Bayfield, Wi. belongs on everyone's "must visit" list. Unfortunately, they need a new representative at the visitor's center -- he would scare the most hardy away, barking orders about what people can and cannot do -- what is and is not available. Fortunately, we ignored him. Generally, we have found visitors centers to be a great resource to an area - and we know lodging here on a weekend was going to be tight. We had even resigned ourselves to traveling away from here, and coming back during the week. Managed to secure a room for Sun. - Tues. but tonight, Sat., was a problem. We were still regrouping when the lady from our Sun.-Tues. reservation tracked us down (thank goodness for caller ID) and said she had a cabin that was being unexpectedly vacated (accident in the family) and would we like it for tonight! What a sweetheart!!
Secured reservations for a few of the neat things to do around here -- a fabulous Golf course tomorrow, a 1/2 day sail to the Apostle Islands Monday, and a "fiddle" concert on Tuesday. I thought we were going to just chill here -- seems we have a hard time doing that! But Suzi, the owner here at the condo/motel, is going to make sure our laundry gets done tomorrow in their laundry -- can you believe it?!! She wants to make sure we enjoy our time in Bayfield! Great PR!!
What a great few days in Bayfield, WI! We feel fully rested, have our laundry caught up (thanks Susie and Melissa!), made a few good, home cooked meals, and saw lots of interesting things here in the gateway to the Apostle Islands. Once we got our accommodations nailed down during a very busy time of the year (thanks again Susie!), we were off to explore the sights.
Played golf at the Apostle Islands Golf Course, -- what a nice treat! Lovely course in the hills with views that stretched for miles. Scored pretty well for the first time.
The town itself has wonderful shops -- no trash and trinket stuff here -- nice artwork, interesting clothes, antiques, etc. Spent a cloudy afternoon exploring everything we could.
Signed up for a 1/2 sailboat trip through the Islands, and got to the dock at the appointed hour, only to find there had been an overbooking problem. The gentleman who had more people show up than he had booked (not the boat owner--a salesman entertaining clients), was very apologetic and asked if we could possibly go the next day. We, of course, not having anything else to do, said sure. He then offered to pay for our trip ($90) if we would do that. That made it even more enticing!--but we still felt badly that he would pay. The next morning, he was right there with the check for our captain. We told the captain, Paul (Animaashi Sailing), that we felt badly letting him do that. Paul said, don't worry, he can certainly afford it -- he is Hubert Humphries son, Doug!
The sailing trip was breathtaking and the weather better than the previous day when we were supposed to go! Had lots of wind (15-20 MPH), and we were clipping along at 6.5 to 7 knots -- a couple times I thought we were going in, it was heeled over so much! (Eric - it was a 34' Irwin - 1983). The Islands are mostly uninhabited, except for Madeline Island, which isn't really one of the Apostles, anyway -- most people just think it is!
The real unexpected treat, however, was Big Top Chautauqua (sha-TOK-wa). They have entertainment all summer - under the Big Top. Mason Williams was going to be there, but we had seen him in Portland, so we opted for the fiddler, Natalie McMaster. OH MY GOD! She was FABULOUS!! From Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, she has it all. A great fiddling talent (does mostly Irish, Scottish tunes-Kristen, you would have gone crazy!), beautiful, witty, entertaining (you should see her jig while she plays!) -- the BEST concert I have ever seen - bar none. If you ever get a chance to see her -- mark it down -- RUN to get the tickets! I'm not a particular fan of that type of music, but the whole show was magnificent! She played, danced, sang, talked, and gyrated for 2 1/2 hours -- she must have been falling down tired -- then signed CD's for fans afterward.