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Photographer's Note

Tettegouche November

Arch Rock
Tettegouche State Park
North Shore of Lake Superior
near Silver Bay, Minnesota

alternate title .. why men will not stop and ask for directions ...

Before we moved to Minnesota this summer I had spent some time scouting out photographs and photographers from the area. This arch was on the top of my list of places to find after our move.

Tettegouche State Park is about an hours drive from my house along the North Shore scenic drive. My first trip out was for a day hike with Andrew this summer. My brief look at the hiking map was done in a way that didn't seem to relate to what I found when we arrived. I followed signs to the main trailhead .. which was down a winding road from the entrance station. We took off down the trail. I mistakenly figured that "the arch" would be some sort of major attraction and well marked ... well I was wrong .. and had been disoriented from the winding road. We were actually a good distance inland. I soon gave up on finding the arch and Andrew and I followed the signs to the beautiful high falls of the Baptism river.

For our second trip in August I had done some more research and discovered. That the main trailhead that I followed last time was for the miles of inland trails. The trails to the shore all left from the rest area/main office of the park. I also discovered that my arch was not marked on any map. So Andrew and I arrived on a windy afternoon .. we left from the rest area trail head .. we quickly found a web of trails .. rarely marked with any signs .. We went with the flow of the largest path ... and ended up at the river mouth ... the black and white I posted a couple images back in my TE folio.

I knew from stories from various photographers I read online (about racing up from Duluth to catch the sunset ) ... that the arch could not be far from the parking lot ...

It took a couple months until I found the moment for my third attempt ... I arrived alone on a cold 16º F (-9ºC) November morning. Again I set out from the rest area parking lot .. I knew the river mouth was to my Southwest .. and that the arch had to to be somewhere along the Shovel Point trail to the Northeast .. I turned to the Northeast and followed the very first path down to the water I could find ... It was a short .. but very steep .. walk down to this rocky beach .. I was pretty excited to see the arch through the trees .. it ended up being along the shore essentially directly below the parking lot.

I set up my camera and did all my shooting .. at this point I am feeling so National Geographic ... here I am alone on an icy shore ... rain in the distance .. vast empty natural space. As I turn to head back up the path ... this couple appears .. they have a combined age of around 160 ... so much for my pompous self .. after we exchange pleasantries the man tells me "your going to have a nasty walk back up in this wind" ... well he was right .. but well worth it .. I hope they had as wonderful visit as I did .. I can't imagine I will be in condition to visit here some November 40 years down the road. I just hope to get here for a sunrise with the arch some morning.

I am adding a couple workshop images:
workshop one is just an image of the ice on the cold shore ....
Workshop 1 file info:
1/500 f/5 ISO 100 lens Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM

workshop two is another companion I met along the shore ...
Workshop 2 file info:
1/250 f/9 ISO 100 lens Canon EF 400mm f/5/6L USM

Minnesota State Parks:
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/index.html

Tettegouche State Park:
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/tettegouche/index.html

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Additional Photos by John McLaird (jmcl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2514 W: 131 N: 4070] (14535)
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