Madeline Ferry Island is Ready to Run.

By KBJR News 1

April 8, 2013 Updated Apr 8, 2013 at 10:11 AM CST

Bayfield, WI (NNCnow.com) The Madeline Island Ferry Line in Bayfield Wisconsin is one day away from being ready to make their first run to Madeline Island.

The sounds of ice breaking took over the southern wing of Chewamagon Bay near Bayfield.
It's a sign of Spring and also a sign that the Madeline Island Ferry Line will soon chart it's first course.

Marine Operations Manager Mike Radtke commented on the excitement that the ice breaking brings to the area. "It's a sign of things to come and Spring, and I think everyone is just excited."

Everyone including those few who live on Madeline Island year round.

"The year round population on the island is around 270 to 300 year round, but the Summer population is in the thousands" commented Radtke.

Although island residents do have different travel options during the winter to get to the mainland such as wind sleds and if lucky a maintained ice road, some feel traveling by ferry is just safer like island resident Evan Erickson.

"It a more for sure way there. You're going to get across. I like being on the water so I'm kind of happy that we're moving out of the wind sled season and into the ferry season" said Erickson.

For Erickson, a 22 year resident of the island, the limited travel options have made him and his family adapt.

"It's different. Living on the island you learn a different way of living. You learn to plan. When we go over for groceries the car is completely packed, ya know you buy 15 gallons of milk at a time" commented Erickson.

Many others make the commute on a daily basis.

"There's people that work on both sides. There are mainlanders, who work over on the island, and they work as contractors, they work at the marinas, they work at some of the other businesses there. Vice versa there are islanders who work on the mainland like teachers and other jobs on the mainland. So we have a commuter group that go back and forth daily" said Radtke

Whether traveling to or coming from, it's fair to say people on both sides are looking forward to the coming season.

"Ground is thawing and snow is leaving so you're excited for the summer season which is the time that we make our money" commented Erickson.

The Madeline Island Ferry Line plans to have two of their four Ferries up and running by tomorrow.

Written and Posted by Shawn Frost.

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