Madeline Island-Kick Off

by Cindi Sutter, Founder of The Spirited Table®

Madeline Island is a half hour ferry boat ride from Bayfield, Wisconsin. This lovely little secret tucked amongst the Apostle Islands has a permanent population of 246, but swells in the summer to over 2,500. The community of La Pointe, located on the western edge of the island, and where my ferry boat ride ended, was originally the site of a fortified French trading post from 1693–1698.

Over the next few months, I’ll share my favorite Madeline Island stories and photos. Every summer a friend includes us in a week of summer folly on this very special island plopped down right in the middle of Lake Superior. 

Today’s story is about allowing life to add an exclamation point, when you least expect it. That’s what Charlie Meech did when he had the MISA dream inside his head. Even when engulfed by a sea of doubters, he made it happen. MISA-Madeline Island School of the Arts represents a grand reinvention of the idea that learning should be a life long sport and endeavor; and if done correctly, can ignite not only creativity, but a business that supports the island. MISA is a premier art and craft school located on a uniquely restored Wisconsin dairy farm.

That’s where my Madeline Island in May 2014 story begins. 

I enrolled with 2 friends in a MISA class from May 19-22nd.

One of the descriptors of this class said to arrive with a project in mind. Something you're excited to spend several days digging into. Could be a book you want to finish writing (or start!) ... a e-course you want to build ... a class you want to flesh out + teach ... a series of blog posts ... a script for a TED Talk ... a collection of poetry ... whatever you've got percolating.

Remember I said May…that’s where my story continues. 

It’s basically a 4+ hour drive from Minneapolis to Bayfield. I left Minneapolis with the sun shining and a smooth temperature of 66…I’m thinking, what ice? Reports had swirled around that the ferry boat ride might include ice. As I crossed the bridge in Duluth, MN all I saw was a harbor full of floating ice; that’s not good. I was so excited I didn’t care. Five days away from home, for the most part unplugged, with 2 of my favorite girlfriends, I would not be shaken by a few icebergs. 

When I arrived in Bayfield my car temperature said 72, but by the time I got to the ferry, there were splashes of white between me and my frolicsome 5 days of creativity and fun. 

We arrived without any problem, thanks to a great ferry boat crew and ride. Enjoy the view!