Saturday, October 11, 2014

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - DOOR CCOUNTY PENINSULA, WI



We are on the road again and this will be our last trip this calendar year. It was a wonderful spring, summer and fall with our new trailer, but like all good things it must end, at least for now. It was starting to mist as we pulled out of the drive for Hy-Land Court campground located between Ellison Bay and Sister Bay on the Door Peninsula. It continued to mist on and off for almost the entire drive.  We took highway 151 out of Madison and it would take us all the way to Green Bay where we would connect with highway 57/42 until we get to the campground. It took us about an hour and a half to get to Fond du Lac where we would normally travel up the west side of Lake Winnebago to Green Bay, but decided for a change of pace and because we have no real schedule to drive up on the east side. We stayed on highway 151 and went through towns I hadn’t been to in probably 30 years or more. When we got to Green Bay we ran into a detour which, because of a wrong turn, put us in the parking lot of Serrogi’s Candy Store where we always stop when we visit Green Bay. Got back on the detour route and ended up on highway 172 that passes within blocks of Bellevue where we lived for 6 years. Decided not to drive past the house on this trip.

We could see the water of the Bay of Green Bay on our left about 10 minutes north of Green Bay. I knew we were headed in the right direction.  At 4 pm we arrived at one of the nicest campgrounds that we have been at this year. Very large sites with many mature trees, lots of room between sites, so level we didn't have to use any leveling blocks and full hook ups that were all within five feet of our trailer. Even cable TV for free, but probably hidden (included) in the nightly cost. Can only pick up two PBS stations up here with our Wynguard antenna and didn’t want to miss the Packers on Thursday so I do appreciate the cable TV. Finally saw about 30 minutes of sun at 5 pm so we are hoping it gets nicer as the week goes on.

Woke up to cool temperatures and fog on Wednesday so we took time for a nice leisurely breakfast and first got on the road to Cassville about 10 am. It’s the furthest town south of where we are camped that we planned to visit. We visited a winery, did the free wine tasting and found three that we had to have. Don’t think all six bottles will make it home. We also did the tourist shopping thing and Lor found some Christmas gifts that I can’t tell anyone about. We had a wonderful late lunch/early dinner at a restaurant called “The Shipwreck”. Great food, cheery pulled pork, great service and their own brew pub beer that I probably wouldn’t order again.

Rained all night but it should clear up later so we will journey to “Sweetie Pies” bakery, just south of Fish Creek, that specializes in what else but homemade pies. It was 11 am and we had to try a piece of Door County cheery/peach pie, another healthy lunch, told my doctor I would eat more fruit. Definitely made the old fashioned way with hand rolled crusts and just fruit without any type of filling. Over 30 different pie selections and more that can be special ordered. It was good as good as advertised so we took a small apple and small cherry “Cutie Pie” back with us to have as desert at half time. Nice having cable TV and being able to watch the Packers and Vikings. Lor also visited a jewelry shop next door and found some very unique earrings that were calling her name. Our next stop was Fish Creek, the largest shopping village on the peninsula. Walked around all of the stores until we were shopped out at about 2:30pm. I dropped Lor off at our trailer and drove to the northern most point on the peninsula, Gills Rock, only about seven miles from our campground, to see if there was some place to fish from shore. The trout and salmon are coming into shore now and hopefully I can get a couple and have them smoked. The fish store in Gills Rock will smoke them in 24 hours so you can take the fish with you. Found a pier to fish from, but I wanted to get back to the trailer to watch the Packers pre-game show.

Rained all night again and Lor decided this would be a good day to stay in and work on some of her projects, check emails, read and play games. I’m not a very good sitter and always have to be going and doing so I drove to Gills Rock to fish for some trout but the winds were 20 mph with gusts to 30 and the waves were 3 to 4 feet breaking over the pier I had planned to fish from. If the Green Bay side is windy the Lake Michigan side is usually calmer. I drove to Newport State Park about 7 miles east. It’s a rustic camp ground for tents only, nice beach, water was quite calm, but there was no place to fish from. My next stop would be Rowley Bay on Lake Michigan just south of the park, but I had to drive back to Ellison Bay to get there. It was one of those, “you can’t get there from here” and of course the DNR warden meant directly from here to there. She then sent me to an inland lake only two miles from the park, but they were already taking out the fishing pier there for the winter. Nowhere is very far from anyplace else up here and it only took me about 15 minutes to back track and arrive at Rowley’s Bay. Talked to a couple of fishermen in a 20 foot boat who tried to fish the Green Bay side yesterday and got chased off by the wind and waves and were about to venture out on a much calmer Lake Michigan today. The water is very shallow here and piers don’t go out far enough into the lake to make fishing worthwhile.

No fishing today, just cold and damp that seems to go right thru the old bones at times. Nothing that a nice hot shower didn’t take care of. One of the advantages of having a full hook up for the camper.  It’s almost hard to call what we do camping with all these luxuries. Went up to Gills Rock for a delicious dinner of pan fried Lake Michigan perch at the Shoreline restaurant right on the shore overlooking whitecaps. They start serving at 5 and we got there at 5:15 and had over an hour wait, time to sit at the bar drink an old fashion and enjoy the view even if it was cloudy with fog rolling in. The wait was more than worth it and I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who makes it to this area. We had so much to eat that we couldn’t even look at desert and brought enough food home for dinner tonight. They do close for the season the end of October along with many of the business establishments up on the Door County Peninsula. Listened to the weather report at 10 pm and they predicted more of the same, wet, cold and rainy for the next couple of days.

Saturday morning and we woke up to more of the same. Same weather at home so we really aren’t missing anything by being here. It started raining about 6 am. I really don’t mind the sound of the rain on the roof waking me up, but it usually means we probably won’t get to do much today. Lucky for us we get ESPN 2 on the TV and will be able to watch the Badger game at 2:30 pm. Plenty of time to read, write and maybe even play a game or two. Lazy days are OK too. Can’t believe the Badgers lost to Northwestern and can’t believe how bad both our quarter backs played. I  remember when Northwestern went for years without even winning one game. I believe they have the honor of the longest losing streak for a FBS college at 34 games between 79 and 82. I hope one of our quarter backs gets it together before the season is over.

We woke to a very gray and windy Sunday morning but no rain so we decided to do a little exploring north of the campground in Ellison Bay and Gills Rock. Stopped just outside of Gills Rock at Uncle Tom’s candy store and got some different types of brittle, even one with bacon in it which is sweet and salty at the same time. Also stopped at Seaquest Orchards Farm Market for apple cider, chocolate covered cherries and fudge with cherries in it. I would recommend stops at both places if you are up this way. The theme up here food wise is cherries and apples if you haven’t guessed by now. The picture below is a brief period of clear skies and the scenery is why we come up here.
 

So windy I didn’t even stop to throw anything that might attract those salmon that are supposed to be here. We decided to treat ourselves to dinner at Al Johnson’s Swedish restaurant with the grass and goats on the roof. It’s been in Sister Bay since 1949 and they are known for their Swedish pancakes, Swedish meatballs and strawberry schaum torte. We had some of the best steaks that we have had this summer and ate too much to have desert. Can’t visit Door County without a stop for something to eat at Al Johnson’s.

Monday morning we woke to this strange bright light coming through our windows. I remember now. It’s sunshine. Decided to visit Sister Bay the city just south of the campground and see what the shops had to offer. Nothing that we had to have and it was still early in the day so we decided to drive the 14 miles east to Bailey’s Harbor on the Lake Michigan side of the peninsula. Very pretty scenery, colors are finally getting nicer and should be perfect right after we go home tomorrow and through this weekend. Forecast is also for sun for the remainder of this week right through the weekend. Sometimes you pick the right week to see the fall colors and sometimes you don’t, but it’s still fun being here. Stopped back at Al Johnson's at 1 pm for a piece of that strawberry schaum torte that looked so good last night but we didn't have room for. Fun to be at the age where we can have just a special desert for lunch and not feel guilty about it.
 

Tuesday morning greeted us with bright sunshine again and a little sadness that our camping adventure is over for this year. We are already thinking about where we will be off to next spring, summer and fall.  My blog, “Just Connecting Words” will continue as the spirit moves me to write about “this, that and the other thing”. 

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