Madeline Island Part 1

Hi everyone,

Tom here with a new blog focused on traveling and other musings but mostly about travel and adventures both near and far. My desire is to share some of the stories that emerge from our travels, things that happen on the journey, things that change us, and things that help us grow. I’ll also include some of my photographs that I hope help to tell the story. Expect to see a new blog entry about once a week, of course that will  depend on the availability of internet when on the road. I appreciate any comments and suggestions for improvement that come my way. So let’s get started with our recent trip to Madeline Island.

After we returned home on September 24 from our six week trip to the northwest part of the country, we were home for about a week until September 30 when we headed up to northern Wisconsin to Madeline Island. We were gone a total of twelve days with nine of those days spent on the island that is located about a mile off the mainland in Lake Superior. We’ve been to the Island before but only for a day trip while staying in Bayfield. Also, a couple of years ago I attended a  five day photography workshop on the Island so had some idea of what to expect. As it turned out, we got what we expected, beautiful fall colors, solitude, inspiration and for me lots of landscape and nature photos.

The reason why we stayed on the Island for nine days was that Donna and I both were taking week long classes at the Madeline Island School of the Arts. Donna took a quilting class on Fusible Flowers taught by Melinda Bula and I took a nature and landscape photography class taught by Brenda Tharp. So it was a trip with lots of learning, lots of adventures, and not so much sleep.

To get to the Island, travelers take the ferry from Bayfield, Wisconsin to the only town on Madeline Island, LaPointe. Since we were towing a 24 foot travel trailer, we weren’t sure what to expect when we got to the ferry dock, we thought we might have to wait in line until there was enough room for us. While there were lots of local residents and tourists heading to the Island, we only had to wait about a half hour to board the ferry. Since we were by far the largest vehicle, we ended up in the center of the ferry with cars in front, on the sides and behind us. It was a piece of cake, nothing to worry about.

Once on the Island we set up camp at the Big Bay State Park about half way up and on the east side of the long narrow island. The campground has really nice electric sites with a place to fill water. The only downside of camping on Madeline Island is the location of the only RV dump station, it’s at the Island’s airport near LaPointe. The other minor downside is that it was late in the camping season so about half way through our stay, they turned off the water. Although it was touch and go, we made it through the rest of our stay by limiting water usage. Yes, we showered and flushed the toilet but no frivolous waste of water like washing dishes!

Anyone that hangs around photographers know that we prefer to take photos early or late in the day. This class was no exception, not only did we arrive at our morning shooting destination when it was pitch dark (usually 5:45 AM), we also ended a couple of the days (when the night sky was clear) by shooting the stars, the Milky Way, the Big Dipper and the Northern Lights. I’ve included a couple of night images with this entry and a few photos from the early morning shoots.

More about our Madeline Island adventure in the next issue.

Until then, be safe.


Abstract Aspens in Black and White
A Starry Night
The Big Dipper
Traveling to the Sea Caves
Sunrise at the Cliffs
Three Leaves

2 thoughts on “Madeline Island Part 1

  1. Tom,

    Really like your idea. All are great in their own way. Think this is the first time I could see all aspects of the Big Dipper. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for the comments. The starry nights on Madeline Island were special, reminded me of growing up on the Northern Great Plains where there was little light pollution to obscure the night sky and the northern lights.

Comments are closed.