Sunday, August 24, 2008

Door County, Wisconsin

The northeast corner of Wisconsin has a peninsula which, when observed on a map, appears broken. Eons ago, (geographically speaking) it probably did break apart. Today, the “broken” part is Sturgeon Bay. All of the area lying north of Sturgeon Bay is within Door County, and is known as a premier destination vacation spot throughout the Midwest. The west side of the peninsula is Green Bay & to the east is Lake Michigan.

The town of Sturgeon Bay lies on both sides of the bay; the historic part to the north & the newer part to the south. On the north side where highways 42 & 57 intersect, all chain businesses are banned. There are no Micky’Ds, Holiday Inns, Starbucks, etc. All businesses are privately owned & rooms are located in B&B’s or historic inns. This is what makes the area quite charming, aside from its natural beauty.

Bailey's Harbor - late afternoon

Our week’s stay is at Bailey’s Harbor a beautiful little village on the Lake side in a motor home park within a short walk of the city. Although our cell phones produce a weak signal at the park, in town they are worthless.

A few short miles from the campground lies the Cana Island Lighthouse, one of the most well loved of the several lighthouses in this area.

Cana Island Lighthouse

It is here we meet a lovely couple who reside in the Chicago area who come to Door county often, in the winter as well, to take advantage of the terrific skiing. Hearty people, these mid-westerners!

Gary & Helen offer great insight into the area

No one comes to Door County without indulging in a fish boil. It is a simple dish of boiled red potatoes, onions & of course, freshly caught white fish. Tradition dictates a serving of coleslaw, and of course, fresh cherry pie, which the area is also known for. It is a tasty dish, probably mostly because seasoned melted butter is generously applied to everything that comes out of the pot. The boil-over signals dinner is ready.

All for show - Ready to eat

Soon we take the ferry as walk-on passengers to Washington Island.

Washington Island Ferry

( This little island sits at the top of the Door County Peninsula, and makes a great one day trip. We choose not to take the car & let someone else do the driving.

The Cherry Train

The little Cherry Train ( takes us on an enjoyable two hour narrated tour of the island.

Who is watching whom?

Bob checking out School House Beach

Implements at the Farm Museum

Exterior of building creats a moment of solice

The tour includes the Ostrich/Exotic Animal Farm, Schoolhouse Beach and the Farm Museum. We have very little time to see each in depth, but enjoy what we do see & the fact that we have a “day off” from driving. The view of the lighthouse from the ferry as we pull out of Gills Rock is also a bonus.

Lighthouse near Gills Rock

Sister Bay lies on the Green Bay side, and has much to offer in the way of nice shops, restaurants, & other amenities.

Portion of Sister Bay

Concerts are given at least twice a week in the summer, some free in the afternoons on the grass, and evening concerts are in a state-of-art facility. We don’t have time to see and do everything. This is supposed to be a week of rest & catch up after Oshkosh! And speaking of other amenities, did I mention the goats?

Rooftop dining

A feast for all

Yes, free munching & no lawn mower needed for the Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant. We do a double take at this sight.

Bob & friend

Of course I think Bob cuts a handsome figure too!

The picture explains all

The next day we have an opportunity to see The Farm, located on Hwy 57 just north of where highways 42 and 57 merge. It consists mainly of baby farm animals geared to children, but who can resists more goats? Revisiting early farm implements, some of which Bob remembers from his childhood, is also a hoot.

Bob revisiting memories past

The balance of the pictures are just a few of our favorite implements & new found friends. Enjoy!

Beautiful old wood stove

Surely someone other than his mother loves this guy!

The sugar house

More tools of the trade

I wonder what the kitties would do with him

Do you really want to eat another pork chop?

He was telling us how handsome he is!

Coming soon: The Train Museum in Green Bay & The Fireboat in Sturgeon Bay!

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