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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 27 2012 - Grand Portage State Park - Cool Red Fox Encounter

Melinda and I missed our Superior / BWCAW camping trip this fall and with all the other stuff going on right now, we decided a day trip together just to get away was in order.   Yup, the plan was still to head north...way north for the day.

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As far northeast as you can get in Minnesota.  Grand Portage.   You can learn more about the name HERE and HERE.  The national monument is cool, but the state park is where the action was on this day.

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Making a stop on the way up just south of Grand Portage.

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The views from the upper part of the north shore drive are vastly different than those to the south.  This is from Mt. Josephine.  That dark bluish area under the clouds beyond the islands on the left side of the shot is Isle Royale!

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Time to head into the park.  US customs is only a few hundred feet away from the park entrance on highway 61.

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It's not hard to fall in love with this place.

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Melinda and I standing on the US side of the Pigeon River.  Canada is on the other side behind us.

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Hiking upstream to the high falls.  We chose a more difficult route to get down by the river but the falls are easily accessed via a paved trail and a nice boardwalk complete with switchbacks to get you on top of the gorge.

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Never officially measured, they are estimated to be between 120 and 130 feet tall.  This was during a period of low water late in the fall.  I would like to see it again during spring runoff.

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An 8 shot stitched panoramic shot covering about 180ยช field of view.

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After finishing at the falls, we headed up old highway 61 to see the abandoned crossing at Pigeon River.  The "village" is actually on the Canadian side but the ruins of the US station are still visible.  The road is not maintained and you need to go slow.

We decide to take "Joe's Road" back towards Grand Portage and the highway as we were quickly running out of good light to shoot in.

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Just a couple of miles down the road we spotted a red fox making her (squats to pee) way along her evening route.  Red fox have a territory and tend to "patrol" the same perimeter on a predictable basis.  Instead of running away, she turned and came at us.  She seemed more curious than anything and as you can see, she is very healthy.

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After making a circle just to check us out, she went back to her business zig zagging from one side of the road....

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...back to the other.

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She escorted us for a mile and a half before turning into the timber along a 4 wheeler trail back towards the river.  Definitely the highlight of the day.

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After getting back onto new highway 61, we headed south the 159 miles to Duluth and some dinner.  The North Shore graced us with one last special view with the setting sun backlighting the Sawtooth range which borders Lake Superior.



Here some video clips starting out with a time lapse of the drive from Duluth up to near Silver Bay, the waterfall, a couple of grouse, and of course our run in with the fox.


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