Madeline & Apostle Islands Flyover

by Cindi SutterFounder of Spirited Table®


Madeline Island is truly the jewel of the Apostle Islands. Every year we’re excited to head North to our friends home and rest, eat, drink and know that before we leave, another new adventure will unfold. This journey from Minnetonka, MN to Bayfield, WI, takes about 4-5 hours depending on how many times I say...Oh I have to get a picture of that...Bayfield is the perfect place to walk, eat and shop before you hop the ferry to Madeline Island. Around 20ish minutes later, we're driving off the ferry and ready to spend the next 4 or 5 days at Six Cables, our friend's home. My husband and I stay in what is affectionately called...the Chicken House. Yes, it's a converted chicken house, behind the main house. It's charming! (I promise, I'll find a photo)

There is a unique cultural and ethnic blend of happy people who descend upon Madeline, just for the summer and early fall; rightfully called the summer people. Depending on who you ask, there are around 250 people who make Madeline their home all year round; thus they are the Island people.  It’s not overstating it for me to say, these lovely Island people must be very hardy! The temps have a minus before the number on many days, and if they need something from the mainland, their travel varies from ferry to wind sled. So at least for now, my husband and I are very grateful our designated Madeline time is before the snow flies. Maybe some day I’ll garner enough courage to brave the wind sled, or not…These photos are from early spring 2015, so this is nothing compared to Winter!

The first night we were on Madeline this year, happened to be the same night that Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua, a small venue for headline entertainers, hosted Bonnie Raitt: Dig in Deep Tour. This was a fabulous concert that revealed her sense of humor and an interaction with her band, that's rarely seen at other bigger concerts. 

As hard as it was for me...I respected their no photos once the concert began....

As hard as it was for me...I respected their no photos once the concert began....

This particular day began with a sailboat race continued with an amazingly beautiful storm, except of course for that lonely little white sailboat all by itself; and ended with a sunset that only a Lake Superior storm can create!

This year the BIG adventure was over the top, really, over the top of the trees and Lake Gitche Gumee. We were invited to join our friends for a short flight over all the Apostle Islands. The pilot is a summer person who donated this treat to a charity that supports the Island and we were fortunate enough to tag along. The pilot was able to name most every lighthouse and he knows many of the families whose homes we saw from his perfect perch in the sky.

It’s time to let the photos become the storyteller; but remember, I was dipping and turning and watching this little bit of heaven unfold, so if the photos are a bit dusty, I obviously couldn't set up my tripod or sit on the wing to take them…

Needless to say the view was a once in a lifetime memory. And yes, those who wanted to play co-pilot for a tidbit, were invited to do so. And the answer is, of course I did; some things are best experienced on Row #1!

If you're wondering what else I've done on Madeline, please see my favorites below. And next year, wherever you may be...find your way to Bayfield, Wisconsin, hop the ferry to Madeline and share what adventures you find with me! (And yes, you can walk on the ferry and leave your car in Bayfield and the parking is free). LaPointe, is easy to navigate on foot if you're just interested in the downtown area, but for the rest of the island, you need a bike or a car.

We recently honored citizens of our country who lost their lives on 9/11. All I can say about what happened when Dawn and I were working on the flowers for the church altar in LaPointe/Madeline, Island is that we knew God's hand was there; Read Cindi's 911 Reflections.

Fall on Madeline Island ; shared with the eagles! Yes, Really.

Madeline Island Sunday Supper 

Blueberry Picking on Madeline Island  (I'm sworn to secrecy on this true location).

Madeline Island Tables With a View

Homemade Pesto; Basil from Dawn's Garden & Best Ever Lake Trout Recipe & Golden Parmesan Potatoes

Madeline Island Kick Off. Today this expression has two meanings. 1. In this case, I was kicking off my Madeline musings. 2. It literally means the island people and the summer people give their guests a kick-off. 

So until the next season arrives and you too can savor, this serene, spectacular and spirited island with it's very unique and powerful charm; take a peak through my kaleidoscope of sunsets, blue waters and memories and then head to Madeline and make some of your own... ASAP!

Dawn and her neighbors are literally kicking us off the island; Dawn is in the blue sweater below. Thanks my dear...