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December 2, 2011

Minnesota Mittens are Here

Filed under: Events, Seasons, Uncategorized — Gloria Rosenau-Stern @ 11:06 am

mn-mittens1Cold weather and a little bit of snow!  We are please to announce the addition of Minnesota Mittens, Mittens with a Mission to the Split Rock Museum Store!  The traditional wool/cotton mittens are manufactured from recycled yarn or fabric.  The are made at a regional rehabilitation center in Winona MN. The mittens offer comfort and warmth for your hands and heart!  Come shop and check them out!

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August 18, 2011

National Landmark status for Split Rock

Filed under: 100th Anniversary, Events, History, Observations — Lee Radzak @ 3:23 pm

On June 23, 2011 U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the designation of Split Rock Light Station as a National Historic Landmark.  Split Rock has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1969 but designation as a national landmark denotes a much higher level of historic significance.  Split Rock Light Station, 1959 

During two world wars and beyond, Split Rock Light Station served as a vital aid to navigation to iron ore carriers carrying iron ore shipments across western Lake Superior from the vast iron ranges in northern Minnesota to the lower Great Lakes for processing.  Split Rock is also a highly intact example of an early 20th century Great Lakes light station.

Split Rock is the twelfth light station in the United States and the second light station on the Great Lakes to receive national landmark designation.  The light station, an active navigational aid from 1910 to 1969, is now a MinnesotaSplit Rock Light Station, 2010 state historic site and is open daily to the public for tours from mid-May through mid-October.

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July 21, 2011

The Shutdown is Over!

Filed under: Events, History, Nature, Observations, Photography, Seasons, Uncategorized — Lee Radzak @ 12:11 pm

After 21 days, the State of Minnesota goverment shutdown is over!  Split Rock, and the other Minnesota state historic sites will be open tomorrow, so we can get back to business.  The shutdown was frustrating in that it came at the time when so many people are traveling on the North Shore and wanting to visit all of the sites and state parks, all of which were closed.  The shutdown created an unfortunate situation with the closing of all the state parks and state historic sites, such as Split Rock Lighthouse.  Tourists had to walk in to the parks as no vehicles were allowed.  This caused some traffic congestion at the entrances to places like Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse State Parks. 

During the state shutdown state park users had to park along Highway 61 and walk into the park.

With no one allowed on the historic lighthouse grounds during the shutdown some of the wildlife got a little bolder and made themselves at home.  A young cow moose dined on the Virginia creeper planted near the lightkeeper’s houses on a couple of quiet mornings.  This will change tomorrow when the site reopens for its regular hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. 
This moose was as curious as nervous as she browsed on the Virginia creeper.
This moose was as curious as nervous as she browsed on the Virginia creeper.

Split Rock moose

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June 4, 2011

Summer road construction

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lee Radzak @ 4:17 pm

While the North Shore Scenic Drive, or Highway 61 as it is better known, has amazing scenery and is an awesome drive the road itself does need some help from time to time.  The four to five miles of Hwy. 61 that runs through Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is receiving some well-deserved reconstruction during a highway project that began in the spring of 2010. 

For those of you who are planning a trip up the shore and to Split Rock Lighthouse this June you will likely have a few minutes delay for the construction work which is now going full tilt.  MNDOT and the contractors are promising to keep delays down to 20 minutes so this should just give motorists a better chance to slow down and enjoy the view. 

All traffic should be on the new alignment by the end of June and work is scheduled to be completed by August of this year.  A real plus is that this will open up some new vistas of Lake Superior and the lighthouse as up drive along the new alignment.

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January 21, 2011

Photographing the January full moon over Split Rock

Filed under: Events, Nature, Observations, Photography, Seasons — Lee Radzak @ 12:05 pm

The full moon breaking through the parting clouds a half hour after sunset.

The full moon breaking through the parting clouds a half hour after sunset.

Each year more and more photographers are wise to the fact that the January full moon is the best moonrise of the year for catching a full moon rising out of Lake Superior behind Split Rock Lighthouse.  On Wednesday afternoon about a dozen people, some like me who are not professional photographers waited in anticipation for the clouds and frost smoke over the lake to break and the full moon to show itself. 

The sun breaks through

A break in the clouds as the sun sets gives a glow to the lighthouse cliff.

This tradition began in 1983 when Paul Sundberg and I skiied down to Little Two Harbors from the lighthouse (that was away back before any roads or trails were developed in the state park). We had it all to ourselves on those January nights for the next few years. By the 1990’s we were noticing other photographers picking up on the idea and the cooperative and scenic full moonrises of January. 

Come prepared and this is a special time to visit with other photographers and folks who like to take pictures, who like the quiet of the frigid open waters of Lake Superior at sunset, or the view of the lighthouse from Pebble Beach and Little Two Harbors.  Dress warm, bring extra camera batteries and a flashlight, and you are often treated to some good conversation or some amazing solitude and scenery

Not all of the good scenes include the lighthouse.  Ellingson Island in the dusk.

Not all of the good scenes include the lighthouse. Ellingson Island in the dusk.

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