Thursday, September 8, 2016

Door County - Southern Side

After the craziness of the Wisconsin Dells, we moved to a quieter area called Door County.  Door County is a peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan that is 482 sq miles of land with 298 miles of shoreline.  The County was created in 1851.  It is named after the strait between the Door Peninsula and Washington Island.  A dangerous passage known to early French explorers and Native Americans, the strait was littered with shipwrecks. Because of the natural hazards where the waters of Green Bay meet the open body of Lake Michigan, the French gave it the name "Door of the Dead" or "Death's Door". The county covers the majority of Door Peninsula.  With the completion of the Sturgeon Bay Shipping Canal in 1881, the northern half of the peninsula technically became an island.      

We spent the first part of our visit in the southern half of Door County which includes Sturgeon Bay. 

A nice town with the harbor full of boats.

One of the main streets through town where the bridge has to raise to allow the boats to move through.  We watched this bridge open for the boats as it went straight up in the air.   

The town had many quaint shops and all along the streets were benches that were made from old items or were nicely decorated.  This one is called 'Hot Seat'.

'Work Bench'

This schooner rudder was found in Door County in Lake Michigan. It is estimated to be from about 1827.  

 We took the pups on a hike to Potawatomi State Park so we could climb the Potawatomi Tower built in 1932.  It's height is 75 feet.

I went up first and the sights of the Green Bay were breathtaking.

My favorite was this island with a house built on it.  

On another day we took a drive to Cave Point which is a county park in the area.

Turns out it is the jumping/swimming point for the locals.  It was a gorgeous day and everyone was having a great time.

The water was clear and clean.

The pups loved it.

But check out these brave kids!

Moms and dads stayed at the top and took photos.  When the kids jumped they had to jump straight out first to avoid some of the rocks under water.  Very scary.

The RV park we stayed at had a large heated pool and other really nice water features for kids.  We got there on a Tuesday and everything was pretty quiet.  On Thursday we noticed many more campers starting to come in and by Friday the camp was filled.  The kids played all day in the water features and pools and at night the parents partied.  Yikes!  To be young again.

The RV park was on a road called Lovers Lane and I thought this house was decorated  to match the street.

We took a walk along the road and saw hundreds of sand cranes enjoying a farm field.  And then we spotted a large bird running across the road in front of us.  It was a wild turkey and several others raced behind it.  We started counting and when the last one raced across the street we were up to twenty-six.      

Okay, so we saved the best for last.  One of the items on the Captain's bucket list was to go to Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers.  It is quite the place.

The statue is of Curly Lambeau the 'father of the Green Bay Packers'.
 Earl Louis "Curly" Lambeau was a professional football player and coach in the National Football League.  He was a founder, player, and the first coach of the Green Bay Packers professional football team.  Lambeau played for Knute Rockne at Notre Dame in 1918 but due to a severe case of tonsillitis he was forced to return home before his sophomore year.

Returning to Green Bay he worked as a shipping clerk at the Indian Packing Company and along with George Whitney Calhoun founded the team in 1919, after the packing company put up $500 for uniforms.  Curly had wanted to call the team the Green Bay Indians to respect the company that put up the money but after the team's naming rights were sold to the Acme Packing company the team became the Green Bay Packers.

Shares of stock were first sold to establish the club as a corporation in 1923.  A total of $5,000 was raised through 1,000 shares offered at $5 apiece.  Each shareholder was required to buy six season tickets.  Falling on hard times, the team was in desperate need of money so in 1934 they launched a drive to save the Packers.  Twenty-five business leaders voted to raise $10,000 to extricate the Green Bay Football Corporation from its financial difficulties, complete a reorganization and provide a fund to build up the team in 1935.

The rest is history.   The Packers are the only publicly traded franchise in the NFL.  It is this broad-based community support and non-profit structure which has kept the team in Green Bay for nearly a century in spite of being the smallest market in all of North American professional sports.  The latest share price in 2011 went for $250.

In the 1958 season, the Packers finished with a record of 1-10-1, the worst in Packer history.  The Packer shareholders were disheartened, the Green Bay community enraged, and the financial viability of the Green Bay Packer franchise was in jeopardy.  In 1958, Vince Lombardi accepted the position of head coach and general manager.

Lombardi created punishing training regimens and expected absolute dedication and effort from his players.  The following year they improved to 7-5.  He went on to complete a record of 105-35-6 as head coach and never suffered a losing season.  The Packers won three consecutive NFL championships in 1965, 1966, 1967 and the first two Super Bowls in the 1966 and 1967 seasons.

The fans appreciated what Lombardi was doing and responded. Every Packer home game-preseason, regular and playoffs-has been sold out ever since. 

Part of the museum at Lambeau Stadium.

Super Bowl ring.
The first sponsor of the Packers in 1921.

A helmet worn by a player many years ago.  Doesn't look very safe.

A championship season under Curly Lambeau. 

Taking the escalator to the second floor of the museum.

The Captain bought the Championship Tour so we could see additional sections of Lambeau Field.

Packer Hall of Fame names of players around the stadium.

I never realized that many of the seats in the stadium have no backs.  They are just metal sections and anyone who has a ticket is allowed 18 inches to sit on.

A boyhood dream fulfilled!!!

Before the 1961 season, Vince Lombardi decided to decorate the team's helmets with a 'G' logo.  John Gordon, a part-time assistant to the Packer's equipment manager and a student at St Norbert College designed the original 'G' in the shape of a football and it was understood that the 'G' stood for Green Bay.

This 'G' lights up at night and according to the locals, if you get lost in town you can always find your way by looking for the 'G' to determine how far away you are from Lambeau Stadium.

The upper sections of Lambeau Field are very plush.  If you purchase a suite (privately or business)  you can use it year-round.  Many businesses use their suite or have the ability to use larger areas for meetings, seminars, etc.  

One of the smaller suites we were able to see.

We got to go into the lower section of the stadium but were not allowed in the locker room because it is continually in use. 

We were, however, allowed to walk onto the field using the same tunnel the Packers use for their home games!!! 

A view of the field as we left the tunnel.

In winter when the stadium is filled with snow the organization asks for volunteers to clear off the stands.  Hundreds of Packer fans volunteer and are paid $10 per hour.  In the past, they were paid by check but too many volunteers framed the checks rather than cashing them in making it an accounting nightmare.  Today, all volunteers are paid in cash.
After our tour, as we exited the facility, we saw this huge replica of the Lombardi trophy named for Vince Lombardi and presented each year to the winning Super Bowl team. 

And, of course, we exited through the gift shop that has EVERYTHING a Green Bay Packer fan could ever want.

The final touch to our exciting day was a stop at the Titletown Brewing Company.  Situated in the old Chicago & North Western Depot, in its day Packer trips often started and ended here.  The team left from here on their first road trip to Ishpeming, MI, and they continued to travel from here on occasional short trips to Milwaukee and Chicago until 1960.

We also enjoyed our very first plate of cheese curds.  According to our tour guide, the stadium sells over 10,000 pounds of this delicacy during each game.  It was very tasty.

Sitting out on the patio we even got to see a train go past.

I had a "Titletown" Original Cranberry Turkey Melt on freshly baked zucchini bread.  It was very good.  

The Captain had (and I'm not making this up) the Notorious P.I.G.  Roasted pork loin, deli ham, thick cut bacon, smoked gouda, spinach and house-made tomato jam on a pretzel roll.  

As we left Green Bay we saw this lovely slogan on a truck.  So fitting for Green Bay.  Peace!

No comments:

Post a Comment