Bayfield, Wisconsin

It's a delightful little town here in Bayfield, Wisconsin, which is the gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. We had a short day of driving yesterday, although bad roads continue to slow us down. We didn't find any construction yesterday...which is both good and bad, because the roads could use a little attention on Wisconsin SR 13. 

There isn't a whole lot to say about yesterday. We got under way slowly yesterday morning. Duluth was less than 50 miles away, and it was the first place of note that we came to. You can just barely see it as we approach in the middle of the image below.

Duluth is a big port city at the southern tip of Lake Superior, and it has some pretty fancy schmancy bridges crossing this huge expanse of water. The bulk of shipping here is for grain and ore coming from harvest and mines to be loaded onto ships and shipped off to mill for processing.

There are huge grain silos. While you might think this is lovely waterfront property, it is highly industrialized.

Another huge bridge takes the interstate traffic across Lake Superior.

As you go up and over

and back down again, you cross into the Great State of Wisconsin.

There we took the scenic highway Wisconsin 13 along the lakeshore toward Bayfield. We've been a little disappointed by the lakeshore roads. When one drives down Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, the ocean is visible for most, if not all of the way. The drives along Lake Superior have given us just little glimpses of the lake. The roads are mostly lined with trees on both sides. It's pretty enough...just not what we thought we were going to see. The map designates them as "scenic highways" and shows the road going right along the lake. In fact, we are at least a quarter mile inland most of the time.

Nevertheless, we did see some beautiful country yesterday, even if it wasn't lakefront. I was able to add a few more barns to my barn folder.

The barns we saw were in varying states of repair, with some of their roofs actually caving in. We can't believe they are of use for anything since they can't possibly shelter against rain and snow.

After many miles, we finally got a glimpse of the Wisconsin lake shore. We were surprised at how muddy the water was for quite a ways out into the depths of the lake. Perhaps the recent storm caused this? Or perhaps a muddy river is draining into the lake? We can't say for sure.

Eventually, we caught our first view of the bay that is Bayfield. You can see a little blue strip across the middle of the image below.

And what a sweet little town, with a distinctly New England flavor...even if this is technically the midwest.

The roads exhaust Mike the driver, and so he stayed at the trailer after we unhitched, and I drove into town to do a little shopping. I was surprised to find everything (including the quilt shop!) open on a Sunday afternoon. There were some lovely homes along the lake front...big and old homes...and I would have loved to tour some of them. Many had been converted to bed and breakfasts and cozy-looking inns.

Do you see the church steeple a little off to the left in the middle of the image below?

And you gotta love a shop with a name like this:

There is a small boat harbor at the edge of town, and from here, boat tours to the Apostle Islands are launched. Here is what a placard at the edge of town says:

There's a lovely little park, and the weather was perfect. A little windy, but warm enough to be out without a jacket. Folks were enjoying one of the last warm weekends all around the region.

Here's a satellite image showing our location, and you can see the Apostle Islands off shore.

And here's a panorama of this lovely little harbor and water-side park. Look carefully right in the middle, and you can see one of the islands.

And I would be remiss if I didn't give you the State of the States. Yesterday, I added Wisconsin and Lake Superior to the map.

In a few hours, we will be off again, headed toward our turn-around point in Munising, Michigan. We'll spend two nights there and take a sunset tour of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore tomorrow evening. 

The quilt shop surprised me by being open yesterday afternoon. When I mentioned it to the employee, she told me that it is a short season here, and they are open as much as possible while the weather is good. Another of the shopkeepers told me the same thing, and so this is apparently a good time to visit. And all of that to say that I still have another quilt shop to tell you about, but that will have to wait for a separate post.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

gpc said...

Look south when you get to Michigan, I am standing in Saginaw waving to you! It is a sad thing about much of the great lakes shoreline, far too much of it is lined with industrial development. We don't have that Oregon benefit of a public shore/coastline, and I think it's a darn shame.

Siouxzq64@gmail.com said...

Just like GPC said and if it isn't industrial they allow people to build right up to the shoreline high water mark with no public access.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I'm waving across the lakes, too. Good you are making the loop back as our temps are dropping fast here.

Colleen said...

Oh Im envious! We were going to stay there. But then we had our tire blowout and ended up stuck at our campground two extra days. I so wanted to visit there! Looks beautiful!

Tami C said...

I enjoyed the picture of the harbor and water-side park! Looks so friendly!

quiltzyx said...

I agree, those bridges are definitely fancy schmancy ones! And backstopped with glorious blues skies & clouds.

I really like all the layers in the shot approaching Bayfield. In the first town picture, the building on the left corner reminds me of the one that Ree Drummond/Pioneer Woman & family has been rehabbing for their new offices in OK.

Barb H said...

Bayfield is one of my favorite places to visit and I'm glad you find it as lovely as I do. We had serious rainfall last week and since the South Shore is made up of clay, as opposed to the rocky North Shore, the lake will often get muddy after a heavy rain. Enjoy your days in Michigan!

Dana Gaffney said...

What a pretty town! I think I could live there.

Junebug613 said...

I live on the west coast of FL, and when I was younger, you could drive and see the beach and water. Sadly, now all you see is condos. What a cute town! Weather looks pretty!

Lyndsey said...

Great pictures Barbara, it is a very pretty town.