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For most people, summer time is vacation time. But, then many people my age find that the summer vacation is returning to Wisconsin from spending the winter in some southern state.
I have been thinking about taking a few days to drive around this great state and I am very fond of traveling to the shores of Lake Superior. Whenever I get visitors that wish to take a day or so trip, I head out from Hayward to the Delta Dinner for the out back feeling of the north woods.
I like their stuffed French Toast served up with pieces of their great bacon and then heading to Iron River and up on County Highway A to Port Wing and to the Port Wing Marina to a great view of Lake Superior. I even enjoy this spot during the coldest days of the year and Mother Nature has created some great ice sculptures to view.
But, on this summer trip heading east on Highway 13 from Port Wing through Herbster, Cornucopia, and into Red Cliff, if you favor a Casino you could stop at Legendary Waters Resort and Casino. There, all the rooms in the Hotel face the waters of Lake Superior. Just open the window and hear the lake and you will sleep like a baby.
Leaving Red Cliff and heading south into Bayfield, you will see the most picturesque scene this state has to offer and that is the view of Lake Superior with Madeline Island in the background. It is a must that you spend a few minutes in Bayfield, which is open for shopping, and if you have some time I would suggest a ride on the Madeline Island Ferry Line. I took the Ferry to the Island, back in April, and if my memory is correct it cost about $75.00 for the round trip in my car with my granddaughter, her husband and my four-year-old great-granddaughter. So be aware of the cost. If you like smoked fish, especially Lake Trout, you can find it in Bayfield.
Heading down 13 through Washburn and south to Highway 2 and just a tad to the west is the Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center. It’s a great place to find out about northern Wisconsin. I don’t know if they still have a display of “Recovered Timber”. Those are logs that sank to the bottom of Lake Superior during the logging days and now have been recovered from the bottom of the lake. A piece of recovered wood that was on display had over 70 growth rings per inch of tree.
Staying on Highway 13/US Highway 2/63 and heading into Ashland you might want to find the local history center at 216 Main Street.
Stay on Highway 2 through Ashland and travel to the Wisconsin-Michigan border and find two separate water falls on the Montreal River. One is the Saxon Falls with a 78-foot drop and the other is Power Dam Falls with a hundred foot drop.
Back tracking on Highway 2 to Highway 169 toward Mellen stopping at the Cooper Falls on the Bad River. This is a must see. But, be prepared to put on your walking shoes
Then, travel almost to Glidden and turn west onto Highway 77 for the 40 or so miles back to Hayward. This highway is where you might be lucky and see an Elk or two. I have traveled this highway many times over the past 20 years and have been lucky to see an Elk. Two years ago the brake lights went on in the car in front of me and I knew that they were slowing down for an Elk and, to my surprise, there were three Elk cows grazing in the ditch. But, soon a big bull came out of the woods and chased those cows out of sight.
Thanks for reading! ~Carlton