A Bluff With A View

I continue to feel fortunate for living in such a beautiful area of the country.  Without bluffs all would be flat – or at best a bit hilly.  I haven’t spent very much time in this spot atop Sorin’s Bluff @ Memorial Park this year.  It is a lovely place to take in a sunset or watch a storm roll on by.  It is a favorite location so shoot panoramas.

History

Red Wing’s lime industry started at the base of Barns Bluff where, in 1853 Phineas Fish operated a makeshift kiln. He gathered limestone debris from the bluff and reduced it to lime. More distant Sorin’s Bluff didn’t get into the lime picture for another 25 years. Then it challenged Barn Bluff for supremacy in Minnesota’s lime center.

Quarrying ended around 1910, and activity on Sorin’s quieted until Red Wing civic leaders of the Womens Community Association and Soldiers Memorial Association combined forces and started work on Memorial Park, a scenic Sorin’s Bluff retreat dedicated to soldiers of all wars.

They first raised money to buy 93 acres, then improved the quarry road to the summit. A parkway around the bluff top completed the first phase of the project. Veterans of the First World War made improvements to the park by clearing brush and planting trees. Red Wing dedicated Memorial Park in the fall of 1929, and over the years the city secured more land for the reserve.

– http://www.red-wing.org/memorialpark.html

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Minneapolis, MN – West Bank Waterfront

We were hopeful of a stone arch bridge cityscape sunset, but the clouds did not cooperate.  Our last trip to the area was rainy and there were pretty much zero photo opportunities.  I can live with clouds.  This is a much-photographed urban location.  There is quite a bit here to see and do – including the mill city ruins.

Our target for this outing was the Grain Belt Beer bottle cap and do some night shooting.  This bottle cap has and continues to be a pretty big deal.  It used to be lit up.  It last went dark in November of 1991 shortly after G. Heileman Brewery declared bankruptcy in 1990.  This sign has been around for 80+ years.  You can read more about it here.

Here are some shots from our excursion to the concrete jungle yesterday evening.

 

2013: Weeks #41-43 Photography

It would appear as though I have been slacking a bit on my weekly photography.  That’ll happen when you travel about for an extended period of time capturing several hundred frames nature’s beautiful Autumn spectacle.  It take a bit of time to review and process all that wonderful.

I love the MN North Shore.  I don’t think there is a “bad time” to travel there and photograph lake, waterfalls, rivers, shoreline and numerous other features.  I think the next venture should be during the Winter.  Ice is awesome along the shore.

Here are  my weekly shots from that last few weeks.  More than one of them gave me a chuckle.

MN North Shore – Autumn Journey – Day 3

Day 3 was the day – the morning actually – the sunrise shoot we had hoped for back in July when we planned this trip.  I love it when a plan comes together!  Hollow Rock was right outside our cabin; a mere 100 yards or so to the shooting location on the rocky beach.  That morning was absolutely gorgeous.  Everything came together nicely.  The clouds, color and sun all working in perfect harmony.

After an epic sunrise experience we set out to explore forest roads between the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage.  The color around Grand Portage [although past prime] was better than Grand Marais.  I’ve never seen so many Ruffed Grouse in my life.  I seen as many birds on this trip as I had all the years I used to upland hunt.  We were also searching for the third waterfall, Partridge Falls, on the Pigeon River and eventually found it.  We were unable to find a decent falls vantage point down river for a good photograph, but enjoyed the location just the same.  It is quite peaceful out in the middle of nowhere.  Natures beauty really consumes and carries you around from one location to the next.  At one point our travels were impeded by the handiwork some busy beavers.

One bit of advice whilst out and about in strange lands and big wilderness – study a map or two before you set out.  GPS, on more than one occasion, failed to provide adequate direction.  A little bit of mystery is fine, but having a general idea of where you will be traveling – starting and ending up – is paramount to a good trip.  “Ready to Navigate” displayed on the GPS, although humorous, is not helpful at all.  As you can see from the Lightroom Map below from GPS data, we covered some ground over three days.  It was a fabulous trip and experience with my betrothed.

!GPS-ShotMap

Here are some photos from Day 3.

MN North Shore – Autumn Journey – Day 2

Day 2 began exquisitely.  We made our way down to waters edge in Grand Marais for a sunrise shoot.  Nature cooperated nicely.  From there, we back-tracked a bit to Cascade River State Park for a beautiful morning hike up the river gorge among the picturesque cascades.  Next we got off the beaten path (Hwy 61) and made our way towards another destination (Hollow Rock Resort).  After checking in we were off on the Gunflint Trail  to drive a loop through the forest in search of Devilfish overlook.    We got closed, but missed a road and stumbled on a Red Fox – cute little bugger; then just continued on our way.  We decided to take another run at a sunset at Honey Moon Bluff that overlooks Hungry Jack Lake off the Gunflint Trail.  The second attempt yielded better results than the first.

Another full day on the MN North Shore.  Love this place.  There is a surprise around every corner.

MN North Shore – Autumn Journey – Day 1

Any long-time follower of this blog knows that with Cyndie and I; although destinations are great, it is all about the journey in between those destination that really stand as lasting memories through the years for us.  This trip was no exception.  The in between was great!

Our first day we made it as far as Grand Marais.  This is by far my favorite area on the MN North Shore to be.  Its close proximity to The Gunflint Trail, Judge CR Magney State Park, Cascade River State Park, Temperance River State Park and all of the back roads, forest roads and loops you can travel are via car are phenomenal.  It’s beautiful country.

Along the way to Grand Marais we stopped at Temperance River State Park.  Later in the afternoon we made out way out to Honeymoon Bluff.  There was no sunset to be had as it was cloudy and overcast, but we made the best of it.  It was full day.  Even Though the color was 100% or past peak (in most areas), there was still some great color and likely 80% less people than a week ago.  Day 1 was pretty smooth sailing; Day 2 though, we were part of a 3 car traffic jam on a forest road.  The congestion cleared soon enough though.  Here are some shot from day 1.

Grand Portage State Park – Pigeon Falls – Grand Portage, MN

This post has been moved to:  dantraun.com 

Grand Portage State Park – Gunflint Trail | MN North Shore

Fall 2013 North Shore series
[Honeymoon Bluff – Gunflint Trail] [Sunrise @ Grand Marais] [Sunrise @ Hollow Rock] [North Shore Abstracts] [Grand Portage State Park]
[The In-Between, Day 1] [The In-Between, Day 2] [The In-Between, Day 3]

 

 

Hollow Rock – The Location: Resort & Sunrise

This post has been moved to:  dantraun.com 

Sunrise @ Hollow Rock | MN North Shore

Fall 2013 North Shore series
[Honeymoon Bluff – Gunflint Trail] [Sunrise @ Grand Marais] [Sunrise @ Hollow Rock] [North Shore Abstracts] [Grand Portage State Park]
[The In-Between, Day 1] [The In-Between, Day 2] [The In-Between, Day 3]

 

Dreary Autumn Day- Part Duex

Hopeful for a clearing in the weather, Cyn and I set out to scout the West Bank of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.  Sunday was no better than Saturday weather-wise.  To make things more fun, the Twin Cities Marathon was right in our tracks, but only part of the way.  We started on the East side of the river in St. Paul and eventually were able to make our way to the Mill Ruins area; home of the stone arch bridge and the Premium Grain Belt bottle cap sign.  At this point the annoying sprinkle had turned into a pretty steady rain.  We spend the rest of the day scouting in the car and sneaking shots in between rain showers.  The Fall color was plentiful all up and down the river.

I can’t wait to get back to some of these locations for a night shoot in a couple of weeks.

Dreary Autumn Day

A dreary Autumn weekend I should say.  It can’t always be rainbows and butterflies and/or sunshine and puppies.  You make do I guess.  All you have to do is think about how you could be at work and suddenly a little sprinkle isn’t such a big deal.  I don’t dislike my work, but I’d rather be doing other fun things.  I am lucky in that I enjoy my job and the people I work closest with.  It is still work; If it wasn’t work, they’d call it ‘Super wonderful crazy fun time,’ or ‘Skippedy-do!'” – Red Foreman 🙂

I can roll with just about any condition – raging downpours excluded and that is only due to gear limitation.  Rain, fog, snow, sunshine – they all other something different.  This last Saturday afternoon was mostly cloudy and misty.  We were on a mission to buy some homemade chicken pot pies and apple dumplings from Apple Ridge Orchard near El Paso, WI.  There was one issue.  We knew where to get them, but we didn’t know we needed to pre-order; that isn’t always the case, but there were no extras to go around this day.  Their homemade chicken pot pies and apple dumplings are highly coveted and sought after by many.  After we return from the North Shore we will be all about placing an order.  I cannot recall the last time I had an apple dumpling.  We left with some bread & butter pickles, Honey Crisp apple and a caramel apple for each of us – an acceptable compromise for now.

Finding ourselves just outside of El Paso, WI; very close to the blue ribbon wonder we call the Rush River, I could not resist an impromptu drive about.  Some of the most picturesque countryside in Pierce County, WI are in and around the valleys that contain spring-fed stream that are teeming with tasty trout.  I do very much miss fly fishing.  A lot.  It is the one hobby that I still have all my gear for as I ditched all other for photography a few years ago when I started to have issues with my one knee.  Maybe next season I’ll cast a fly or two.  We’ll have to see.

We were in very close proximity to another cold-water gem in the are, Lost Creek.  I very much enjoy the scenery that surrounds it.  You will find a beautiful stretch of road East of Ellsworth, WI on 63; then 72; then South on 450th which turns into 456th and then 400th right around where it meet Rush River.  Also here you will find a super-fantastic wine drinking/eating experience – Vino in the Valley.

The MN DNR has the area just across the river from where we at 10-25%.  That is pretty accurate.  The next week or two will bring prime fall color touring in the area.

Here are some shots from our little excursion.