September 30, 2006

Feeling Superior.

Hey, I've got a great idea. A great lakes idea. Let's drive all the way up to Lake Superior. I've never seen Lake Superior, and I've lived in Madison for 22 years. I've barely gone north of Wausau. Never seen the North Woods. Fall foliage is peaking up there. We can drive the whole way up in one day, take these officially scenic routes -- 2 and then 13. We'll check out Ashland and Bayfield -- and then drive the whole damned way back. All in one day!

Lake Superior

Lake Superior

Lake Superior

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, I've got a great idea.

Sarcasm?

Sincerity?

Second Thoughts?

(oh wait, you've already moved on from the terse posts)

altoids1306 said...

Lake Superior is beautiful (although I've only visited the opposite end of the lake).

Sometimes I passively wonder what it would be like to buy a small place near the locks, and spend summer days waking myself up with freezing-cold tap water, fishing and hiking, and hunting down mosquitoes in the cabin before going to bed.

(Either that, or some place along a creek in Northern California.)

Brent said...

Out here Southern California is generally paradise.

But you sure have us beat in Fall Colors.

dave said...

Anything to avoid Predatorgate...

wtfdyw said...

A cryptic day.

Revenant said...

Out here Southern California is generally paradise. But you sure have us beat in Fall Colors.

Yeah, we don't really do the "seasons" thing down here in SoCal.

Very nice pictures. :)

Link said...

i grew up in wisconsin and can't imagine not going spending time in the northwoods as much as possible.

lakes, boats, family, friends, food, beer. what else do you need?

Danny said...

How long is that drive?

Paul Zrimsek said...

Anything to avoid Predatorgate...

I believe we've just met they guy for whom the phrase "Get a life" was coined.

MadisonMan said...

Now you know just how long a drive it is. You get to Minocqua and think "Wow! I'm almost there!" Three hours later, you're there.

The best Lake Superior shoreline is at Munising. Pictured Rocks. Gorgeous

Roger Sweeny said...

What you mean "we," Kemosabe?

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

"How long is that drive?"

It is -- and I checked before I left -- 12 hours. Nearly all of it was very pretty, but the last 3 hours were in darkness. If I'd had more light -- by starting earlier -- I could have made a longer loop and taken the scenic river road. Actually, I'm thinking of a better way to have done it now. I should have taken the Wisconsin River Road (60) out to the Mississipi River Road -- which on the Minnesota side is Highway 61 -- and gone up to 13 and 2 that way. Then the part driven home in the dark would have been the least scenic part.

Actually, the fall foliage up there isn't that wonderful. It's not the postcard image you have: much more pale yellow and evergreen with some orange and very occasionally red. I didn't take too many pictures. I have some things from Ashland I'll put up later.

Ann Althouse said...

Mississippi.

David said...

How could one not love a large glaciated body of water with a shoreline named
Gitchiegoomie, the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, and the birthplace of lake effect snow?

That is one nasty body of water when the wind blows in the winter!

Ricardo said...

A couple years ago, I drove along the top (Canadian side) of the lake on my way to Montreal. Here's some trivia I learned during that trip:

Lake Superior is huge. It is 382 miles east and west, 160 miles north and south, has a surface area of 31,700 square miles and holds 3 quadrillion gallons of water making it the largest fresh-water lake in the world by area. It holds 10% of the world’s surface fresh water. The maximum depth of Lake Superior is 1279 feet (in the southeast portion off the coast of Michigan), and the average depth is 489 feet. It is surrounded by Ontario, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and a circular tour around the lake is 1300 miles. It was not until 1960 that a complete tour was possible, when the final leg of the Trans Canada Highway near Wawa was completed. The Lake Superior Basin has a population of around 600,000 persons.

Dale B said...

The south shore of Superior is OK but there are too many pine trees to be colorful in the fall. The north shore has a lot more color and this weekend is probably the peak.

The Mississippi river valley is closer to your place, as you mentioned. That area will probably peak in a bit less than two weeks. The area south from Bay City WI all the way south to La Crosse is very nice. This is the driftless area and is very scenic, even when there's no color. I rode my motorcycle down there yesterday and it was starting to change.

The Wisconsin side (on WI35) is a better road for scenery than US61 on the Minnesota side. Both roads have a pretty nigh cop level so don't speed too much.

The county roads that go inland off of WI35 are very pretty and there's almost no traffic. The river roads can get pretty crowded at peak color.

Another pretty area is around Wildcat Mountain park. It's quite close to Madison. Lots of fun roads too.

PatCA said...

Think of all the places in the US you have never been!

Strangely, lately I've been wanting to see Duluth. You never hear anything about Duluth.

paulfrommpls said...

If you ever want to hear anything about Duluth, give me a call. We were just up there and the North Shore. Duluth is just about the greatest place imaginable.

Dylan's description of Duluth in Chronicles Vol 1 is pretty good.

Just for you check this out (I haven't posted in a while):

http://paulfrommpls.blogspot.com/2006/10/duluth.html

PatCA said...

Oh, thank you, Paul! I guess I just want to live in someplace peaceful, safely out of the violent currents of the day.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Just remember the downside, Pat.

PatCA said...

*gulp*

Minus what?!

Maxine Weiss said...

That's some pretty wimpy Fall folliage, compared with places like Vermont and the Berkshires.

Let's face it: nobody does Fall foliage with quite the same vivid colors as New England.

Wisconson would not be my first choice in seeing the vivid, sharp and colorful Fall leaves....and that's considered Peak?

You haven't lived until you've biked through the backroads of Vermont, at this time of year.

Peace, Maxine

Tom said...

I grew up in Duluth, just a few blocks from the lake. Still remember the day the Fitz sank like it happened last week. 10 years old at the time and very traumatic. Unemployment hit 20 percent when I was in high school so it was time to get out. Today, though, the city is beautiful. I often say that if Duluth was like it is now when I was in high school I wouldn't have been so anxious to leave. In college, I would bring friends home and as we drove over the top of the hill and descended into Duluth, with the lake spread out before them, their jaws would drop. It's like they never knew what all that blue on the map meant until they saw it in real life. Stunning.

And the previous poster is right that northern MInnesota colors are more stunning than the colors on the Wisconsin side. The North Shore is also more picturesque in general, and it has better pizza, too (Sven and Ole's).

I also lived in New England for two years, and I would put northern Minnesota fall colors up against New England anyday.

Mike said...

I've always wondered how Duluth drivers deal with the hills during a snowstorm. I grew up negogiating snow covered roads; that's no big deal, but Duluth? I don't know how they do it.

Tom said...

Driving on snow-covered roads is like anything else with cold weather (or life in general, I suppose): you learn to deal with it. I received my driving learner's permit in November of my sophomore year in high school. It was the day after a storm dumped 6 inches of snow. The next time I drove on pavement that wasn't in some way made hazardous by snow, ice, slush, etc., was the day I took my road test the following April.