In northern Wisconsin you can find the peaceful little town of Bayfield, Wisconsin. It sits along the shore of Lake Superior and Madeline Island can be seen from the shore of the town.
Some winters when it gets really cold out the lake freezes over so well that you can drive across it to Madeline Island. In the summer you need to take a boat over to the island so when the road freezes over hard enough to drive it is a real treat.
The winter of 2014 had temperatures so cold that the ice froze between the island and the mainland making the drive possible. This does not happen every year so when it does it is very special.
My husband and I decided to drive the road from Bayfield to Madeline Island and back. As we drove to the dock a car was ahead of us and when the came up to the lake they decided to turn around and go back. This was a little unnerving for us since the guy in front of us would not drive the ice road we thought maybe we shouldn’t either.
We drove up to the shoreline and a sign said drive at your own risk. My husband just drove out onto the ice without blinking. A few ice fishing houses sat on the ice otherwise no one was out there as we started to drive across. It was somewhat lonely to be the only car on the ice road but we pressed on.
The road was plowed otherwise there would be too much snow to cross. I looked down onto the ice we were driving on and I could see that there were big cracks in the ice. Bubbles where frozen in the ice and in some places the ice was very clear and you could see how deep the water under the ice was.
I started to wonder if we were supposed to be out on the ice since we were the only ones out there. Then a truck started to drive toward us from the other side. At first it seems just a tiny dot since the island was about a mile from us.
The ice road was very bumpy and we were jostled in our car as we drove on toward the other shore. In the middle of the ice road we met up with the truck and it was good to see someone else out there in the middle of Lake Superior.
As we reached the shore of the island I felt like we had accomplished something. We drove across the ice road.
We stopped for a cup of coffee and drove back to Bayfield, Wisconsin feeling like we just experienced something that not everyone does. It felt good.
You can read more about the ice road at http://bayfield.org/bayfield-activities/ice-road/.