Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

The claim on the seasickness pills box turned out to be a bunch of hooey. I went to bed at 8:30pm and slept until 7:30 this morning. I was hung over for the rest of the day. So was Alan, but in a less pleasant way – his stomach was still roiling from the boat trip.

We made it to the west end of the Apostle Islands peninsula around lunchtime so we stopped for a simple lunch near the lake before continuing to our campground. We checked in then drove into Bayfield, a quaint fishing town catering to the tourists. We stopped in at the visitor center for the National Lakeshore, got our stamp and chatted with a ranger about trails to hike. We had also decided, against our better judgement, to take a boat tour of the islands the following day and walked to the office to purchase tickets. 

Day 2

We took our time getting up and out this morning. Both us us feeling better after a good night’s sleep. 

Breakfast was had at a neat little locally owned, locally food-sourced, joint across from where we parked the van, ManyPenny Bistro. It was there that I had the best Eggs Benedict I’d ever had. Alan enjoyed his breakfast too and we agreed we’d return the next morning.

We had been told by the ladies at the ticket counter that we should get to the dock to line up for boarding the boat as early as possible and now we understood why – the line was already very long and there was still another 45 minutes before she set sail. We struck up a conversation with some women interested in birding and before we knew it the boarding process had begun. Alan chose the topside, which was fully exposed to the elements, but also free of reflective glass – a bane for photographers – so I joined him.

The ride was a little chilly, but it was a beautiful sunny day which helped to cut the chill factor a little bit. The captain provided a running commentary about the Apostle Islands, their various names and how there are actually 23 islands, not twelve as some people might think. We saw a Bald Eagle, full colored adult, and a younger eagle near the aerie. We saw two lighthouses, one of which was being worked on. The NPS hopes to fully restore it and open it next summer for tours.

The big attraction of the islands, and the shoreline on the west side of the peninsula, are the sea caves. The caves are carved out of the limestone and bedrock of the shoreline by Lake Superior. the varying sediment lines make for some fantastic colors and shapes. During the winter the caves become encrusted with ice making the area appear like a fairy tale wonderland. This is a huge attraction for folks unafraid of the cold.

After the tour we had lunch at Maggie’s Bistro, just up the road from the parking lot. It was another good find in Bayfield.