Thursday, 29 September 2016

Lake Superior | Jim Hill

"Back in the day" I spent a while in Bayfield, Wisconsin, hanging out with the Trek and Trail crew and getting to know the "Big lake".
It all made quite an impression on me so I pop back every now and then to take in the healing waters.

This trip had a few day outings and a big seven day mission to the farthest islands.

Lake Superior is pretty big. About 350 miles long and 160 miles wide, they say it has around 3 quadrillion gallons of water in it, 40 foot waves have been recorded and it's about 1300 feet deep at its deepest point! Not your usual lake paddling venue!

My big mission started at Meyers beach on the west side of the peninsula, strong winds and waves slamming into the cliffs and sea caves kept the day trippers on the beach, and it gave me a "rowdy" start.
The first campsite on sand was sheltered from the wind and gave me a fantastic view of the electrical storms on the north shore.

Day two was a short hop over to York island, one of my favourites with its sweeping bay and uninterrupted views. Bald eagles swirled overhead every day, surveying me from the clouds.

Day three was a little bouncy, the wind was persistent, and I even had to wear my cag! "Yo! Adrian!" Rocky one was my campsite. The islands have designated campsites that you have to pre-book with the National park service, it worked out at about a tenner per night.

Day four had me heading to Devils island, straight into even more unrelenting wind and waves.
I opted to hike the length of the island rather than battle the waves to check out the cliffs and caves at the northern end.
Turns out the swell and wind direction meant the caves were sheltered!

On the fifth day he paddled to Outer island. A longer day with more persistent wind but options for rest stops at Rocky and Cat.
Outer did what it always does, gives you the good stuff! Stunning views and a real wild feeling.

Day six was a new destination, Michigan island. More wind kept me on my toes but a quick stop off on Stockton at Julian bay gave me a sheltered lunch with sunshine.

The last leg on day seven was true to form, windy, all day, and a headwind too.
16 miles according to the mileage chart back to Bayfield, and civilisation.
Chairs, a bed, cold beverages and people. Culture shock!