Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Upper Door County

We left the lower Door County and drove a whole fifty miles up to the area considered Upper Door County.  As we traveled further out on the peninsula, the widths became narrower until we reached the upper tip known as Death's Door strait.  Right across from that strait is Washington Island.  We took our car across the strait along with many other cars, bicycles, motorcycles, and a few commercial trucks.  The trip lasts about 30 minutes.

The drive up to the strait showed the beautiful water.

Lots of different looking homes along the way.

I think they purposely made this road curvy to make sure everyone drove slowly.

Loading onto the boat.

We were directed to the front of the boat and I stayed in the car since the pups were with us.  This was my view!  Only good thing was that we were one of the first vehicles out on to the island.

Leaving port.

The boats run every 45 minutes so we saw this one coming back. 

The Captain went up top and took this picture.

I did get out and try to take a few pictures but Desi kept crying because he wanted to get out, too.

Lucy just waited patiently.

Other islands we saw along the way.

This one had a lighthouse.

Coming into Washington Island.

And onto dry land.

Washington Island is 7 miles northeast of the tip of Door Peninsula.  The island has a year-round population of 660 people.  The island is approximately 5 miles wide by 6 miles long.  Most of the people who settled on the island were Scandinavian immigrants, especially Icelanders.  Today, Washington Island is one of the oldest Icelandic communities in the United States and among the largest outside Iceland itself.

We drove to Mountain Park and Lookout Tower to get a larger view of the island.

Then we took the pups for a long hike to get them exercised for the day.

Washington Island has its own airport, albeit on grass.

This building is called the Stavkirke and is a Christian house of worship patterned after the Borgund, Norway, church built in 1150 A.D.  The term 'Stav' means poles or support and there are 12 center staves as well as heavy beamed , ship-like construction throughout the structure.  Viking shipbuilding techniques characterize the all-wood construction. 

It is open daily year-round for meditation and worship.

Another stop was made at Schoolhouse Beach.  It is only one of five sandless beaches worldwide with small rocks that have been glacier-polished over thousands of years.

The rocks are made of limestone.

The rocks are extremely smooth to the touch and therefore have become a collectors' item.  There are many signs posted now asking visitors to not remove any of the stones because the beach is becoming depleted.  There is also a hefty fine if you are caught taking any of the rocks.

After a day at Washington Island we came back to the mainland and as we were driving off the boat we saw this car tooling around. 

Not sure what it was but the passengers were having a great time.

The Upper Door Peninsula consists of multiple bays every few miles.  We stayed at a nice RV park outside of Ellison Bay and were able to take these pictures above it.

South of where we stayed is Sister Bay, one of my favorite towns.

They have a year-round Christmas shop so we checked it out.  There were some neat items there but I kept sneezing because the place was a little dusty.

They even had a Halloween tree.

Harborfest was going on in Sister Bay so we had to go.  Just a little bit of traffic but we found a parking space right away.  Living large!!!

Different bands played throughout the day.

One of the bigger draws in the town is Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant.  Notice the roof.

Not only did the facility have a grass roof but also goats keeping the grass short.
We heard other viewers say that the goats are taken down each night and are back up there again during the day.  They seemed to also enjoy the view, or maybe they were just posing for the cameras.

There was a wooden boat show going on, too.

This was a 1940 Chris Craft.

This 1908 boat had a steam engine.

The weather was wonderful so there were many people in town.

This little 'boat' came up and talked to me so we asked for a picture.  Coastie is a boat that is used to teach water safety. 

There were some beautiful yachts sitting in the harbor and this lady was enjoying the view 'over the water'.

The kids had fun with all the games and rides.

They even had camel rides.

Looks pretty gentle to me.

And many people were enjoying the water.

This young lady was extremely athletic.
Later in the week we checked out some other bays.  The Captain and I biked over to Rowleys Bay looking for another neat little town.  Well, this was it.  One store/restaurant/hotel with a small dock.  So we biked back home again:)

We stopped at a few local wineries and this place was called Stones Throw Winery.

The wine was good but I especially liked their restroom sign.
Door County is known for its local artist shops and we are always looking for a few new pieces to add to our house.

This gallery had a walking trail showcasing many sculptures.  Very beautiful but oh so pricey!  

A modest $8,000.


This all-weather painting can be used outside your home.  It can be safely displayed outdoors, rain or shine, all year long.  Amazing!  I wonder how it would handle South Carolina humidity in August. 

 We drove a little further south to Fish Creek, another cool town, to take a sunset boat cruise.  Although they had water on board they suggested riders bring along their own food and drink.  We decided on cheese and crackers with a little summer sausage, a light chocolate dessert, and of course, a bottle of wine.  At first we appeared to be the only ones with wine aboard until a group came on after us and starting uncorking champagne bottles.  Then the party began.

Along with the boat captain we had a tour guide who not only told us about the local sights but also entertained us on the trip.  He was a lot of fun and sang the songs of the sixties and seventies so we could all sing along.

During the trip the captain brought some youngsters up and let them drive the boat.  They even got to wear the captain's hat.  Those kids were so excited and happy.

Starting to see a few fall colors.

This little piece of land can be walked onto from the shore if the water is low enough.

And then the sun starting setting.

The land you can see in the distance is Michigan.

This side of the bay is called millionaire row.

Another fun town is called Baileys Harbor.  We drove over to see the sights and it turned out to be a very windy day, but perfect if you are para-sailing.

You can see the choppiness in the water.

This airborne flier was being photographed by his friend on the dock.

The Captain was trying to take a picture without being blown off the shore.  It was a very gusty day.

I was surprised they didn't slam into each other sometimes. 

This young man was the best.

He even had a smooth landing.

The Door County Peninsula is a wonderful place to vacation for all ages.  There is so much to do and see that the time just flies by.  We had a wonderful two weeks in this area and would recommend it as a vacation spot for anyone.  And now it is time to leave Wisconsin, even thought I didn't want to come to this state in the first place.  The Captain was right, Wisconsin has much to offer.  And the mosquitoes weren't even bad.  We must have come on a good year!  Peace!

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