At the end of August, Sal, a neighborhood couple and I decided to re-explore a part of northern Wisconsin we hadn’t visited in several years. Tom and Linda Koch, who live across the road, had talked about taking a couple of days, driving up through Hayward, then onto the Ashland/Bayfield area to spend a short relaxing mini-vacation.After kenneling Brewer the night before, we left for Hayward in the early morning. After eating a hearty breakfast in Hayward, we toured the “Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.” We had been to the Hall several times before, but the last time was in 1988 when we took a short vacation with the kids. Anyone who has even the faintest interest in fishing must visit this attraction at least once in their lifetime. One can spend hours touring the many exhibits and displays that portray all avenues of angling and the pursuit of aquatic recreational activities. Fish mounts of every freshwater species, world records and tackle, lures and rods of every imaginable type are on display. An example of every outboard motor manufactured since Ole Evinrude produced the first one back in 1907 is there. Before leaving this remarkable place, photos of the visitors taken in the mouth of the four-story high muskie or among the many exhibits is a must!

Because of earlier summer rains, part of Highway 63 was closed and a detour on Highway 27 to Highway 2 was in order. Following an educational stop at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center located two miles west of Ashland, we visited the South Shore Brewery in Ashland and then drove to the “Houghton Falls Nature Preserve” in the town of Bayview, not far from Washburn. The beautiful walking trail winds along a magnificent, clear-flowing creek that runs into Lake Superior. The three-mile round-trip easy hike was at the suggestion of another neighbor and well worth the effort. It is truly a remarkable area.From there we drove up to Bayfield where we booked into our rooms. Our hotel was right across the street from the Madeline Island Ferry Landing and offered a magnificent view of the lake. We ate a scrumptious dinner at the “Pickled Herring,” a great restaurant located down the street from our hotel. Whitefish and lake trout were on the menu, and we always try to eat local cuisine when away from home. Also on the menu was a local specialty, deep fried whitefish livers. I highly recommend ordering them if you have the chance. They are excellent tasting and, according to the waitress, good for you, too. While leaving the restaurant we ran into four other couples from New Richmond who were “up north” on a golf outing. It is a small world indeed.Following a walk around town, down along the lakeshore and through a local park, we returned to our hotel where we spent some time on the deck watching the “heat lightning” out on the lake from a distant storm. It was the end to a perfect day.The following day broke clear and calm. We ate a delicious breakfast at “Greunke’s Inn,” and then waited to board the Apostle Island Cruise Line boat that provides a three-and-one-half-hour cruise around the 22 Apostle Islands. Sitting on the upper deck provides an excellent perch on which to view the islands. Sal and I had taken the ferry to Madeline Island with the kids some 30-plus years ago and I had deer hunted on Ironwood Island back in the ‘60s. The cruise was a new experience for us. The tour guide provided excellent commentary on the history of the area and pointed out numerous natural features along the way. The geology, biology, limnology and sociology of the lake region were explained in detail. Viewing the numerous lighthouses and having the guide interject local stories about the islands and area, were “frosting on the cake.”Departing the cruise boat we returned to Ashland where we had an exceptional lunch at the South Shore Brewery. We stopped along the shore of Lake Superior at an artesian well in Ashland to fill several jugs with ice cold, clear spring water, and then headed for home, arriving just in time to pick up Brewer at the kennel.We are really lucky to have the opportunity to take short road trips like this one. Living in such a beautiful state as Wisconsin provides something for everyone, all within a short distance of home. Recreational activity, good food and drink and most of all, great camaraderie makes life worth living. There are many more trips just waiting to be taken.At the end of August, Sal, a neighborhood couple and I decided to re-explore a part of northern Wisconsin we hadn’t visited in several years. Tom and Linda Koch, who live across the road, had talked about taking a couple of days, driving up through Hayward, then onto the Ashland/Bayfield area to spend a short relaxing mini-vacation.After kenneling Brewer the night before, we left for Hayward in the early morning. After eating a hearty breakfast in Hayward, we toured the “Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.” We had been to the Hall several times before, but the last time was in 1988 when we took a short vacation with the kids. Anyone who has even the faintest interest in fishing must visit this attraction at least once in their lifetime. One can spend hours touring the many exhibits and displays that portray all avenues of angling and the pursuit of aquatic recreational activities. Fish mounts of every freshwater species, world records and tackle, lures and rods of every imaginable type are on display. An example of every outboard motor manufactured since Ole Evinrude produced the first one back in 1907 is there. Before leaving this remarkable place, photos of the visitors taken in the mouth of the four-story high muskie or among the many exhibits is a must!

Because of earlier summer rains, part of Highway 63 was closed and a detour on Highway 27 to Highway 2 was in order. Following an educational stop at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center located two miles west of Ashland, we visited the South Shore Brewery in Ashland and then drove to the “Houghton Falls Nature Preserve” in the town of Bayview, not far from Washburn. The beautiful walking trail winds along a magnificent, clear-flowing creek that runs into Lake Superior. The three-mile round-trip easy hike was at the suggestion of another neighbor and well worth the effort. It is truly a remarkable area.From there we drove up to Bayfield where we booked into our rooms. Our hotel was right across the street from the Madeline Island Ferry Landing and offered a magnificent view of the lake. We ate a scrumptious dinner at the “Pickled Herring,” a great restaurant located down the street from our hotel. Whitefish and lake trout were on the menu, and we always try to eat local cuisine when away from home. Also on the menu was a local specialty, deep fried whitefish livers. I highly recommend ordering them if you have the chance. They are excellent tasting and, according to the waitress, good for you, too. While leaving the restaurant we ran into four other couples from New Richmond who were “up north” on a golf outing. It is a small world indeed.Following a walk around town, down along the lakeshore and through a local park, we returned to our hotel where we spent some time on the deck watching the “heat lightning” out on the lake from a distant storm. It was the end to a perfect day.The following day broke clear and calm. We ate a delicious breakfast at “Greunke’s Inn,” and then waited to board the Apostle Island Cruise Line boat that provides a three-and-one-half-hour cruise around the 22 Apostle Islands. Sitting on the upper deck provides an excellent perch on which to view the islands. Sal and I had taken the ferry to Madeline Island with the kids some 30-plus years ago and I had deer hunted on Ironwood Island back in the ‘60s. The cruise was a new experience for us. The tour guide provided excellent commentary on the history of the area and pointed out numerous natural features along the way. The geology, biology, limnology and sociology of the lake region were explained in detail. Viewing the numerous lighthouses and having the guide interject local stories about the islands and area, were “frosting on the cake.”Departing the cruise boat we returned to Ashland where we had an exceptional lunch at the South Shore Brewery. We stopped along the shore of Lake Superior at an artesian well in Ashland to fill several jugs with ice cold, clear spring water, and then headed for home, arriving just in time to pick up Brewer at the kennel.We are really lucky to have the opportunity to take short road trips like this one. Living in such a beautiful state as Wisconsin provides something for everyone, all within a short distance of home. Recreational activity, good food and drink and most of all, great camaraderie makes life worth living. There are many more trips just waiting to be taken.

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