Temperance River in Minnesota

August 16, 2019

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Photographer: Dale Hugo 
Summary Author: Dale Hugo 

As seen here from Minnesota's North Shore Drive, Temperance River, in Temperance River State Park, is colored by tannic acid from the trees and roots of sphagnum moss in the swamps that feed it. Water foams like root beer as it rushes through drill bit gorges. One of eight state parks along the North Shore, this gem is called Temperance because, as the local joke goes, there’s no bar at its mouth – where it enters Lake Superior. Lake Superior's shore is the lowest point in Minnesota

However, because Lake Superior is now at an all-time high-water level, a few small gravel bars have formed (bottom photo). Usually, the river's sediment load drops straight into the deep trench of water that parallels Lake Superior’s Minnesota shore, so sand and gravel rarely build up. The Wisconsin side of Lake Superior, by comparison, is very shallow and sandy.

Note that the bridge (top picture) is for U.S. Highway 61, which runs from the Canadian border to New Orleans. Scenic North Shore Drive (part of U.S. 61) is 151 miles (243 km) long.

Photo Details: Top - Camera: Samsung SM-J327P; Exposure Time: 0.0014s (1/717); Aperture: ƒ/1.9; ISO equivalent: 40; Focal Length (35mm): 29. Bottom - same except: Exposure Time: 0.0012s (1/856).