John L's Old Maps / Supplementary Pages:

 Views of the Apostle Islands 

Page VI: A Special Fall, 2004 Trip
to Madeline Island

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SITE CONTENTS:

Old Map Collection – web version 4.2 (5/24/07):
  Part 1: c.1710-1857
  Part 2: 1873-1920
Supplementary Pages:
•  Evolution of Northwest Territory
•  Photos:  Source of Brule & St. Croix Rivers
•  Photos:  Sources of the Mississippi River
•  Photos:  Railroads and Trails

•   Photos:  VIEWS OF THE APOSTLE ISLANDS
    See the MENU here.

•  References


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On a day in late October, 2004 – finding the fall colors pretty much on the wane around home in the Hayward area – my friend Kellie and I figured just maybe they were still going strong up by Lake Superior. And then, hearing about the probability of storms on and around the lake, we felt an adventure was definitely in order. But who really needs a reason for a road trip to the big lake anyway! It's always satisfying any time of the year! And no two visits to Madeline Island can ever be alike.

1: Looking from the ferry on the trip from Bayfield to Madeline Island, here's a dark cloud hanging over Basswood Island.

Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Way out in the water    
See it swimmin'

From "Where Is My Mind"
by Black Francis
on the Pixies album
"Surfer Rosa"

2: Approaching the village of La Pointe.

3–4: Some pretty good fall coloring along Schoolhouse Road in the northeast end of Madeline Island.

5–6: On the northeast shore – doing a little bit of island spotting as one may see on the previous page and also here – we are looking north to Stockton Island as some clouds start to roll in.

7: The darkened area to the right of center is Presque Isle (French for "almost island") Point of Stockton Island. Outer Island is barely visible in the distance to the right.

8–9: A normal and a telefoto view of Michigan Island. The lighthouse is near the southernmost tip of the island.

10: In the hazy distance, Gull Island pops in and out of view, but something not noticed during my first sighting from this spot a few months earlier (click here and note the heads-up about trespassing) is a vertical structure appearing like a distant smokestack which is most likely the Gull Island beacon. A magnified view is shown here. Lest we be struck by lightning, to the car we ran and then it was off to Big Bay.


11: We now find ourselves at the north end of the Big Bay beach at the Town Park, looking toward the east-northeast at the dark clouds that have just given us a good drenching. The watery area in the foreground is actually the northern tip of the Big Bay Lagoon which is normally at a higher level and empties into the lake at this spot. At this particular time – with higher atmospheric pressure pressing down on the lake elsewhere – the lake has piled up here (can you say seiche?) and is trickling through in the opposite direction.

A newspaper article detailing the joys of visiting Madeline Island in the fall can be found here.

Upon repeated visits during the year one may see reversal of the current between the lagoon and the lake quite often. Sometimes the channel is wide and deep with the current going one way or the other, and it may be difficult or impossible to wade through. And due to the occasional bulldozing effect of the waves, a prominant ridge can form on the beach, blocking the channel altogether. See this page for more photos of the channel and its changes.

The summer droughts in recent years severely reduced the water levels throughout the area. Lake Superior in general and the Big Bay Lagoon in particular were noticeably affected, and a dramatic example of lowered water levels is shown here of the St. Croix River at the Coppermine Dam in October, 2003.

12–13: A closer look at the rocky shoreline that takes over from the beach.

14: Looking east over the bay, we see mammatus clouds forming in the wake of the storm that had just passed. And then, looking toward the southwest, we notice more rain on the way.

15: Apparently some care was taken in the creation of this portrait which – after four years – has faded out completely, polka-dot eyes and all.


16: A nice autumnal view of the main street in La Pointe.

17: Every October the Halloween festivities in La Pointe are extended over a two-week period with a scarecrow contest. One of the many entries which line the streets is shown here. Kellie remarked how much these individuals resemble us 30 years ago. Now, that's scary!

18–20: Some views from the ferry dock in the late afternoon.

21: Bayfield on the mainland is lit up as night falls. What a neat place to call home!

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 More Apostle Islands photos:
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 E-mail me at:
     jlindquist 001 @ gmail.com 

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All photos on these pages are by myself unless noted otherwise.
This page was last modified on 9/24/09 at 11:45 AM, CDT.
(Speculation that the Michigan Island Lighthouse could be seen from
St. Peter's Dome was removed 10/15/13, pending a revisit to the latter.)
John Lindquist:  homepage, complete site outline.
University of Wisconsin – Madison

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