It’s been several weeks now since the passing of Prince and many of the tributes are now over. Over the past several weeks I’ve talked to a number of people and listened to their stories regarding interactions with him. Some who’ve met him on a more personal level, others who’ve been to some of his more intimate shows in the area, and those who’ve gone to full scale concerts. Many in his home town of Minneapolis have been affected by Prince. How many people in the world have such an effect as to be able to turn symbols around the world purple? Very few that I can think of.
While I didn’t take in those paying tribute at his recording studio Paisley Park or the well known night club First Avenue, I wanted to photograph the city he grew up in at night and what better opportunity than while it was lit up in purple? After work one evening I heading out in search of a great place to capture it all. While I didn’t fully succeed in capturing it all, I think I got some interesting pictures of Minneapolis.
The first goal was to photograph the city as the sun set behind it so I headed to a spot east and set up waiting for dark to begin falling. I was surprised to find I was not the only one taking advantage of this situation and specific location. In fact much of the night I came across others doing the same thing in the same places. Sure the opportunity for a unique picture was decreased but it was somewhat comforting to know others thought taking these night photos was a good idea also.
As the sun continued its trek below the horizon, more and more purple lights became visible in the darkening sky. Blackness continued to fill the sky over this busy city making these colorful lights stand out in places I didn’t expect. There were stories of a few buildings in downtown, and the 35W bridge, being lit up in purple but many other buildings had joined in on this night bringing an even larger tribute to Prince’s place.
After photographing in this location for a couple of hours while the last light from the sun dipped below the city I decided to try a different perspective to see if more of these colored buildings could be spotted so I drove to the north side of Minneapolis. Not much time was spent here as I couldn’t find a composition that brought out these purple accented buildings in a way I wanted so after a few pictures it was off to the west side of the city. From there, more buildings lit up in Prince’s color appeared and provided some nice opportunities with the rising moon in the background. After photographing this night cityscape for over an hour from this location, I decided it was time to call it a night and head for home and a soft pillow.
During the holiday weekend at the end of May we were camping in the Bluffs near the Mississippi River. Since it was a later spring the water temperatures were colder than usual, it was cloudy and cool so the fishing would likely be slower than we wanted. After a little research we found a couple of trails near by and decided to go for a hike in the bluffs and see if we could find an great view or two.
The forest was so lush and green with a number of beautiful wildflowers beginning to bloom.
This was a 7 mile trail so a little longer hike than we’ve been on before but without any gear should be achievable. Expecting we should be able to hike at a 1.5 mph pace it was expected to take about 4-5 hours total to complete this trail including time to eat and enjoy the views while taking pictures. Past experience taught us to bring along food for a meal as well as a few snacks and water.
As we arrived at the park we found out that this is mostly an ATV trail and very few people actually hike it. As a result the trail was quite muddy in places and we needed to keep a watch for ATV’s as there were many using the trail that weekend. The first half of the trail was lacking much for vistas that we were hoping to see and included a couple of steep hills both up and down to climb. Fortunately the blooming wildflowers and seeing a scarlet tanager made this part of the trail worth the effort. This was the first time I’ve ever seen a scarlet tanager.
Growing a little tired of hiking after walking up the bluff for a second time we were just hoping there were no more major hills to climb down and back up again. Shortly we came upon the first of a couple of locations that over look the Mississippi River and surrounding bluffs. It was at this point we achieved our main goals of this hike which was to see this amazing part of the country from within the top of the bluffs. Here was a view from an area we had not witnessed before.
After taking in the views it was time to head down off the bluffs to the trailhead. If time permits a trip to the locally famous Nelson Cheese Factory for some great ice cream was in order. With that motivation the pace was increased to get back to our cars and head towards our camping location.
For those who are curious, we did make it in time to get our ice cream.
Experiences Gained: Longest hike yet in one day gaining confidence to tackle more difficult hikes on Isle Royale and the Rocky Mountains someday hopefully soon, Saw several scarlet tanagers which are a beautiful, vibrant red bird that migrates to this area for the summer, and enjoyed views of the river and bluffs new to us.
Over the 4th of July holiday we had the opportunity to do some fishing on the Mississippi River. The fish were biting slow so I had some time to play with the camera and try a lot of different settings and angles. The water was very cooperative as you can see and the clouds mixed with the setting sun gave this spectacular view. To be honest, I had a difficult time selecting this picture as there were others to choose from. If you’re a member of this site, you may be able to take a look at those soon.