Here we are, enjoying the northernmost part of Wisconsin, standing in Lake Superior. The dogs were not thrilled to get their paws wet.
I spent a little time this morning, just wandering around Egg Harbor, taking in the cute little shops and fascinating decor that one could fine in the gift shops.
Lying between Green Bay and Lake Michigan, the Peninsula that makes up Door County is one of the most picturesque I've ever seen.Sturgeon Bay is 45 miles from the city of Green Bay, 150 miles from Milwaukee, 240 miles from Chicago and 320 miles from Minneapolis.
The first town on the Green Bay side, Egg Harbor, which is where we're staying, is 17 miles from Sturgeon Bay.
Fish Creek is seven miles from Egg Harbor and adjacent to Ephraim, which blends into Sister Bay.
Sister Bay is six miles from Ellison Bay, and it's another six miles to Northport and the ferry to Washington Island.
Baileys Harbor is the biggest town on the Lake Michigan side. It's 10 miles over from Egg Harbor.
Around the Upper Midwest, Door County is the tourist destination that other tourist destinations envy. It has everything a tourist loves: Lighthouses and sand dunes. Wineries and boutiques. Bicycle paths and beaches.
There’s a little bit of New England in the white-frame buildings of Ephraim, where tourists click photos of Wilson’s, a century-old ice-cream parlor.
There’s a little bit of Europe in Sister Bay, where goats graze on the sod roof of Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant. There’s not much that isn’t picturesque. I saw alpine decorated inns and restaurants, swedish landmarks, and, of course, the water.
We spent today just driving, ending up in Northport, the northern most tip where the ferry takes you across to Washington Island.
One of our favorite stops were the bluffs at Ellison Bay. The view was breathtaking and the silence so serene.
We stopped for lunch in Sister Bay, at Boathouse on the Bay. We sat on the top floor, outside, with a gorgeous harbor view. The food was great. Dave tried deep fried cheese curds for the first time and was immediately addicted. Me, not so much. Lunch consisted of a brat for me and lobster roll for Dave. Great food, great service and great view. What else could you ask for?
The rest of these pictures were just points of interest that we took along the way.
oOur plan had, initially, been to head back to Florida after this year's summer in the Upper Mid-West, culminating in South Dakota. We had also planned to head out west next summer. We hadn't finalized where we were headed, but we knew it would be out west.
We started looking at the route and realized that if we headed back to Florida, with a stopover in Tennessee for a month, we would be adding over 2800 miles to our journey this coming year. In terms of miles, gas and wear and tear, this made no sense at all.
We discussed our options with our VA doctors and they assured us that we could visit a clinic out west for a year for our annual visits. So, that obstacle was removed.
The only obstacle left is our family and friends. We've spoken to several family members and they all agree that it wouldn't make financial sense to come back East. Not seeing Kate and her parents in person will be difficult, but luckily, they're great at Facetiming with us, so even if we can't hug her, we can still see her and hear what's going on with her. It will be difficult not seeing them for two years, instead of one year, but we just can't do it.
So, what do we plan on doing? When we leave South Dakota in September, we're heading directly south and will spend Oct and November in Castroville, just outside San Antonio. It's a 5 star resort that was so much more reasonable than Florida rates. My mom will fly down and spend Thanksgiving with us.
In December, we'll be in Port Aransas at Gulf Water Campground. This is our Christmas splurge. We'll be right on the gulf and Dave will be able to actually ride the gold cart on the beach. And the dogs are allowed on the beach as well.
January through March will be spent in Mission at Bentsen Palm Village. There are tons and tons of activities there and we'll have fun staying busy. It's also very warm there, so I'm looking forward to some quality pool time.
Once we hit the road in April, we'll be headed west, through NM and Arizona. Right now, we're discussing going to the National Parks in the Tri-state area - Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Arches and all the rest. But we may change our mind. Who knows.
But our winter plans are firmed up. Texas will be our home for the cold months this year. We'll miss seeing everyone, but we have to think of what's best for us and our finances.
We arrived here in Door County, Wisconsin on Friday and have taken the time to do some much needed chores and just take a break. We are located right on Lake MIchigan, again, so we have the beautiful breeze and cooler temps.
Our campsite here at Egg Harbor is another great one. At the very back of the rig is a small hideyhole amongst the trees that houses our fire pit. It's just big enough for the firepit, our chairs and the mats for the dogs. Otherwise, we're totally surrounded by young trees that make it so private and shady. It's our new favorite place. That goes for the furkids as well. Tomorrow, we celebrate Dave's Birthday, so who knows what's in store!
According to Wikipedia, "Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a U.S. National Lakeshore on the shore of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, United States. It extends for 42 miles (67 km) along the shore and covers 73,236 acres (114 sq mi; 296 km2). The park has extensive views of the hilly shoreline between Munising and Grand Marais in Alger County, Michigan, with picturesque rock formations, waterfalls, and sand dunes.
Pictured Rocks derives its name from the 15 miles (24 km) of colorful sandstone cliffs northeast of Munising. The cliffs reach up to 200 feet (60 m) above lake level. They have been naturally sculptured into a variety of shallow caves, arches, and formations resembling castle turrets and human profiles. Near Munising, visitors can also visit Grand Island, most of which is included in the separate Grand Island National Recreation Area.
The U.S. Congress designated Pictured Rocks the first National Lakeshore in the United States in 1966. It is governed by the National Park Service (NPS), with 22 year-round NPS employees as of May 2006, and received 476,888 visitors in 2005."
We drove to Munising yesterday and took a cruise to see the Pictured Rocks, since they're almost impossible to see from land. Our 2 1/2 hr cruise really got us up close and personal with the beauty of the ever changing rock formations. After we got back, we stopped as proper Yoopers and had pasties for lunch. It was our third Great Lake we've been to up here in Michigan, after Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
We took a drive around Manistique yesterday to check out the area. There is a rip tide warning along with heavy wind advisory, so looking out at Lake Michigan is like seeing the ocean. As we were leaving, fog was rolling in and the water was incredibly active.
We then took a drive out to Seney Wildlife Preserve. They have a 7 mile loop around their wetlands and it sounded great until we got there. The only wild life we saw was a woodpecker, some swans and ducks, and a few turtles and millions of biting flies swarming our truck. We figured out that Michigan entices tourists to this refuge to give the flies fresh blood and leave the locals alone :) In all seriousness, it seems that the further we go north, the bigger they get. I'm beginning to be afraid that they'll carry the dogs away! The last picture below is of one of those biting flies hanging on the rear view mirror, determined to travel with us.
On the way home, we stopped at the the Seul Choix Pointe LIghthouse, which is located in the town of Gulliver. It's operated by the Gulliver Historical Society and the Department of Natural Resources. It was interesting to see people actually surfing because the waves were about three feet high. Not high for ocean surfers, but here, it's a big deal.