September 17, 2019

#184 Apostle Islands

“Misnamed by French missionaries who thought these islands numbered twelve instead of 22, the heavily forested Apostles begin just a mile off the Lake Superior coastline and spreadh out for 600 square miles, the outermost lying some 20 miles offshore.” 

Madeline Island is the only residential island and the only one located outside the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.  During the summer a ferry operates between the mainland and Madeline, but during the winter, once the lake freezes, residents and visitors drive an “ice road” – terrifying.

The day I visited the Apostles, rain was in the forecast.  I’d scheduled a “sunset” cruise, and for the first half it was overcast, but nice.  Just over 3/4ths of the way through it started raining.  And not a nice summer shower, but a squall that reduced our captain to saying things like, “you’ll just have to trust that there is a gray building over there,” and “normally from here you can see three states (WI, MI, and MN)”, and “seriously, the water is so clear you can see clear to the bottom….not today, but you know, a lot of the time.”  Also, our boat was named "Archipelago" which is my favorite word in the English language.

Apostle Islands

The area around Bayfield, WI has a lot of orchards and berry farms colloquially known as the “Fruit Loop”.  I read that and just knew that I had to visit.  Most of these places are “pick your own” berries/apples, and I was there in between seasons – berries are almost done, and apples aren’t ready for another few weeks, but I did see some berry pickers out and about.  I also (obviously) had to buy some cider and other treats.


Bayfield itself is a super cute, quaint little town with no chain restaurants, and this patch of America is extraordinarily beautiful part of the world.