Lighthouses & shipping

Have you explored Agate Bay in Two Harbors?
April 18, 2019 by Andrew Slade

Have you explored Agate Bay in Two Harbors?

Don't miss stopping at Agate Bay on the North Shore. It's one of the two bays/harbors that make up Two Harbors and provides an awe-inspiring walk on the breakwater to the lighthouse. … read more


Check out the new wayside at Split Rock
October 26, 2011 by Andrew Slade

Check out the new wayside at Split Rock

If you've driven on the North Shore this summer, you surely experienced the traffic back ups for construction in the Split Rock area. MnDOT completed a two-year-long project straightening out Highway 61 just west of the Lighthouse. The new highway is gorgeous, wide and fast.The new highway alignment runs about 200 yards away from one of the North Shore's most distinct wayside rests, a classic pull-off with a great view of Split Rock Lighthouse and the open waters of Lake Superior. For the traveler dedicated to enjoying Lake Superior, this is a great change. Follow the spanking new blue "Wayside Rest" … read more


A pirate ship on Lake Superior
April 29, 2011 by Andrew Slade

A pirate ship on Lake Superior

It was a scene right out of Pirates of the Caribbean. The efficient crew of the salty ship left the harbor at first light and was seen sailing away into the sunrise. At 6:00 AM today, the BBC Orinoco slipped through the Duluth Lift Bridge and headed out to safety. No pirate attacks in this harbor.The ship was the BBC Orinoco, and the crew had good reason to fear pirates...they and their good ship were attacked by pirates just six months ago, as they sailed the Arabian Sea. It's a great story. Pirates boarded the vessel. The crew retreated to their … read more


The Presque Isle heads out…two boats in one!
March 30, 2011 by Andrew Slade

The Presque Isle heads out…two boats in one!

The Presque Isle headed out onto Lake Superior this morning from the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. It's eerie to watch these ships emerge from behind the ice dunes that still line the beach. Presque isle is French for "almost an island." The boat is really "almost a boat." It's a combination of a barge and a "push tug," both with the same name. The tugboat part fits very neatly into the stern of the barge part, and both add up to a single unit over 1000 feet long. There are pictures of the two parts at Boatnerd.Presque Isle is also the … read more


Deer season hike #1: Corundum Point
November 1, 2010 by Andrew Slade

Deer season hike #1: Corundum Point

For the next two weeks, it will be deer season on the North Shore and throughout Minnesota. 500,000 hunters will take to the woods and do their part to reduce the voracious deer herd. Thank you, deer hunters: every deer you shoot leaves hundreds of white pines and cedar trees free to grow. For the other three million Minnesotans who are not out deer hunting this week, the great outdoors is still open. Grab your blaze orange cap and vest and head on out. Here's a great fall hike that's in a hunt-free zone: Split Rock Lighthouse State Park between Lake Superior … read more


Four saltie ships, four celestial surfers
September 16, 2010 by Andrew Slade

Four saltie ships, four celestial surfers

Out in big broad Lake Superior, salties have been at anchor waiting for the fall harvest to come in to Duluth's grain elevators. Meanwhile, local surfers have been waiting for the swells to come in to Duluth's surf breaks. The surfers got theirs first. This morning there were four ocean-going ships and four stand-up surfboarders out on the lake behind our house. Something about that symmetry of four and four really captured my imagination, so I grabbed the camera to take some pictures.The stand-up surfers were paddling out into the waves, turning and riding the waves back in. Their wetsuit-clad … read more


Seeking the light
November 17, 2008 by Andrew Slade

Seeking the light

We are all seeking beauty, and many of us seek to capture beauty in a photo's frame, to understand, to remember. Our photos become our memories. And when there are no photos to be our memories, we may make do with symbols.It was a busy day at Split Rock Lighthouse last week for the annual Fitzgerald memorial ceremony. I attended the somber gathering at the lighthouse itself. Hearing the bells and the names brought that tragedy home.Right after the ceremony, I booked down the hill not only to try my own camera out on this, but also to see the … read more


The light at Split Rock
November 14, 2008 by Andrew Slade

The light at Split Rock

It was a beautiful evening at Split Rock Lighthouse this Monday. The lake was calm, glowing and smooth. The moon rose stealthfully in the eastern sky. People were smiling, telling stories, faces lit. The fact that it had been 33 years to the day since the Edmund Fitzgerald had passed by a dark Split Rock Light on its way to its destiny seemed novel, out of place.A ship passed by in the distant shipping lane, under the waxing moon.Then they began to read the names and toll the bell. 29 times. Plus one with no name, for all the other … read more