Go See Do Photography

A Lot of Travel, A Little Bit of History, and a Whole Bunch of Photos

Tag: Lighthouse (Page 1 of 5)

Mainely Acadia: Sunset Cruise

Maine sunset from the water.

After climbing to the top of South Bubble Mountain, we walked around Bar Harbor and did some shopping. We also explored the shore path, which is a nice little hiking trail right in Bar Harbor that winds the shoreline. We had a wonderful waterfront dinner at The Terrace Grille. Mostly, we killed time until our sunset cruise.

Egg Rock Light at sunset

One of our favorite experiences on our first Acadia trip, was the sunset nature cruise. So, when planning this trip, I knew that we had to take my family out on the water. We considered trying another company that sailed out of another spot on the island, but in the end, we went with the same company as last time, Acadian Nature Cruises.

Our cruise last year was shortened due to weather. A thunderstorm was rolling in and we didn’t get much of a sunset. I didn’t realize how much of our tour we lost because of that weather. After some time watching the seals and seagulls at Egg Rock (above, left), we went over to the Schoodic Peninsula and we watched a Bald Eagle on its perch. Then, the boat parked for a little bit and watched the sun go down over the water (top).

The weather was much different on this trip than last year. Being that we traveled much earlier in the year (end of June vs. unseasonably hot beginning of August) this cruise was much cooler than last year. When it was 95 degrees at the peak of the day, it was still pretty warm out on the water, even at sunset. This last trip, we got highs in the 70s, if we were lucky. Out on the water, it was breezy and when the sun went down it was very cold. If you plan a sunset cruise, bring a warm sweatshirt or even a jacket.

We saw a lot more animals last year than we did this year, although we did see a Bald Eagle this year. Unfortunately we didn’t see any harbor porpoises or puffins. Those sightings last year were the reason I didn’t realize how much the weather had shortened our trip.

Cruise ship departing past Egg Rock.

Besides great wildlife sightings and a beautiful sunset view, this tour is also a great way to see some of the Bar Harbor “Cottages” (they are way too big to be called a cottage, in my opinion) and learn about the history of the area. I highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting Acadia. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see some local wildlife. If not, you still get stunning views that you just can’t get on land!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check back next week to hear about the Asticou Azalea Gardens. To read more posts in this trip report, check out the trip report page. To read about some of our previous trips, click here.If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Wordless Wednesday: Beaver Island Lighthouse

Point Iroquois Lighthouse

Point Iroquois Lighthouse is located in the Eastern Upper Peninsula, on the shores of Whitefish Bay (that is the same body of water guided by the Whitefish Point Lighthouse), at the entrance to the St. Mary’s River. Point Iroqouis Lighthouse is located in the Hiawatha National Forest and is operated by the National Forest Service. Because of this, it is very hard to find information about it, such as their hours. Despite this, this summer, while camping at Straits State Park, we made the drive east to check out this historic lighthouse.

Interestingly, the name Point Iroquois comes from a 1662 battle between the local Ojibwa people and an invading Iroquois war party, looking to dominate the fur trade. The Ojibwa were able to stave off the Iroquois, halting their westward expansion. It is said that the Ojiwa refer to Point Iroquois as “Nau-do-we-e-gun-ing”, which means place of Iroquois bones. (NFS)

The lighthouse itself, is a classic, Michigan lighthouse with attached lighthouse keepers’ quarters. The current lighthouse was built in 1870. After 107 years of lighting up the bay, it was replaced by an automatic light. I am so glad these beauties are being preserved for future generations to enjoy and learn about the Great Lakes maritime history.

Thank you for stopping by! For more information about Point Iroquois Lighthouse and to plan your visit, visit the Hiawatha National Forest. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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New Year, New Travels!

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Egg Rock Lighthouse

As with the last few years, for 2019 I have set the goal to go at least one place I have never been before. In 2018, I barely went anywhere I had been before. Within the next three months, I have two trips coming up to two places I’ve never explored before so that shouldn’t be a problem. After having not flown on a plane since January 1, 2014, we are going to take two flights in 30 days. And Chris was very excited to point out that neither of them are on Spirit.

The first thing coming up is a trip to Phoenix for a conference. I have never been that far west before so I am hoping to get a little bit of exploring in between sessions. We are also planning on staying an extra day and heading out to the Grand Canyon. You can’t send me that close and not to go! Right now we are trying to figure out where we want to stay. If you have any advice, please tell me in the comments. I’m a little overwhelmed right now.

And of course, the cruise I have been talking about has pushed back so many times I wasn’t sure it was ever going to happen is coming up early this year! We are sailing out of New Orleans, which I have been to Louisiana several times but never to NOLA before. From there, we sail to Mexico and Belize. I’m excited to get back to the sea and smell the salt air while enjoying a floating hotel. Cruising is the best.

After that, I don’t have anything planned, which is very weird feeling. I’m sure we will get some camping in this summer, exploring more of our beautiful home state. Be sure to stay tuned to find out where we end up!

Thanks for stopping by! Where are you traveling to in 2019? Let me know in the comments! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Owl Head Light

Exploring Maine Lighthouses

After packing up camp, we decided to take Route 1 instead of the interstate so we could stop and see some Maine Lighthouses on our way south. The dense fog from the night before was still thick which made for interesting photos.

Our first stop was Fort Point Light (left). Fort Point Lighthouse is located in Fort Point State Park in Stockton Springs, Maine on the easternmost tip of Cape Jellison, a peninsula that juts into the Penobscot Bay. The ruins of Fort Pownall (a British fort built during the French and Indian War) are also in the park. The lighthouse wasn’t open when we visited, so we just got out, stretched our legs and took a picture before continuing our journey down the coast (wiki).

Rockland Breakwater Light in the fog

Our next stop was the Rockland Breakwater Light. The breakwater is .8 miles long and the heat was still out of control so we chose not to hike to this lighthouse. I put on the telephoto lens and shot this (right) from the entrance to the breakwater. The fog made it kind of tricky to shoot, but with some Lightroom magic, I think I was able to make a decent shot out of it.

Our next stop on this lighthouse tour was the Maine Lighthouse Museum. Housed in the Rockland Chamber of Commerce, this small museum is home to a lot of U.S. Coast Guard and lighthouse memorbilia, some of which had Michigan connections. It is an inexpensive museum and is worth a visit if you are in the Rockland area. In the gift shop, I picked up a Lighthouse Passport so I can now collect stamps for each ligthhouse I visit.

Our final lighthouse in Maine was the Owl Head Light (top). The current lighthouse was built in 1852 and is a 30 foot tall round brick tower standing on top of a cliff. Here I got my first stamp in my passport book and we had a picnic lunch before continuing on our way to New Hampshire for the night. Check back next week as we make our way to Watkins Glen, New York!

Thanks for stopping by! For more information about the Maine Lighthouse Museum, visit MaineLighthouseMuseum.org. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Bass Harbor Head Light

You’ve seen the iconic photos of this lighthouse, right? Gorgeous sunset over the water and the lighthouse atop the rocks? They’re really something. I desperately wanted to get one of those pictures this trip!

As you can see from the above picture, I didn’t get the beautiful sunset I was dreaming of. First, I wasn’t prepared for how early the sun sets in eastern Maine. In Michigan, we’re lucky in that the sun stays up until 9:00 in the summer. In Maine, the sun sets more than an hour earlier. We were getting ready to make dinner and the sun was going down. It was like the opposite of camping at McLain State Park in the Keewenaw, where the sun didn’t set until almost 10. The other thing that made it difficult was the fog. Every evening we spent at Acadia was foggy or rainy. This is not a complaint, just a statement of fact. I was actually OK with it because it took the pressure off getting the perfect sunset photo.

Set the weather aside for a second. Because of the iconic nature of this lighthouse, everyone wants a photo of it. Photographers were lined up all over the rocks near the lighthouse. Here’s the kicker, they weren’t just taking a photo and heading on their merry way. Nope, they had their tripods set up and they were not budging until the sun was past the horizon. Chris is more daring than I and he weaved in between them to get this shot. It was not worth it to me. Honestly, I was disgusted with my fellow photographers over this. I could not believe the photographers looking out at the sea of other photographers, shrugging their shoulders and saying “well, I got here first”. Craziness. Especially because it wasn’t even that great of a sky that day.

So, you are going to be at Acadia and you want to try to get this shot. Here’s my advice for you.  Avoid summer. If you want to visit Acadia at all, avoid the busy season. The crowds are ridiculous. Late spring and early fall are supposed to be much better. And in fall you get the colors. I will have to make it to Acadia sometime in the fall. If you want the place to yourself, go in the winter. It never hurts to be the person staking out a spot. Try to get to the lighthouse early, just don’t be rude about it.

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Acadia from the Water

Egg Rock Lighthouse

After exploring the Park Loop Road we decided we wanted to see Acadia from the water. After looking online, I found Acadian Boat Tours and decided to take the sunset cruise. Luckily, tickets were still available. I was concerned about it getting cold out on the water after the sun set, but after the unseasonably hot day, it actually felt pretty good.

A waterfront Bar Harbor “cottage”

After leaving Bar Harbor, the boat hugged the shoreline and we got the view of some beautiful “cottages” near the park. In the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th century, Bar Harbor was the vacation destination of America’s 1%. These cottages were owned by Rockefellers, Pulitzers, and Vanderbilts. Unfortunately, the great fire of 1947 destroyed 237 homes on Mount Desert Island, burning over 18,000 acres (Bar Harbor Historical Society). With the economy of the 1940s, most families didn’t have the money that they had when the cottages were built so they were unable to rebuild and many chose to donate their land to Acadia National Park.

Harbor seal relaxing on a rock

Being a lighthouse fan, I really enjoyed getting up close to Egg Rock Lighthouse (top). Of course, the highlight of the tour for me was all the wildlife we saw. Harbor porpoises jumped near the boat. Harbor seals and puffins were relaxing near the lighthouse. I had no idea that seals and puffins lived on the east coast so that was a pleasant surprise.

Unfortunately a storm rolled in so we didn’t get a sunset on our sunset cruise, but everything else we saw was definitely worth it. This boat ride was a highlight of our trip. The guide was very informative about the area and very interesting. If you are in Bar Harbor and you want to get out on the water, definitely check out Acadian Tours!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to come back next week as I share about our experience hiking Jordan Pond! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Spring in Ludington

Big Sable Behind DuneFor the second year in a row we made our first trip to Ludington for the season on Mother’s Day. It is nice to spend time in our favorite park before the summertime crowds descend. We hiked the lighthouse trail and for the first half or so we didn’t see any other people. Walking through the Pines campground before it has opened for the season is much easier than having to dodge kids on bikes and people playing corn hole in the road. The weather was sunny and warm and was perfect for the 1.8 mile hike each way.

A trip to Ludington would not be complete without a visit to House of Flavors for a scoop of ice cream. If you are ever in town, you have to check this place out. I highly recommend their Michigan Pothole that comes with chunks of chocolate asphalt. Yum.

For more information about House of Flavors and they’re delicious ice cream, check out HouseofFlavorRestaurants.com. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Spring Fever

Little Sable in SpringWith all my talk of getting out there no matter the weather, this spring has really left me deflated. I took more photos in the coldest, bleakest part of the winter, than I did in March and April. This spring has been tough with its little tastes of sunshine and warmth followed by cold, snow, and ice. After mother nature’s latest episode of freezing rain and snow, I think its safe to say winter is finally behind us.

This past weekend, the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and I needed to get a healing dose of Lake Michigan air. We headed to Silver Lake State park and Little Sable Point Lighthouse. Before we left, I checked the weather and it said the wind was 0 mph. I did not believe it and I made to sure to grab a coat just in case. When we got there, the water was as still as I had ever seen it and the wind off the lake was barely a breath. There were still scattered patches of snow so I wasn’t brave enough to take my shoes off, but I saw a few people walking barefoot in the sand.

One of the most fascinating things about visiting the Great Lakes this time of year is the scattered debris and sand ledges show how high the water and ice got the past winter before all the summer sunbathers scatter it. On this visit we found this large piece of driftwood that made for an interesting photo subject but also a little bench to sit on and take in the glory of my favorite Great Lake. This time of year it is great to enjoy the beauty of Michigan without the crowds.

This impromptu journey did teach me a few little tips. Before you grab the camera bag, make sure to check your camera battery and it would not hurt to bring the battery charger with you. We got out there, I turned on the camera and discovered my battery was about to die. I was able to take two shots before it died completely and that was definitely a little lesson in and of itself, but it was in no way ideal. I am glad that one of the two was worth sharing.

Thank you for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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