far. We had a nice early snowfall in November but nothing since. Northern Wisconsin and the North Shore of Minnesota haven’t seen much snow either. We have not been able to cross country ski around home or in the Duluth Area because of the lack of snow. I suppose the positive is we have been able to do some hiking along the North Shore and there hasn’t been a mosquito in sight.

High Falls Tettegouche State Park

High Falls Tettegouche State Park

My favorite winter photography subject is the Apostle Islands Ice Caves. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like they will open this year. We stopped at Meyers Beach last week when we were up for the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race. We expected to see some ice but we found open water. A friend said they were close to opening a few weeks ago ice pack was just about frozen solid and the National Park Service was counting down to open them but a strong wind came up and the ice pack broke up and was pushed out into the lake.

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Last week we drove up to Tettegouche State Park to do some hiking. It was a beautiful day but a little warm. Tettegouche had been a frequent stopping point on our northshore trips but we haven’t stopped in several years because a new visitors center has been under construction.

Our goal was to hike to some of the waterfalls. The first stop was High Falls. Since the sun was out in full force it was difficult to get a quality image of the falls but use of a variable neutral density filter helped.High-Falls-Tettegouche-State-Park-14-9-_0377

We then made the hike down to Two Step Falls. As I recall someone mentioned that there were over 300 steps involved in visiting the two waterfalls.Two-Step-Falls-Tettegouche-State-Park-14-9-_0425

On the hike back to the car I stopped to take a photo of the walking bridge across the Baptism River at the top of the high falls.FootbridgeTettegouche-State-Park--14-9-_0471

We then headed back to the visitors center to hike out to Shovel Point. There were several climbing parties out on the Point but it is difficult to get a photograph without hanging over the edge.Tettegouche-State-Park-14-9-_0474

John G. Munson

The first time I tried to shot panoramas was at Oberg Mountain. This was several years ago but I still like to photograph panoramas at the overlooks at the top of Oberg Mountain. These are from this year. The fall color was good but not the best I’ve seen from this location. It’s all about timing.

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A few weeks ago we were at Gooseberry Falls State Park just as the ice out was occurring. Here are a few photos from the visit.

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It’s been a while in coming but last Friday the spring melt started at Gooseberry Falls State Park. Most of the ice was gone from the face of the falls but the river below the falls was still frozen. There was clear evidence of the very low water levels in the river at the end of last year. Over the weekend the weather warmed and the river really started flowing. The next couple of weeks should see the river at its peak for the spring. We walked the circle trail that goes around the middle and lower falls. There was still ice in places so we wore our ice cleats and didn’t have any problems. I would expect that by next weekend the trails will be clear around the falls.

Upper Falls

Upper Falls

Middle Falls

Middle Falls

Middle and Lower Falls

Middle and Lower Falls

Lower Falls

Lower Falls