Breakfast in Garden

Posts Tagged ‘Lake Superior’

Thoughts on Ice Caves

April 3rd, 2014 by Nancy Sandstrom

sandstone shoreline on Lake Superior in winter showing Ice formationsThe past few months in Bayfield have been incredible. The small communities of Bayfield and Cornucopia rose to the challenge (opportunity) to welcome over 120,000 visitors to explore the Mawikwi Ice Caves. A part of the Apostle Island National Lakeshore, these beautiful sandstone cave structures sculptured over thousands of years become an ice mecca in the winter. With the cold temperatures, the accessiblity for people to hike out went on for over 6 weeks. And they came.

Yes, it helped our business at Pinehurst Inn. We were as busy in February as we normally are in June – as were other lodgings and businesses. So the area gained financially for sure. But there was more happening than just financial success.

We met so many people who had never been to the area before. This was their first introduction to our great lady, Lake Superior. This was their first visit to the Apostle Island National Lakeshore – a treasure! This was their first opportunity to see first hand how Mother Nature presents amazing opportunities for humans to connect with true beauty — and awe. Standing looking at the wondrous ice formations, one can’t help but ponder that the coming warmer temperatures will once again change the landscape. These first timers hopefully caught the bug: the Lake Superior bug. It pulls you back, again and again.

Sandstone shoreline formations covered in iceJust as important as the visitors, we saw our communities rise to the challenge. Whether it was traffic control, pulling in volunteers to assist the NPS Rangers, providing a shuttle service, or creating accurate maps and information, it all came together. Weekly meetings involving law enforcement, EMS, tourism entities and others ensured that the visitors were provided what they needed to have a safe and enjoyable Ice Cave experience. We saw everyone working together for the common good.

Thank you to all the people who made this winter so special – visitors and locals. It has been a blast. And now we breathe a bit, go into our preparations for Spring and Summer.  May the energy and cooperation that made all of this work so well continue forward.

Bayfield Winter Events for Adventurous Souls

January 16th, 2014 by Nancy Sandstrom

Bayfield Wisconsin is known for the Apostle Islands, an amazing destination in the warmer times of year. But winter has settled in as the near shore of Lake Superior freezes over, snow falls regularly with great lake effect snow. The good news is that we have some great winter events coming up that provide great opportunity for the more adventurous souls out there.

Apostle Island Sled Dog Race, Bayfield, Wisconsin

The Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race (Jan 31 & Feb 1) brings in over 75 teams to participate in the two days of races. This event provides opportunities. Attend as a spectator. You are provided maps of a number of points on the race courses where you will have great views of teams at the start or on the course racing (along with bonfires and hot food!). Or get more involved as a vounteer! Check out the Voluntourism opportunity where there are a number  of areas you can be directly involved.

The weekend of February 14 & 15 offers a magnificent XC ski event, Book Across the Bay. This event brings in over 3300 XC skiers (and snowshoers, walkers and more) to trek across the frozen Chequamegon Bay from Ashland to Wasbhurn at night with the trails lit by hundreds of ice luminaries. It’s not only great fun, but also gloriously beautiful. The race is Saturday evening with a great celebratory tent set up in Washburn following the race.

And finally the weekend of February 28, March 1 & 2, the Bayfield Recreation Center offers the Bayfield Winter Festival. This weekend includes a wide range of events: Ice Golf, WinterDash at Mt. Ashwabay (5K run and obstacle course), Polar Beat Plunge, and the Run on Water (fun run from Bayfield to Madeline Island).

We don’t really experience Cabin Fever up here. We find ways to celebrate our winter, giggle a bit, and enjoy the glorious winter beauty. Pinehurst Innkeepers are very happy provide more information for our guests on any of these events as well as other Bayfield activities (skiing, dog sledding snow shoeing). Whatever your choice, know that you will still experience the wonderful Bayfield welcome.

Explore the Apostle Islands with Apostle Island Cruise Service

June 3rd, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

Island Princess Apostle Island Cruise

Our “Get on the Water” series has featured a number of blog posts on sailing and kayaking – somewhat active ways to be on the water among the Apostle Islands. But not everyone is prepared or physically able to paddle for a few hours or physcially get onto a sail boat. The good news is that the Apostle Island Cruise Service is accessible, relaxing and informative.

The most popular cruise with Pinehurst Inn guests is the Grand Tour, a 3-1/4 hour tour traveling approximately 55 miles among the majority of the 22 Apostle Islands. Their description says it all:

Raspberry Island Lighthouse“Throughout this memorable cruise, you’ll pass extraordinary natural scenery, beautiful historic Raspberry and Devils Island Lighthouses, standing rocks, extensive sea caves and marine wildlife. Learn the rich history of centuries of human interaction with Wisconsin’s “Crown Jewels” on majestic Lake Superior.”

The Apostle Island Grand Tour will provide a superb overview of this amazing Apostle Island National Lakeshore. The Grand Tour runs daily through October 13. Starting June 28th a variety of other tours are offered including a shorter Evening Grand Tour, Glass Bottom Boat Tours, Raspberry Island Lighthouse Tours and more.

Sit back a relax and soak in the beauty, the history and the amazing expanse of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands.

Would you like more help planning your visit to Bayfield and the Apostle Island? Or get the most current specials and packages offered by Pinehurst Inn?


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Pinehurst Inn wishes all a Happy Lake Superior Day!

July 15th, 2012 by Nancy Sandstrom

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’s environment and economy. This day of celebration is organized by the Lake Superior Binational Forum:

Clean water is a basic right and necessity for all life. If you live near Lake Superior, you are fortunate to be living near one of the world’s largest lakes. Every day, each of the 600,000 human residents of the Lake Superior basin use water from the lake for drinking, home use, industrial use, or recreation. The lake is also essential for countless fish, birds,animals, and plants.

In Bayfield we are even more cognizant of our efforts, as we are also protecting and impacting the Apostle Islands.

At Pinehurst Inn, we try very hard to recognize our good fortune every day in so many of our operational decision. Whether it is how we design and manage our gardens or our state-of-the art aerobic digester, we try to do what we can to minimize any negative impact on the water. Lots of examples can be listed. But it is just as important to spend time with our guests helping them to understand this grand lake. Certainly encouraging them to “get on the water” is part of our mantra. The other part is to be safe on the water – kayaking with our wonderful outfitters, sailing with experienced captains, and knowing our own limits.

Lake Superior Binational Forum provides wonderful information events and activities around Lake Superior Day. They also provide great information. I was particularly pleased to see this great piece on “10-Ways-to-Protect-the-Lake“. Enjoy!

 

Riding through a field of diamonds… on Lake Superior of course!

May 10th, 2012 by Nancy Sandstrom

(Written by Kristen Sandstrom)

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.

lake superior bayfield photoToday 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.

 

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