As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we are collecting and sharing the stories of people connected to the islands, whether they are park guests, former residents or former park employees.
This is the 25th in our series called “Lakeshore Logbook,” a collection of memories provided by former National Park Service employees.
Living and working in the park on a day to day basis, they’ve experienced a lot to be sure. We hope you enjoy their perspectives.
Terry Daulton worked in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore from 1981 through 1989 or 90. As a Student Conservation Association volunteer she worked for the Park Historian. She also worked as a biological aide working for Meryll Bailey, as a historical aide cataloguing artifacts at Little Sand Bay archives and as an interpretive ranger on Stockton Island and the Headquarters Visitor Center in winter.
What is the coolest thing you did in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (APIS) as part of your job?
Living on the islands was probably the most remarkable experience, being immersed in daily weather, work and getting to know people who studied and worked in the park.
What is the most fun experience you had in the park?
As naturalist on Stockton, I was paid to hike trails, talk to visitors, and record phenology. These years really gave me a chance to hone my knowledge of birds, tracks, and to learn intimate details of the ecology of the island.
Please share a memorable experience you had in the park.
One summer, my college art professor, Paul Hubinsky, appeared at the visitor center. He had paddled to the island, solo, in an old aluminum canoe. When I got off my shift we hiked to Julian Bay and picked blueberries. It was a bumper crop year and we returned to the rustic ranger cabin (this was the old cabin!) baked a pie and spent an evening visiting, talking art, nature and life. The next day he set off into a strong headwind, paddling for Little Sand Bay. I watched his progress with amazement as he crossed to Quarry Bay and then disappeared into the west. He was probably in his 50’s but he made it to Little Sand Bay by 4 p.m.. An amazing man who loved the lake and islands and shared his inspiration with others.
What is the most amazing thing you saw in the park?
Dropping the secchi disc down to measure water clarity and seeing the black and white disc clear as a bell at 40 feet! But I was so lucky to have many different jobs in the park. While I was bio tech I got to help all the researchers which took me to all the islands except North Twin.
Please share an accomplishment from your tenure at APIS that gives you pride.
I worked on interpretive exhibits, some of which are still on display in the park. I also helped with the Apostle Islands School and did my Masters of Science thesis on that program. Kudos to Erica Peterson on that one!
What story from your time at APIS do you share most frequently?
The story of our capture of the bear behind the Stockton Island ranger quarters while I gave a talk for 50 people just yards away.
I also have a personally meaningful story about doing research on the NE tip of Michigan Island in the worst weather and biting flies I have ever experienced. This was a real character builder and to this day I think I can take pretty much any biting insects due to that experience.
What, if any, ’something’ from your time at APIS was an impetus for your chosen career or life path?
I decided to go to grad school after APIS, in large part due to my inability to get a permanent position at the park. This took my career in a more formal environmental education direction. I also have to credit APIS with providing one of my best supervisors ever, Kate Lidfors. She was the park historian I worked under in my first position.
If you could return to just one place in APIS, where would you go?
Why? I return frequently, as we now have a sailboat. But I always treasure re-visiting old haunts like Stockton, Michigan Island sand spit, and the hiking trails on Oak Island.
Terry is currently a freelance writer, artist, educator, and naturalist living in Mercer, Wisconsin. We want to thank Terry for her entry into our 50th Anniversary Lakeshore Logbook. We look forward to sharing more Logbook entries with you in the coming weeks. You can find the whole series here.