June 15, 2009

Bayfield, WI and the Apostle Islands

As we work our way to Duluth, we decide to stop over and see Kim's Sister, Lisa and her husband Dick in Washburn (WI), where they keep their beautiful boat within the southern end of the Bayfield Harbor. As we climb aboard, a large sign warns us to be careful of their new guard dog "Liddie". I guess the name let's one know right off that this beast really can't be too bad! While Kim and Lisa catch up on things, I just sit back and enjoy the wonderful view of the area from atop this lofty perch.

As we wave goodbye, I can't help but think this how nice it would be to have a 30+ foot sailboat parked next door...humm....

A short drive farther north brings us to the town of Bayfield, quaint fishing village turned tourist town because of it's proximity to the Apostle Islands National Park. We opt for a small campground on the town's edge run by the local Ojibway Tribe. The manger insists we take site no. 12, and once we get the Alpenlite parked we understand why, what a spot!

Early next morning, while sipping my coffee, two fishing "luggers" heard out, most likely looking for Lake Trout or Whitefish.
We spend some time looking around the town while awaiting boarding time for our three plus hour tour of the Apostles.

Finally we are ready to load - as I look out across the Bayfield Marina it appears we've picked the perfect day for a water adventure!

Outside the protection of the harbor, my suspicions are confirmed by the absolutely flat blue waters of Lake Superior.

Evidence of the past is still visible on most of the Islands. We ease past this old rock quarry, long closed as now the area is protected by the National Park. The ride out to deeper waters is a pleasant one, we enjoy the sunny skies, and beautiful rock outcroppings as we glide past several of the smaller islands.

It isn't long before we see our old friends from early this morning, lines out and ready to bring those big trout in!
A few miles along is more evidence of the attractiveness of fishing here, the now abandoned Manitou Fish Camp.

As we finally approach Devil's Island, we get our first glimpse of the famous Apostle Island Caves, those large caverns carved into the sand stone by thousands of years of waves bashing against the huge rocks. We take our time and cruise along the entire length of the caves, also passing the Devil's Island Lighthouse. Be sure to watch the entire segment on our YouTube site at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCLRqk-eSg8

On the backside of the Island, in the distance, we spot a group of kayakers, no doubt heading to explore the caves - a favorite out here with the paddlers. Last stop on the tour (well, I mean place to slow down and putz by) is the Rocky Island Light, now preserved, modernized and still serving to warn sailors in the night of impending danger.

As we head back into the Harbor, a huge group of gulls catch our eye, and we soon realize that our companion from this morning must have brought home the catch today.

In the background, we break out the binoculars and see our home sitting peacefully on the point where we left it earlier today.
We are so intrigued by Bayfield and the entire Apostle Islands area, we spend the better part of our next day checking out local cabins and property. I guess the bug didn't bite, since my savings account remained the same at the end of the day.

Kim mentioned that the sunrise may be really nice in the morning. I got up a bit earlier than usual, and on that final morning captured these beautiful images that will always remind us of this stellar stay looking out towards the Apostles!

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