North Woods Color

After giving Fuzz Butt (aka Gray Ghost the cat) a little scratch under her chin, we hopped in the car and set out north on highway 51 to the Apostle Islands for a brief but very nice honeymoon. There is such a different and wonderful vibe up there in the summer. Granted I have not yet visited in the winter so a comparison would be out of the question, but I loved the almost hedonistic feel of the place. Lots of wildflowers lit up the ground cover in the forest, roadsides, porches and yards, and every so often up would pop random “stuff” in colorful arrangements, candy for the eyes:



I told Pete that I’d like to move up here to live in the summers. I’m sure I could find a small job somewhere. I’m not good at waitressing, but I think I could do a little weeding, just enough to pay for a room to rent and some left over to play in the vineyards of the gods:


I’m not honestly sure what I meant by that last remark but we did visit a couple wineries. We also visited Tom’s Burned Down Cafe on Madeline Island while we were there. Now that’s a place with good summertime island vibe. I believe the cafe had burned down twice before and rather than give up the ghost, the owner just put up tarps instead:


Tarps and lots of “reading material”. There are quotes, sayings and signs covering every square inch of nailable surface. Including the floor, walls, beams and anyone standing still long enough. I missed the chance to go there last year because honestly, from a distance I just couldn’t figure out what the heck this place was what with all the weird angles and visual chaos going on. And when you see a sign like this, it does make you pause and think, “um, okay, am I safe here?”:


Yes, silly girl. Of course I am:


Or not:


Argh, let’s run from the giant bee and move on to the real reason we came up to Madeline Island…for the 2nd Annual Madeline Island Film Series:


We had two great nights of movie watching right on the shore of Lake Superior. Aside from the movies, I liked the small, casual feel of the event. Hey, just bring your own friend, blankets, chairs, beer, and food and enjoy the show. Then afterwards, gather on the patio for more drinks and conversation. And then do it again the next night. And the next night. This is a three night event after all, except we were only on the island for two nights, so on the second morning after breakfast at Ella’s unmistakable place of purpleness:

Ellas and Pete

we hit the ferry back to Bayfield and checked in at the Winfield Hotel and Gardens. I’ve written a little about them before here but have never stayed there until now. Man, I love that place. One of my little fantasies has always been to sneak in to the Lincoln Park Conservatory with my sleeping bag and stay over night in the fern room, so this comes as close as I’ll get to that. The place is dripping with plants and garden sculptures cropping up in every crack and crevice. Add to that an excellent view of Lake Superior, a couple of garden cats wandering about, and I felt giddy with pleasure. And I really liked how they still use that iconic key ring many might recognize:


If you get curious enough and round enough corners and walk up enough steps, you will come upon this secret, little spot on the grounds of the hotel:

WinfieldColorSpotI want to recreate this on my front porch. Or better yet, up in a tree house. Where I will then live for the rest of my life.

I wonder if I can get Pete to build me a tree house like that? Nah, cats will sleep with frogs before that happens…WAIT! Cats DO sleep with frogs:


See? There’s the north woods for you…hedonistic. Cats sleeping with frogs. Now I need to go see about my tree house.


4 thoughts on “North Woods Color

  1. This is a place I could easily spend leisurely time at and enjoy every aspect of the island. You are a good
    sales person for tourism!

  2. I’ve never been to Bayfield, or Apostle Islands or Madeline Island, it all looks so inviting, except I know it is a very long ride. So fun, Micka, thanks.

  3. It sounds like you had a great time in the north woods. A tree house would be fun, but what about the mosquitoes?

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