"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Kayaking, Pickled Herring & Sea Caves

September 2
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Bayfield,  WI

Well, the title is a little misleading.  We WANTED to go kayaking here.  I've seen pictures and nature shows about this area and couldn't wait to go.  Unfortunately, the weather still hasn't cooperated with us and it was quite rainy and very windy.  When it's windy in the Great Lakes, they are like oceans! 

The drive from Minnesota to Wisconsin, started out ok, then got nasty just before we got to Bayfield.  I was getting weather alerts for rain, strong winds and golf ball sized hail.  Luckily we didn't get hail.

Oh please wait 10 more minutes until we get to the campground, pretty please?
There was a beautiful blue sky behind us.

And after the storm, a beautiful rainbow!

The town of Bayfield is a pretty little seaside type village with gorgeous old homes landscaped with beautiful flower filled yards.  The little downtown has some typical shops and eateries. 


 Dinner was a ways off, but we were too hungry to wait and besides, we do like to sample the eats and drinks of the area and the local specialties.  Even if we're not too sure we'll like them.  We popped into a little place near the marina and Steve decided we should try the Pickled Herring.  Hmm.  I'm not really a fish person.  Nor do I care for pickled things.  But I said as long as we get some Arancini I'm in.  Arancini are Italian stuffed rice balls coated in bread crumbs and fried.  Sometimes there is meat, sauce, potatoes or peas inside.  Something you don't normally see outside of an Italian neighborhood, so I was a little suspicious, but didn't think they actually had a frozen variety. 

We found out that the lake herring is actually Cisco (it is referred to both ways).  Whatever.  Neither one of us cared for it.  It was quite fishy, like I thought it might be and didn't taste like what Steve remembered having before.  It was served with crackers.  Steve ate as much as he could.  I had a few bites.  The arancini looked good, but were quite bland.  I'm sure they were not homemade.  I didn't get pictures, so the above are from the internet and looked much the same (well, not the arancini).

We found a great campground called Buffalo Bay which is part of the Legendary Waters Casino in Red Cliff, WI.  Small but right on Lake Superior with great views, clean, quiet with water & electric (dump station on the grounds) for $33 a night.  We stayed in spot 33.  You got $15 free play for the casino which I promptly deposited back in.  Steve ended up winning $80 and played it down to $25.

Our front yard
Our beautiful "backyard" view!

Since kayaking was out, I took the pooch for a hike to the sea caves.  The first half of the trail was on a small elevated boardwalk that looked to have been built/rebuilt very recently as the smell of fresh cedar was still lingering and the sawdust here and there looked quite fresh.  It did make the hike more interesting.

Nice walkways for the first 1/2.
Beautiful birch trees

The fall colors are just starting to show on some of the trees.  It was a nice hike with some very pretty berries, ferns and colorful fungi.



The sea caves on the mainland are hard to see from land itself, but at the end of the trail is a beautiful cave that has a bridge across it.  Since they are made from sandstone, they can erode and crumble.  The park has tried to keep people off the bridge so they have put a fence around it.  When the winds are up, like today, and the waves are large, they make a loud moaning sound when they crash in the caves.
This is looking down into the cave.  The
bolder is the size of a small car.

  This is the bridge between the two caves.   

One of the 22 Apostle Islands

We headed back to the trailhead so we could walk along the beach.
Hurley leads the way back down.

And... Lake Michigan!

The next day we took a cruise that went around the Apostle Islands.  This was the best way to see the sea caves and a couple of light houses too.  It was a great day to be out.  It was very interesting to hear about the islands, who used to own them and all the things that took place.  Fishing to logging to harvesting stone.  There are deer and bears on the islands that actually swim from island to island.


What a wonderful time at the Apostle Islands.  I just wished we were able to kayak here.  We'll just have to come back another time!


  1. Hurley blends right into that trail - it took me a couple of seconds to find him. I bet he was glad you couldn't go kayaking without him. But the lake looked really rough so that was a good call.

  2. Seeing the sea caves from the water is definitely on our list - they are so amazing! I agree about Hurley blending in - all I saw was the leash :-) I remain both excited for you and envious of your adventures - and now you're at the rally!!! Have a great time. We can't wait for next year in Tennessee.

    1. It really is beautiful and I wish we could've kayaked around. I'm excited for you Jodee. Just thinking back, it was all such a blur after the rally. Seems like it's been much longer than 5 months!

  3. So beautiful Debbie! Wisconsin is definitely on our list of places to visit. We are in Oregon this week. Went to Bend and to Sisters. We are at Seven Feathers for the next couple days then back to reality as I fly to Alabama on Monday.

    Hope all is well with the two of you.

    1. Hi Eunice! We loved Sisters! How do you like 7 Feathers? Beautiful, isn't it? Have a great time and a safe trip to Alabama. We are having a great time!! Not happy to hear about the King Fire up the hill. Hope you get those storms and the fire gets put out quickly. Too much beautiful hiking, kayaking area there!


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