Tag Archives: Grand Marais

The In-Between, Day 3 | Minnesota 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]

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.

The In-Between, Day 2 | Minnesota 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]

Day 2 began exquisitely.  We made our way down to waters edge for the Sunrise @ Grand Marais 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 Honeymoon 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.

Sunrise @ Grand Marais | MN North Shore #time-lapse

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]

grandmaraisharborAs luck would have it, our first morning of this trip up the shore yielded a spectacular sunrise.  The clouds and color were quite wonderful.  I am very fond of Autumn sunrises as they happen much later than they do in the Summer 🙂.

Since we would be in position an hour or so before sunrise, I took this opportunity to practice some time-lapse photography again.

Here are a two parts.  I was having issues with exposure; part way through I needed to adjust and that doesn’t bode well for a seamless end to end video.  The two parts captured the clouds and color pretty well.  I need to do more research on this and practice practice practice.

Part 1

Part 2

Here are a few frames from that lovely morning sunrise.

Honeymoon Bluff – Gunflint Trail | MN North Shore #time-lapse

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]

There is a very picturesque place not so far away from Grand Marais, MN; just up the Gunflint Trail approximately 30 miles.  Honeymoon Bluff overlooks Hungry Jack lake; if honeymoonbluffmappyou are lucky you will witness a beautiful sunset.  This site is easily accessible by a well-mark and maintained trail.  Steep as it was, it is over very soon.  A quick 1/2 mile and you are looking out over pristine wilderness.

Our first attempt during our stay in Grand Marais/Grand Portage was met with cloudy conditions – not optimal for a sunset.  You come all this way and you sometimes make do with what is available.  I took the opportunity to shoot some time-lapse photography.  Since we were relatively close the second day we decided to have another go at it.

Time-lapse is interesting to play around with; clearly I need to perfect the process more.  The output is a bit crude as I had some dust and dirt issues and I still have the trial version of the software.  Sunset I think is easiest as you just end up with a black frame eventually.  Sunrise is a whole different thing; more on that in a future post.

Cloudy version

Sunset version

Here are my shots from both days – clouds and sunset.  Cyndie and I really enjoyed this spot.  It is easy enough to reach if you are in the area and it looks like there may be a good sunset.

The In-Between, Day 3 | Minnesota North Shore

day3Ahhhh beautiful Grand Marais, MN.  This (and points North) is my favorite area of the North Shore.  We got off the beaten path and explored a few forest roads on our way to Judge CR Magney State Park.  The wild flowers were incredible as were the butterflies.  One of the forest road dead-ended out in the middle of nowhere.  That wasn’t terribly convenient and it forced us to backtrack back to where we started.   .It could have been worse; we could be at work 🙂  We had the windows down driving along the forest road just fast enough to stay ahead of the mosquitoes and then…Cyndie was viciously attached by a dragon-fly.  Yep, from out of nowhere a dragon-fly came in the window and landed between the seat and the door.  Cyndie about jumped out of her seat.  The danger was quickly ejected from the vehicle and we continued on our way.

We spent a fair amount of time at Judge CR Magney State Park and generally took it a bit easier than we had in the last two days.  We did set a pretty aggressive pace initially and we were both starting to slow down some.  We arrived in Grand Portage in the early afternoon.  The lodging available is somewhat limited in these parts.  There are plenty of places to stay, but if it is a cabin, you’ll have to stay a minimum of two nights.  We had hoped to stay at Hollow Rock Resort so we could just wake up at sunrise and walk out right onto the shore for sunrise, but the two-day stay stamped that plan out.  The Grand Portage Lodge & Casino is a suitable solution to your one night stay needs.  Hollow Rock Resort is part of the casino and there wasn’t an issue gaining access to do a sunrise shoot there.

We checked in and then explored the surrounding area some as a late afternoon thunderstorm rolled on through.  An early dinner at the Casino and some much-needed shuteye seem like the perfect end of another full day of traveling the North Shore.

Here are my shots of the Minnesota North Shore – The in between, Day 3

The In-Between, Day 2 | Minnesota North Shore

day2The second day started much like how the first ended – heavy think fog blanketing our surroundings.  The fog certainly added an extra element to the photos though.  After a bit of breakfast at the lodge we made our way out to the fish house and then out to the point.  The hike was great – especially in the fog.

After leaving Cove Point Lodge we went back South to visit Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.  It was too late the previous afternoon to Split Rock Lighthouse.  We spent a great foggy morning there before heading back North and stopping at Palisade Head.  There essentially was no view at Palisade Head, other than a ship heading for shore in some very dense fog.  Tettegouche State Park was the next stop.  We ended up skipping Gerorge Crosby Manitou State Park.  The entrance isn’t right off of Hwy 61 and we just plain missed the turn.  We continued on our way and visited Temperance River State Park as well as Cascade River State Parkbefore arriving in Grand Marais.  We secured a room for the night at The Shoreline Inn and made our way to My Sister’s Place for a much anticipated evening meal.  Traveling & photography are hungry business.

Here are my shots of the Minnesota North Shore – The in between, Day 2