Thursday, June 9, 2011

Riding Memory Lanes

Last evening I made it to Bayfield, WI in time for the 5:45 ferry to La Pointe, WI on Madeline Island. It was to be a memory-intense 20 hours for this lad who made his first crossing to The Island in 1948 at the age of 5. I've enjoyed about ten other visits in between, the last in 1995 for a bountifully attended  family reunion that celebrated the 100th anniversary of Grassie Cottage Merrymeet, the unofficial family compound for some five generations of Grassie kin from every corner of the country. Suffice it to say that when the whole 50-50 idea began to gel, the first place BikerBuck knew he had to ride was Madeline Island.

After about 25 minutes into the ferry crossing, you can see some of Madeline's stately enclaves.

Merrymeet Cottage was so named after an early gathering there in the 1890's that was described as a "merry meeting."

The beautiful roads and bikeways on Madeline are superb for touring.

The lagoon at Big Bay is where my dad taught me how to fish.

I remember scores of relatives from so many places.....some who chose to rest on The Island always.

Alas, the heirs have decided to part with Merrymeet - though many of them now have their own places nearby and The Island remains a family gathering place.

I could have spent much longer on Madeline. But after dropping the old "I remember this place from 1948" line to about a hundred folks I encountered (90% of whom can't even remember Hale-Bopp and that was like, last month, right?) it was time to head out for Minnesota and a brand new memory.

There's no telling whether I'll ever go back to The Island.  Or '48. Memories also need to rest in peace.

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