Monday, August 17, 2009

Exploring--Wisconsin, Lake Superior's Apostle Islands

Creative travel includes discovering new places to explore in frequently visited areas. As we planned a trip to visit relatives in Wisconsin this summer, Mark suggested that we allow extra time to see the Apostle Islands, just off Wisconsin's Lake Superior coast. Although we have seen much of Wisconsin over the years, we had not yet ventured all the way north to see these remote, historic, and beautiful islands.
Our home base for exploring was Bayfield, a charming, artsy mainland town perched on Wisconsin's northernmost point, overlooking Chequamegon Bay and some of the islands. The photo above on the right shows this picturesque town, looking back from the main ferry dock. We found a small, reasonably priced motel with a relaxing view of the bay and this dock from our balcony. In town, we enjoyed choosing from a range of restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops for meals, browsing a variety of fascinating galleries and a few shops (there are many, but we are not tourist shop devotees), and simply strolling the streets and lanes. Some homes and shops date back to earlier years in this 150 year old village, and each corner turned--especially as we strolled uphill on the winding streets--provided a lovely new glimpse of water, harbor, islands, and sky. Sunrise or sunset walks were refreshing gifts for our souls, with some of the freshest breezes you can imagine. The other photos show a few of the working and pleasure boats we saw as we explored Bayfield, WI. Next post, I will show you the islands themselves.  
We both love natural waterscapes. At home, we spend time at nearby Atlantic Ocean beaches, or small lakes in our parks, exploring salt marshes, or sailing on our magnificent St. Johns River. Away from home, we also tend to seek out bodies of water, marinas, harbors, fishing boats, and sailboats. You may have noticed that many of my landscapes also include a view of water, sometimes as a major feature, other times just glimpsed somewhere in the scene. I never really planned to paint water so frequently; it just happens as I paint what I love.
Since my childhood years near Lake Michigan, I continue to seek out water and am deeply nourished simply by being near water or gazing out over it. On some primitive level, I need river, lake, or sea to feel whole. Although I love to explore a variety of natural environments and have been fascinated by visits to desserts, mountains, valleys, and so much more, coming home to a rich variety of water environments and habitats brings me peace and gratitude.
Question of the day: Do you have a preference for one favorite, personally nourishing natural kind of place, or can you thrive in a variety of environments?


  1. I like to visit many places, I like trees and water and rocks.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts on favorite nourishing places, Robin.

  3. I like the beach photo very much to. I like to the beach and flying a kite on the beach very much.

  4. I hope took some photos of your summer vacation. I like seeing all the very nice places where yall go on yalles vacation.