Last week, for work, I headed up to a meeting at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Day 1 was all travel, flying to Minneapolis and then driving many hours to get to the park. Even though the hour was getting late, I needed to get out and get some movement in, and what better way than hiking to see the sea caves?
Daylight was waning as I set out on the approximately 4 mile out and back hike on the Lakeshore Trail. While the weather had been near Spring-like near Chicago, here in Wisconsin snow lay on the ground. Most of the first mile of this hike was along boardwalks, kind of frustrating as it felt like following a sidewalk through the forest. The boards were also slick where snow had melted and refrozen, so it definitely slowed me down as well.
The trail wove its way among the trees, down and up ravines, moving closer to the bluff’s edge and then away. Really a gorgeous hike. After the boardwalk ended, the trail became a single track and definitely prettier, more of what I was looking for. About another mile in, I reached an area that gave a good view of some sea caves from above (the best way to see them is from the water, either by excursion boat or preferably by kayak). As the path continued on another few miles to a single campsite (how cool is that?!), I continued pushing on, hoping that the next viewpoint would be the best. I got some great shots, but will definitely return to see these (and sea caves on the islands) from the water. Or under – we recently watched a show about some people who used SCUBA to explore the caves underwater, so cool.
I finally came to my senses and turned around, moving quickly as I knew that daylight wasn’t going to stick around long. I wasn’t TOO worried, as I was dressed for much cooler weather than I encountered, had two flashlights in the form of iPhones, and wasn’t that far from the parking area. No problems getting back to the car, so all’s well that ended well. Still, a rookie mistake that shouldn’t have been made.