Ships of Superior

Wednesday, 9th May 2018; 9:48 am

In addition to reserving campsites, I’ve also bought tickets for two boat rides. The first is a short tour in the Apostle Islands of Wisconsin, the second is a day trip to Isle Royale out of Grand Portage, Minnesota.

For the Apostles – so named because there are (about) 12 of them – I’ll be taking the Sea Caves & Lighthouses tour offered by Apostle Islands Cruises. It’s a three-hour afternoon tour of a couple of the inner islands and their lighthouses, and the caves in the cliffs of the mainland. I would’ve preferred to take their “Grand Tour” of the islands, but that’s a morning tour and I wouldn’t be able to get there early enough. (I’ve learned my lesson.) This is similar to the boat tour I took at Pictured Rocks, which is the only perspective to fully appreciate the place.

I’ll be going to Isle Royale on the Sea Hunter III. The idea of visiting the island as a day trip is a little heartbreaking, especially knowing that there are people for whom that will be their only visit. But I couldn’t ride through Grand Portage and Thunder Bay – literally close enough to see it – without stopping by. After begin dropped off at Windigo, I’ll have four hours on the west end, which I’ve only been to once (compared to Rock Harbor, where all three of my previous visits started and ended). That should be enough time to hike some new-to-me trail, at least.

The side trips add $50 and $75 to the cost of the trip, but I think they’ll be worth it. This isn’t just about drawing a line around a body of water, and it certainly isn’t about how many miles I can spend in the saddle every day. In fact, I’m disappointed that I won’t have time to rent a kayak for an afternoon at Pictured Rocks, on the way through (for example).

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