Lake Superior Lighthouse Keeping at Crisp Point

My wife and I just returned to Duluth from the other end of Lake Superior. We just spent just shy of a week as volunteer lighthouse keepers at Crisp Point. This beacon is one of the most remote in the USA. The Lake Superior coastline from which it shines is fourty miles from the nearest town, and requires a 19 mile drive along a poor dirt road. However the reward upon arriving at Crisp Point is fantastic!

Not everyone would like this gig. Unlike other volunteer keepers jobs, there is no residence building. Molly and I camped out in our tent. The waves of Gitche Gumee provided our music by which to fall asleep. Our tent was only 30 yards from the beach. Each night the temperatures would fall to near freezing, and one is off the grid. The closest power line and drinking water is an hour drive away. In fact, the might Fitz sunk just seven miles off this light. I often could hear Gordon Lightfoot’s song in my brain as winds gusted to 30+ mph!

During the core part of the day we ran a small, unheated visitor center. It was fun to explain the history of this location to the folks who were willing to make the long drive, and encourage them to climb to the top of the tower, and even try the catwalk (no charge!). By 4 or 5 pm our last guests would leave and Molly and I would enjoy our heaven on earth … knowing the closest other human were over 20 miles distant. It was now time to prepare our dinner, watch the sun set over Lake Superior, and have the evening campfire.

Molly, who also writes for Lake Superior Magazine, has also blogged about our stay at Crisp Point. Learn more about Crisp Point via its historical society web page. Finally, here are a few photos taken which work one through the day … from the Blue Hour which is approximately 40 minutes before sunrise to our lighthouse keeper campfire!

The Blue Hour



Dawn Shadows

Fall Colors

Sunset Moment

Lighthouse Keeper Campfire

Crisp Point Location

Backyard Visitors: From Fluffy to Mr. Bear!

The back yard … how many of you spend time birding your own yard? This morning while I was away stalking a Red Fox and American Golden Plovers, my wife returned from her morning run. Molly is NOT a birder, but when she got back to our house, Fluffy was sitting on our deck and waiting for her! (Golden Crowned Kinglet). She thought Fluffy was cute  and took some photos!

Two nights ago Mr. Bear raided our feeders. This attack was just one of many over the past several days. In all four bird feeders have been damaged (two repaired). Only the damaged feeders now are out till Mr. Bear decides to hibernate. Even my wife thinks watching Mr. Bear is cool.

In short, do you spend time birding your own yard. The results can be amazing. Finally, browse over to my wife’s blog. While not a birder, she does write for Lake Superior Magazine. Her blog is Superior Footprints (as in Lake Superior).


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Mr. Bear!


Death at Dawn!

I drove down to the end of Park Point and arrived shortly before sunrise. A few minutes before dawn I noticed a Merlin catch a Slate Colored Junco. Photographic conditions were tough as the sun was still about 10 minutes from popping above the horizon …

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Once the sun came up I noticed some American Golden Plovers out on the ball fields having breakfast. I was able to get closer than normal because the sun was right behind me (sunup). Note the sun reflected in the plovers eyes. They could not see me as I approached out of the sun!

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While walking back to the car I saw a Red Fox in the distance. It took a while, but finally I managed to gain a location where I could watch “red” without spooking her. Twas neat to watch the fox do its morning grooming and occasionally play with some sticks.

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Red Fox Video