Picture this: it’s one of those evenings when the moon rises and everyone shouts “wow! because even though we’ve all seen him many times before, that night he simply managed to seem super, mega, big like a cartoon. I have never seen such a huge moon before rising.
The sun was sinking perfectly opposite the moonrise, reflecting orange and purple on the placid waters of Lake Superior, looking like some kind of psychedelic quicksilver that shifted from purple and pink from the sun to blue and in the white of the moon.
It was hard to know which way to gaze. It was kind of a night.
“The ocean obviously isn’t often this quiet,” Captain Jen Dale cautioned, and I believed her, for how else could these orange caverns of all shapes and sizes exist without the waves driving them. sculpt?
These are the Apostle Islands sea caves in Wisconsin and they are very beautiful in person.
They are distinctive in the region for the iron-rich sandstone strand that constitutes the bottom layer of the Apostle Islands, commonly known as the Devil’s Island Formation, and represented in the photographs you see here. It was deposited roughly a billion years ago.
Deglaciation and erosion of thin layers of sand have generated the sea caves observed on cliff slopes. The resulting image is layers of granite that have been chipped away to produce, in some cases, massive caves and diamond-shaped structures in the rock.
You enjoy rocks as much as I do, don’t you?
The islands were my primary interest for my vacation. I had seen photographs on Instagram (which is increasingly influencing my trip decisions these days, honestly!), and after viewing them, I knew I wanted to capture these caverns personally.
It’s not just about the caverns, however. Lake Superior offers something special too. While peaceful at the time, I perceived it like I do the ocean – poised to transform into waves and wind at any moment, but not salty.
By area, Lake Superior is the biggest freshwater lake in the world and the third largest by volume. It really contained 10% of the surface fresh water on the world, thus it was like an ocean!
It’s also exceptionally clean, having the distinction of cleanest in the Great Lakes (hope it continues that way!).
I had wanted to see the caverns, that was for sure, but I hadn’t imagined that I would adore the town of Bayfield, the starting point for the Apostle Islands, so much.
While scanning largely country and Christian radio stations while traveling through the countryside from where my plane landed in Ironwood, Michigan to Bayfield, Wisconsin, I readied myself for the mood serious about a little town in the heart of America.
Except that’s not what occurred.
I have landed at one of the most lovely, quaint, and artist-friendly cities I have had the pleasure of visiting. This was my first visit to the Midwest and I realized that the cliché of the inhabitants being exceedingly nice was also accurate.
Laying in the hammock that night on the boat and looking at the sky, I couldn’t believe what I had accidentally across. How come caverns this enormous and over such a gorgeous clear lake didn’t have lots of people visiting?
I have visited other caverns above water just once before (the marble caves in Chile) and although lovely they were not as huge or comprehensive as these.
In the summer, boating around them is a terrific way to appreciate them. You can hire your own private boat with a skipper and an open route (call Dreamcatcher Sailing to reserve. It includes two nights accomodation on the boat and isn’t too pricey when split between a group!) is so that I went out to Devil’s Island to visit the most amazing caverns.
It is also feasible to kayak in the mainland caverns a short drive from Bayfield. I picked a full day of kayaking in addition to sailing, and I also spotted big fractures in the rock:
Then in winter, the caverns ice over and the kayaking path transforms into a trek.
Excellent, and now I have to go back in the winter, and possibly in the fall when the leaves are changing too.
Did I forget to mention camping? That was nice too.
I had an entire campground to myself, seeing scarcely anybody else during the day (by choice, since I intended to be further up the coast) (by choice, as I wanted to be far up the coast). I created a fire with kindling on the floor, prepared hobo stew and watched a thunderstorm roar then leave a spectacular crimson sunset in its wake.
That made me question whether the sunsets are simply a phenomenon there, with those great caverns and gorgeous lake.
That may have been my first trip in the Midwest, but with how it felt, sailing the Apostle Islands instilled a desire in me to enjoy America more in my future.
*This post was brought to you in cooperation with Travel Wisconsin. Huge thanks for the amazing experience! They didn’t ask me to write a good review and all the sentiments of affection for the caverns are mine.