Monday, July 20, 2015

Apostle Islands—Another Wisconsin Wonder

This morning we jumped up ready to tackle another busy day.  It promised to be great day.  We had already done a boat tour to the Lake Superior Sea Caves and a ferry to Madeline Island—so we were excited about the boat trip today.  We took the 3 ½ hour Grand Tour of the Apostle Islands.  

We were able to get great seats on the top viewing area of the boat.  It was windy, but the sun was shining and the temperature was a perfect 70 degrees.  We pulled away from the docks know this trip was going to be full of beautiful sights.

The Grand Tour will take us to see the Apostle Islands.  22 islands make up the Apostle Islands.  

We catch the boat from Bayfield.  Bayfield brings its own beauty and special uniqueness.  Visitors come to Bayfield to either catch a ferry to Madeline Islands or a boat tour to the Apostle Islands.  People also come to shop in the stores which although the stores offer treats for tourists, they are not the same “tourist traps” that we have seen on our travels.   

Bayfield offers unique restaurants and an ice cream shop/bakery, The Candy Shoppe; that is nothing short of amazing! They make their own Waffle Cones.  I normally don’t get a cone; I would rather just have the ice cream in a bowl.  But the smell of the freshly made cones greeted us when we walked in… so none of us could resist.  These waffles were scrumptious!  We ordered 2 “famous” wine breads, for later.  Wine Bread is delight dessert bread that are filled with cream cheese and anything from pie fillings to chocolate—amazing!
The view of Bayfield from tour boat was like a postcard.

Every time we catch even a glimpse of Lake Superior we are amazed at its beauty and vastness.   With this "vastness" came a side affect that I had not expected.  It was relaxing to sit back and enjoy the view and the ride--but looking out to the landscape without islands, made me so nervous!  Sue, in all her wisdom, told me to focus on the islands and the shorelines--then I was fine.  
There are more lighthouses on the Lake Superior shoreline than any other National Park. There are 8 historic Lighthouses shining over Lake Superior.   
The shoreline scenery on our trip was stunningly beautiful.   We bounced across the water admiring the red sandstone caves and cliffs—it felt like they were carved out just for our viewing pleasure.  The colorful sandstone has eroded into interesting cliffs and rock formations.  There are beaches and sea caves along the shorelines.
The shorelines and “sandscapes” are some of the most beautiful, unique sights we have ever seen.

There are deer and black bear on several of the islands, although we didn’t see either.  We were thrilled to see a pair of Bald Eagles and their nest.

Between clear cut logging and fires, most of the islands have been completely clear cut, so the trees we see are from regrowth.

The landscape is somehow serene and powerful.  The calming blue water and the rocking of the waves is relaxing.  When the wind is strong the waves beat the rocks with a vengeance.

Devil’s Island is the northern most point of the tour.  Dramatic rock formations and sea caves line the shores.  When we started our boat tour, the captain announced that he did not expect we would be going out to Devil’s Island due to rough weather conditions.  When the wind died down, the waters started calming.  We were able to go to Devil’s Island.  We had no idea the amazing sights that were waiting for us—we were thrilled at what we saw!

We have decided that Wisconsin is the hidden secret; that everyone needs to experience.  We have been in Wisconsin for almost 3 weeks, which for us is a long time—and yet it does not feel like enough time.  

We will leave with the full expectation that we will be back.

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