|Big Bay State Park|
Arriving at the Bayfield ferry over to Madeline Island, we had 10 minutes until the departure of the ferry, but due to minimal demand we were able to slip on board. Around four months from now the 25-minute ferry over to the Island will not be needed. This portion of the Lake Superior will be frozen solid and we would be able to drive over, hard to believe.
Madeline Island boasts a year round population of 240 and a summer count around 2500. Our primary reason for venturing out to the island was the Madeline Island School of Art. Last spring, Alan had tracked down a plein air art class, for himself, with Tony Van Hasselt. Tony is considered one of the top ten watercolor painters in the country. Luckily (for me), Catherine Watson, former travel editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and a widely published travel writer, was teaching “Effective Travel Writing and Memoirs” the same week. Wisconsin had been on the agenda, but this arrangement couldn’t have been more ideal.
|Big Bay Town Park|
|The Birthday Deer|
Wisconsin provided primarily sunshine, but also nighttime temperatures dipping down into the 30’s for 3 of the 8 nights of our visit. Driving to and from, or around, the park during early morning or dusk was a bit of a challenge due to the large number of deer. Creeping along the roadway was the only way to insure not hitting one.
Our classes started on Monday at 9 A.M. and they met daily through Friday. Unfortunately, for Alan’s plein air class, the nippy weather prevented painting outside, except on the first two days. Regardless, the class provided multiple new techniques and was a productive and positive experience.
|Madeline Island School of Art|
|Big Bay Town Park|
Multiple small galleries around town display and offer for sale the creative talents of the islanders. Woods Hall Craft Shop, a few block away from the center of town, presented the most diverse and original jewelry, pottery, rugs, fabric and more. I’m always swept away by the number of incredibly talented people and this shop was a prime example.
|Madeline Island Ferry|