When asked about our favorite time of year in Bayfield, our answer is immediate – Fall is our best time. The daytime temps are still warm enough to enjoy the area, the water and the islands, the nights are generally cool and crisp. The slowly changing colors around us are impacted by the crisp air so common this time of year. Apple Orchards are gearing up, sailing continues with ever more colorful shoreline vistas and the slightly slower pace makes all the business owners just a bit more relaxed.
Wander the shops and galleries at a more relaxed pace
Can we entice you a bit more? Pinehurst Inn is pleased to join many other lodgings as we offer the Fall Harvest Special. This midweek offering is simple: Stay three or more)( nights (Sunday – Thursday) and we will happily discount the third night by 50%. PLUS we will provide a $25 certificate redeemable at most Bayfield businesses (cannot be applied to lodging). This special starts Sunday, September 16 and goes through November 8th. Be sure to requests Fall Harvest Special whether booking by phone or online. Call 877-499-7651 to learn more.
Living on Lake Superior is an honor. This “inland sea” provides us with an amazing sense of awe. Today, Sunday, July 15th is Lake Superior Day. Lake Superior Day was started in the early 1990s to highlight the importance of this great water body to the basin
I have been to my fair share of 4th of July parades in my time. I am certainly accustomed to the patriotic marching bands, the little kids on their bikes, and even the occasional political figure here and there. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these parades. I actually love them. There is a certain quintessential patriotism to these events that I love. It’s one of those days where we all get along and celebrate this country.
All of that said, as a child the majority of the parades I witnessed were far from the “norm.” You may or may not know that our family spent most of our summers over on Madeline Island. It was there that my sister and I learned how the “islanders” celebrate the Fourth. The Madeline Island Independence Day parade is a sight to see and an event not to be missed. It’s silly. It’s outlandish. It’s political. Yet, with all of those descriptions, it is also quintessential Americana. At this parade you will see floats such as the Wood Ticks float, the Royal Family Wedding party (not really, of course!), and the Emerald Ash Borer telling everyone not to move their firewood. These wonderful floats in addition to the Islands musicians, restaurants and businesses getting their well deserved attention. The best part to me is when the Island’s veterans float comes down the street. Without fail, these men (as of now, it’s just men) get the loudest cheer. You’ll see men, women and children waving their American flags, and even a few of them saluting from the side of the road. This is that sense of Americana I referred to.
After the parade the community and many more gather on the lawn outside of the Madeline Island Museum. Patriotic songs are sung, speeches are made and even a few jokes are told. As corny as it may sound, it simply is a joyous time. I dare anyone to experience these events and not have a smile on their face.
There is of course my personal favorite part of these events. Getting there. The parade starts at 10:30 sharp(ish), so you need to be sure you catch one of the Madeline Island Ferries early enough to get over there and find a place to see the goings on. One must go through the sometimes arduous process of finding a place to leave their car in Bayfield before getting in the long line of folks waiting to get aboard. Once aboard you’ll quickly see that there are far more people then there are cars, and it feels like a bit of a party. Everyone is excited to see what unique floats there will be this year. Many will reminisce about the goofiness they saw the year before. Then on the ride back, you’ll hear many of the same conversations, yet everyone is speaking a bit louder simply out of excitement!
As you can see it’s one of those experiences that is hard to put into words. I guess you’ll just have to come to Bayfield and experience it yourself. We’d love to see you!
Well, everything truly does seem to be happening a bit earlier this year. We have just heard that the strawberries are just about ready at the local berry farms. Right now Erickson’s Orchard & Country Store has a limited quantity of ready-picked strawberries available for purchase. This is about two weeks ahead of schedule, but we certainly don’t mind. There is something so especially delicious about eating fruit that was just picked locally!
We talk about cooking with local foods all the time, and how easy it is. We’d like to utilize our blog a bit more to share with you ideas to help you do more in your own kitchens. We make it a point to buy as many fresh local berries as we can while they are in season. We have a couple of extra freezers to store these scrumptious treats year round. Berries are actually quite easy to freeze, but how you do it really does make a difference in how long they will last.
We are quite lucky at Pinehurst that my father (Steve) loves the process of cleaning and cutting berries for freezing. He also does this with potatoes, peppers and other produce. He finds it quite relaxing and reminds him of his childhood. This is a good thing as I don’t think the women in our family feel quite that way about it. Here’s a link to some very simple and good instructions on freezing strawberries: http://www.pickyourown.org/strawberries_freezing.htm. The most important step of this process is draining the cleaned berries of as much moisture as possible.
So, what can you do with these berries? Of course, the very best part about buying local berries is picking them directly from the flats and eating them! But, alas we can’t always do that. Here are two recipes that we serve quite frequently at Pinehurst Inn:
Strawberry Parfait: This is a really easy one: Take some fresh Bayfield strawberries, and quarter them. Then take some plain yogurt and add a touch of maple syrup and vanilla extract (just enough to flavor as you like). Layer the strawberries and yogurt with your favorite granola and enjoy!
A long standing traditional ceremony takes place in Bayfield this weekend. This event honors the long history of commercial fishing on Lake Superior. The Blessing of the Fleet is that opportunity for our community to recognize these fishermen and their vessels.
In the past 10 years, the event has grown to include all types of boats: sailboat, motor boats, kayaks, canoes, and more. These many vessels line up to individually pass through the harbor as local clergy provide a blessing, wishing them safe passage and a prosperous season. Organized by the US Coast Guard, there is an amazing variety of boats, some decorated and loaded with family for the occasion, some simply paddled by a single person.
Bayfield has become a boaters destination. The presence of the Apostle Islands provides a great destination for boaters, providing a break from the big lake, places to explore, find safe harbor.
What a wonderful way for our community to recognize the importance of this grand Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands in our lives as we also honor our long standing commercial fishing history.
The Blessing of the Fleet starts at 1pm on Sunday, June 10th. Come and enjoy the event at Memorial Park.
If you’ve never experienced sailing, this is an ideal place to give it a try. Dreamcatcher Sailing offers a simply entry into sailing with their Afternoon Sail, a 2 – 1/4 hour excursion leaving at 2:30 in the afternoon. Looking for something more? Try their Island Landing Excursion is a 4 1/2 hour sail providing more time to get out and explore the Islands. Their Sea Caves by Sail trip departs from Cornucopia and is a wonderful way to explore the spectacular mainland caves. So many choices.
No matter what trip you select, we are confident that this mode of water “travel” will take you into a state of euphoria. Sailing is an art. It is done in relative silence, with some water sounds in the background. Captains willing to teach you what you want to learn, taking you into some of the most breathtaking scenes you can imagine.
Can you picture it? Let us help with this Life to the Max video.
It’s a safe bet that you will end this experience with a smile on your face.
Yesterday Kristen and I took a trip to Silver Sage Farm to purchase herbs for the Pinehurst Inn gardens. This beautiful farm is located in Port Wing, WI, about 30 minutes from Bayfield. While it is a bit of a trek, it is completely worth it. Owner, Mary Pearson, has her own little piece of paradise. Upon arrival the first thing we noticed was the amazing gardens right outside of Mary’s home. Wine grapes, lettuces, flowers and so much more! The bees and butterflies were very very happy.
This is one of the things about living up here that is hard to explain to those who have been acclimated to the city to the extent that they buy their herbs at the grocery store or a discount store. There is something so much fun about going to the actual farm and talking to the gardener about their plants. They really do treat them like a family. Calling plants sad because they haven’t been transplanted yet. Mary was eager to tour me through her garden to share the different varieties of herbs she has.
We found a beautiful selection of rosemary, thyme, basil, parley, peppers and more. Even a few things we hadn’t heard of. Lemon Basil? Orange Thyme? Mary was a wealth of information and was able to suggest a few different varieties of peppers that will do better in our region. The smells were amazing and we simply can’t wait to get these in the ground so they can flourish and be added to you breakfast when you come to visit us.
Now we just need mother nature to cooperate a bit more and give us the time to get these beautiful plants in the ground before the next thunderstorms roll in.
Finally, one of our favorite parts about visiting Silver Sage Farm that we weren’t expecting were her gorgeous horses greeting us! We couldn’t help but take a few photos!
Anyone who has visited Pinehurst Inn is aware of our dedication to gardening. Perennial flower gardens, vegetable gardens, herbs, and native garden take up a fair amount of our time. It’s a good thing. But we are certainly not alone!
Were you aware that Bayfield offers some of the most magnificent gardens and orchards in the state? The proximity to Lake Superior and varying elevations provide something of a micro climate. What results is a superb growing climate. Result? Beautiful gardens, hanging baskets, orchards, and more. Celebrate spring gardens with Bayfield in Bloom and the Bayfield Garden Tours.
It’s been a while since we’ve talked about “the ferry.” It’s no secret that our family has been riding the Madeline Island Ferry for many many years now. Of course, Nancy remembers riding the original Nichevo which you had to back off of! I personally remember riding on the Nichevo II as a child, but to this day I have a soft spot for the Island Queen. The Queen has this little deck off of their passenger cabin that can only seat about 5-6 people comfortably. My sister and I would always race up there – to “our spot.” I still to this very day, love sitting there. It’s as if we have our own private balcony for that 25 minute ride.
Today is one of those days that I’d really rather be riding the Ferry. From Bayfield the lake looks like a field of diamonds with all of those sparkles. It’s virtually impossible to capture those diamonds in a photo, but trust me, they’re there. I see this lake everyday, yet days like today make me feel so very fortunate that I live here. It makes me want to be a “visitor” again. I want to go down and hop on the next Ferry scheduled. I would start by staying on the main deck of the boat. I would lean over the edge to see the bow of the boat breaking through the calm waters – creating its beautiful wake. If I’m lucky enough to be riding on the Island Queen, I would run up to “our spot” and sit and enjoy the cold (and it is cold at this time of year) wind on my face. From the boat you can see a few of the Apostle Islands: Basswood Island, Long Island, Ashland and more. Look at a map and try to identify which is which.
So, yes, the Ferry is for many simply a mode of transportation – a way of getting from the mainland to Madeline Island, and back. No matter how many times I ride those boats though, it’s more than that for me. It’s a short and sweet adventure. It’s 25 minutes where I can just sit and enjoy the view! Which is something we all could do a bit more of.
One of the most common questions that we hear – not only from guests – but all over the place is, “What is there to do in Bayfield? Why do people come?” This is one of the easiest and most difficult questions to answer. We like to think that Bayfield has really mastered the “art of doing nothing.” But, this thought tends to scare people who in today’s world are constantly being entertained. Here are the things that Bayfield does not (and hopefully never will) have: an amusement park, water park (unless you count the lake!), fast food restaurants, and chain hotels/motels. There are many things that Bayfield is not.What are we then? We would like to consider Bayfield as a place of relaxation and respite. There are a myriad of activities for you, don’t get us wrong. Better yet, there are a variety of things you can do that won’t cost you a penny! Last month we gave you a list of things to do in Bayfield that have a cost to them – this month here’s Bayfield “on the cheap!”
Meyers Beach Hiking Trail – As a part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, this trail offers a good workout hiking trail that takes you up above the Lake Superior sea caves and gives you fabulous views of some of the Apostle Islands.
Visit the Orchards & Berry Farms – During the summer months you can pick your own cherries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, juneberries, blackberries – just about any berry you can think of! Or, if you prefer, you can visit the stand to pick up a bag or basket of fresh fruit already picked for you, along with jars of jams, jellies and fresh preserves.
Swimming! – There is nothing quite like the sensation of swimming through the clean, crisp, beautiful waters of Lake Superior. Lake Superior offers beautiful sandy beaches for all swimmers including youngsters who love to play in the sand with delicate white sand for the best of sand castle building. And what could be better than a Lake Superior sandy beach to relax on after an invigorating swim.
Explore the Arts – Bayfield’s many art galleries and studios invite visitors to see first hand the quality work created by local painters, potters, woodworkers, weavers and metalsmiths and more. Noted as one of the best 100 artist towns in the U.S., the numerous studios and galleries have something for everyone’s taste.
Of course this is only a sampling of things you can do in Bayfield at no (or next to no) cost! One of our favorite pastimes is finding a quiet little corner somewhere – indoor or out – where one can curl up with a good book, listen to the sounds of the world around them and simply relax!