9.24.2014

Madeline Island, Part 1 - "How do I get there?!"

Tell me you've heard of Madeline Island - you haven't!?!?!?! That's ok, until I moved to MN and got to know some folks over the first few years, I had never heard of it either. But it's a shame now that I've gone - I should have gone much much sooner than last weekend. It sure seemed like a wonderful place to me.

First though, you have to get to Madeline Island. I mean, they don't put "island" in the name for nothing. It's an island in the middle of Lake Superior, part of the 22-island Apostle Island chain, that actually has no road access. And you're thinking, "No road goes to it? That's crazy in this day and age!" Well, it might very well be, but I think it suits the two towns and people involved just fine. Those two towns are Bayfield and La Pointe, WI, by the way.

Here's where we start:

You kind of get in your car and aim for the upper arm-pit-like corner of Wisconsin. Of course, this area of the country, as a recreation destination, is anything but the arm pit. Simply put, it's a beautiful part of the US. Perhaps one of those "last remaining, unspoiled" deals and all that.

Now, once you make your way to the small hamlet of Bayfield, WI, you need to get down to the docks. "Why?", you ask. Well, to get the ferry over to Madeline Island of course. You didn't think we chartered you a plane, did you?

This simple port greets pedestrians, bikers, and autos using the ferries:

I didn't find it too intimidating, or hard to find, but it doesn't hurt if I tell you how it works before you go. Next, get your round-trip or one-way ticket for the ferry:

I purchased the round-trip, with car, for one. (that's actually my little gas-sipper in the pic above).

Then, you wait until the crew tells you to drive your car on the ferry. Yes, you get to drive right onto the ferry for the ride over. It was pretty easy. If you can park a car in a tight garage space, you can do this. I don't have great pics of this as I was doing the driving, onto a ferry, not a good time to snap selfies. But, here's some of the layout on the craft:





Pretty little maids, all in a row... to save my life if the ship goes below...


Yes, sit in the guest lounge if you find it too windy for the main deck. But, on the deck you can see the lake, from all angles, as you make the 20 minute ride over to Madeline Island (aka La Pointe, WI). Don't blink, you might miss something:














You glide into "Mad Isle" and come to a safe stop. Of course, once the gate is down, you can drive your car right off onto the island (or walk, or ride your bike). Get ready to explore!

Welcome to serenity... Madeline Island, Part 2 soon...







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