Split Rock Lighthouse State Park along Lake Superior

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park along Lake Superior

One of my favorite places along the North Shore is Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.  This place is often featured on Minnesota calendars.  Our visit was enhanced by the amazingly dramatic clouds over Lake Superior.  Rain showers threatened, but held off while we walked the trails in this park.

As you view these pictures, I think you will agree with the sentiment in this quote by Minnesota author Paul Gruchow:  “All the prairie world is in summer but a screen to show off the glorious sky.”

Quintessential North Shore scenery

Quintessential North Shore scenery

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Clouds over Lake Superior

Clouds over Lake Superior

 

From the shore at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

From the shore at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

Craggy, rocky shoreline

Craggy, rocky shoreline

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

Lighthouse keepers' quarters

Lighthouse keepers’ quarters

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The skies grew darker

The skies grew darker

Sheets of rain falling in the distance

Sheets of rain falling in the distance

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

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And here are two more pages from my Minnesota travel journal:

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Long view of the boardwalk at the Painted Cove Trail

Long view of the boardwalk at the Painted Cove Trail

Four short trails provided access at different parts of the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.  Each allowed closer access to the painted hills.

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The Painted Cove Trail took us on a nature walk around a rounded clay hill.  We stayed on a boardwalk for most of the short trail.

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Dramatic skies above the Painted Hills

Dramatic skies above the Painted Hills

Another trail, the Red Hill Trail, took us to yet another painted hill.

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We had timed our visit perfectly.  The rains held off until we were on our drive back north to Washington.  The rain came in cloud bursts, so heavy that once I had to pull off the road until the rain let up.  As we crossed the Columbia River into Washington, a vibrant rainbow appeared, seemingly giving a final blessing to our trip.

Clouds scudding along the Cascade range in Oregon

Clouds scudding along the Cascade range in Oregon

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And then the skies let down a curtain of rain.

And then the skies let down a curtain of rain.

Crossing the Columbia River into Washington (taken from the car window)

Crossing the Columbia River into Washington (taken from the car window)

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