Archive for the ‘Ore Docks’ Category

One last look at the Presque Isle Dock.





Next up: Let’s slip over to Ishpeming and check out an abandoned iron mine.

Feel free to come by and throw fruit at my house after a title like that. I deserve it.

Presque Isle Dock train trestle from below.



 Is the clearance warning a reminder for the train guys to duck their heads when passing under the moon?

goodnight moon

The more I look at this last picture, the more I want to write a children’s book just to go with it.

Nothing fancy with these shots. Just want to share how heart-stoppingly beautiful this massive structure is.


When I was in college, people came down here to swim. The water was shallow, the bottom was sandy and it was called the “Hot Pond” because the mine dumped mass quantities of hot water here. I don’t know what the water had been used for, but there were no dead fish in the area, so I’m sure it was perfectly safe.



This dock is known as the Upper Harbor or Presque Isle Dock and is owned by Cliffs Resources. The trains working here are the Lake Superior and Ishpeming line.



Please click on the pictures for the expanded view–you just can’t get a feel for a structure like this in reduced format.  Also, on these pictures, particularly the 4th one, I believe that the ND filter I mentioned yesterday made all the difference in capturing such brilliant blues and reds.

The Lower Dock, up close and personal. These are a mix of bright day and gray day shots, so there are wide fluctuations in color saturations between them, as well as shadows which are deep blue on the structure.


I thought at first that the red you can see inside the dock was the result of years of staining from the iron, but in these close-up pictures, it appears to be paint instead.


I’m slow to spend money on my camera habit ( frugal? thoughtful?) but I finally popped for an ND (neutral density) filter to fit my 17-85mm lens. I’d been mulling that purchase for months now (I said I’m slow) and I’d finally moved the idea to the shelf labeled “Continue to Mull.” However, on Thursday, I went to Camera Corner armed with my transitions lens glasses and asked for a filter that would do for my camera what the glasses do for my vision.  There is a learning curve involved, of course,  but the filter was attached to the lens all weekend and when I got it right, the results were wondermous.


I won’t be showing you the ones where I lost control of said filter and careened off the edge of the learning curve.

This dock is identified on maps and signage as “Lower Dock.” As shrine-like as it looked in yesterday’s post, here are some angles that can give you a better idea of real size:


The “Wabi Sabi Weekend” post was a picture taken on Friday afternoon, a bright sunny day. These were taken Saturday morning before breakfast, one step ahead of a downpour. 


There should be a shade of gray called “Lake Superior Sky.” I would recognize it anywhere.


Initially, I was going to call this post “Dance, Boatman, Dance.”  Let me just say Smothers Brothers and remind you that this is an ore dock.

Yes…Karen sang that song starting Friday afternoon and continued for the next 48 hours. I believe she was singing as I pulled out of her driveway.

Perhaps she is still humming quietly to herself.

And just where was your friend, Wabi Sabi, this weekend? What exotic locale was that woman visiting? A Japanese shrine?  A meditation retreat?

lower dock

Maybe a defunct ore dock on Lake Superior?

If you chose ore dock, you win. 

I drove to Marquette this weekend to see my friend, Karen: my partner in crime since we were 13 years old. Even though the statutes of limitations have probably run out on most of those crimes, we prefer not to talk about them. For a long time, that was to spare our parents undue distress. Now it’s to avoid leading our grandchildren astray.

For two and a half days, we were on a Wabi Sabi Quest.  We were looking for beat-up, broke-down, and abandoned and we found all of that and more: an orphanage, iron mine, ore dock, warehouses by the score, and the crazy-beautiful side streets of Negaunee. All derelict, cracked, boarded up, rusted out and  festooned with “No Trespassing” signs which we pretty much ignored.

Some things just don’t change.

It will take me weeks to share the best of our discoveries with you.