Death’s Door

Every now and then hubby and I come across a place that’s so picturesque, it calms the body and clears the mind.  Perhaps for some, it even stirs the soul.  A place that’s home to quaint villages and distinct agriculture.  A place that could easily become an addiction and for many it has.  Door County, Wisconsin has a way of luring folks in causing them to return time and again.Door County, Wisconsin

The land may be one addiction but the water is another.   Most of Door County’s shoreline is surrounded by shallow, rocky ledges.  Delightful islands both large and small add to the splendid scenery.Door County, Wisconsin

Whether it’s sailing, power boating, or paddling; boating of any kind is a beloved sport around here.

Algoma, Wisconsin

home for the week was in a marina in the town of Algoma surrounded by water – RV center rear

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, lighthouses assisted sailors in navigating the lake and bay waters of the Door Peninsula and surrounding islands.  Many of the lighthouses are still operational to this day and are open to the public.  There are eleven historic Door County Lighthouses.  I was able to visit the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse which I found charming and interesting.  My mother was a huge fan of lighthouses, and I always think of her when photographing one of these delightful landmarks.

Lake Michigan Lighthouses

Eagle Bluff Lighthouse built in 1868 located in Peninsula State Park, Door County, Wisconsin

So where did the name “Door” County come from?Door County

In a dangerous and unpredictable confluence of currents is Death’s Door.  Historians have long blamed these waters for more shipwrecks than any other body of fresh water in the world.  It’s here, where the waters of Green Bay meet the waters of Lake Michigan with sudden, unpredictable squalls, erratic wave patterns, and shallow shoals resulting in many a fine ship being dragged to a watery grave.Door County, Wisconsin

The Door Peninsula got its name from the dangerous straits that pass between the tip of the peninsula and Washington Island.  213 identified wrecked vessels in the waters of Door County have been listed.   The Door County Maritime Museum in the town of Sturgeon Bay, is a must see for any nautical buff.scenic sights in WisconsinDoor County, WI

Door County agriculture

Sharing the road

Since our RV was parked in the little town of Algoma, south of Sturgeon Bay, we were able to not only explore Door County’s scenic towns and shoreline, we ventured inland Door County Cherriesnavigating some off the beaten path roads.

It was here we discovered the agricultural side of Door County.  We passed vineyards, cheery orchards, berry orchards, and apple orchards.  During our end of August visit, cherry and berry seasons were pretty much over, but apple season was just around the corner.  There’s something so appealing about a crisp juicy apple that I personally picked from a


In another month, these beauties will be ripe for the picking

tree, or enjoying a cup of fresh milled cider directly from the orchard’s store that captivates my attention.  The thought evokes cool days and stunning fall colors. The inland peninsula is dotted with farm stands, wineries, and small shops selling local goods; homemade pies, jams, fudge, and local honey, just to name a few.

The fall colors of Door County easily rival those found in the northeast, and although our original plans were to stay in this part of the country to enjoy the fall festivities, we ended up changing directions.  More on that to come.Door County Orchards

Door County fishing

The fishing gang

But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fine people that call Wisconsin home.  No matter where we went, we felt welcomed and valued as a visitor.

And then there’s Al’s buddies… the guys had a great time fishing out on Lake Michigan and although the fish stories were plenty, the guys did all agree they had hoped for a little more action (as in more fish).

Door County

And while the guys were out fishing, I was off connecting with a fellow blogger.  When I made mention in one of my blog posts several months ago that I’d be visiting Wisconsin, I received an email from Kathlin of The Badger and the Whooping Crane inviting me out to lunch should I be near her neck of the woods.

Well, she didn’t have to twist my arm.  Thanks Kathlin.  It was a joy and a pleasure spending the day with you.  Next time, I’ll definitely hang around a little longer for those great fall colors.Barns of Door County

Our time in the Midwest has come to an end and although we had a fabulous time, we’re ready to have the wheels on the RV rolling again.Maritime Museum

“The mountains are calling and I must go” – John Muir

Door County 330

Door County Tales:: Shipwrecks, Cherries and Goats on the Roof (American Chronicles)
Levin Dual USB Port 5000mAh Portable Solar Panel Charger for iPhones, Windows and Android Phones


62 thoughts on “Death’s Door

  1. Pingback: Our Boomerang Trip – Part I | Live Laugh RV

  2. Ingrid I proceeded reading this post with trepidation at the sight of the title. So happy to hear about currents and that all has gone well with your visit to the Mid West. What a lot of exploring you have done! Safe travels as the RV rolls toward the mountains.

  3. Oh did I ever enjoy this tour of Door County, Ingrid. Your photos are terrific, and the descriptions are wonderful too. Love those barn shots — so very Wisconsin. 😀

    • Thanks Jet. As you well know, there are so many unique and interesting barns in WI. I saw so many that I wanted to photograph but rarely a spot to pull over 😦

  4. Lovely memories riding bikes from the state park into Fish Creek….back in our earlier days. MI and WI two of my favorite spots. Despite leaving early, sure your glad to be on your home turf! Happy Autumn!

    • That’s such a beautiful state park near Fish Creek and perfect for bike riding. I could see spending more time in Door County and why it’s a favorite of yours. Although I’ll miss the diverse fall colors in WI and MI, I’ll search out that gold in Colorado 🙂

  5. We loved our time in Door County and would return again in a heartbeat! There is so much to explore in that neck of the woods. Love your photos Ingrid!

    • Couldn’t agree with you more LuAnn. I could’ve easily spent another week exploring. We would’ve extended for another day or two but the weather outlook wasn’t favorable. Thus, we moved on.

  6. Slightly embarrassing that I grew up near Door County but didn’t know where it’s name came from. Thank you for the history lesson! Glad you enjoyed the lovely scenery and people of Wisconsin! Enjoy your trip out to the Rockies. 🙂

    • We lived in Colorado Springs for 5 years and never made it to the top of Pikes Peak. We did play tourist every now and then which was always enlightening 🙂

  7. Door County looks so charming — exactly the kind of place we enjoy exploring. I was wondering how it got its name — thanks for the interesting bit of history!

    • I knew the Great Lakes all have treacherous waters, especially Lake Michigan, but I didn’t realize how many ships actually were sunk here. I guess that’s why there’s so many lighthouses as well. I’d love to return and actually spend a week or two on the Peninsula to really explore.

    • I should have checked your blog for ideas. I had forgotten about your WI travels with the exception of Baraboo. That vegetation in Door County is crazy dense and lush and I love the rocky shoreline.

  8. thanks for taking us to Door County…..its an area that I’ve always thought about visiting, but it just never seems to be in our “path”. Those barn pictures and all the beautiful water made me just a tiny bit homesick. Not homesick enough to return quite yet, but just a little twinge…..

    • I would love to find a place on the water to call “home” similar to what you have, but don’t want to deal with winter and won’t go east of the Rockies. Since those places are few and far between, I’ll settle for parking my RV near water. Just think, if you’d a stayed back east you would’ve missed all that Colorado fun 🙂

  9. Interesting part of the country and some great photos. Thanks for including the map – it really helped position the region for me. It’s close by and now on my ‘must see’ list!

    • Around Lake Michigan and Lake Superior are some beautiful and unique sights. Years ago, we had the opportunity to explore much of the shorelines, but Door County had eluded us until now. Mackinac Island remains one of my favorite places and it was in the original plans to head there after Door County, but we needed to get back to Denver a little sooner than we planned.

  10. Wonderful pictures, as usual. I am big on lighthouses. Visiting a few here on the East coast. I have Door County on my Bucket List. A couple I met in Colorado were from that area and told me it was the most beautiful,absolute knock out place to visit. It’s nice having a second option 😉 Safe travels…

    • Well, I’m not sure I would say “knock out” or “most beautiful” considering it’s still the Midwest, but it is a lovely, quaint, and charming place.

  11. Love me some Door County…Glad you touched on the many ships that have navigated their way to the bottom of the lake..Sooo much history …and we love it especially in the Fall. Beware, though..once those leaves begin to peak…it gets really touristy and busy!!!! Glad you enjoyed your trip to the Midwest…Y’all come back!

    • We were lucky that it wasn’t crazy busy during our visit… in between seasons you could say. I’m sure it gets real busy with leaf peepers. Wonderful history and lovely country 🙂

  12. Nothing like lake life. We are getting ready to leave NH lakes region, our domicile for 20+ years for our new adventure full time in the Rolling Toaster. I was very encouraged to hear you describe your serendipitous “hang out with a fellow blogger” adventure. It is HARD to leave old friends, but excited by the possibility of new friends. Thanks for sharing. Loved the story about death’s door. My husband is a retired Coast Guard officer, he enjoyed it too.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post. True friends will remain friends and with social media it’s easy to stay in touch. And many new friendships will be forged. This RV lifestyle can be as social as you want it to be.

    • Consider a trip around Lake Michigan. The MI side offers sand and beaches while the Wisconsin side offers cliffs and rocks. And then of course the UP has it’s own unique beauty. I ended up canceling the UP leg of this journey but I’m sure we’ll return another day.

      • Very familiar with the MI side of Lake Michigan and the U.P. We still have family property not too far outside of Traverse City and at one time I lived in the Upper on Sugar Island, right below the Soo Locks. You should plan a visit, you wouldn’t be disappointed. It’s God’s Country and it’s home.

        • Having grown up in northern IL, I’ve done the Lake Michigan loop a couple of times. My all time favorite is Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes and Mackinac Island. I was looking forward to a return to the island but decided to head back to Colorado a little early to help daughter with a big move 🙂 Next time!

  13. I’m on my way there right now! These are SO beautiful; can’t wait to show them to my other half (that “better” one, I guess)! I love your John Muir quote – you and John Muir, off to the mountains! Well, come back for those fall colors when you can.

    • It was so much fun connecting with you. I didn’t post the selfie, not wanting to embarrass either one of us – less than flattering LOL. We will definitely return to Door County and hopefully that offer to visit still stands. Enjoy your time at the “cabin”.

      • The offer IS there, for sure; whenever you can make it again, Ingrid. And I’m really-really glad you didn’t use the selfie. Just saying. Maybe another selfie, sometime. The husband just enjoyed your post too (after I dragged him over here and said you have to see this); he loved the pictures and your all your astute comments, insights, etc. etc. Hope all is well where you are now.

        • Oh, I’m so glad you and husband liked the post. I tried to touch on each wonderful aspect to Door County. We look forward to a return visit not only to the area but to mingle with new found friends 🙂

  14. We’re in South Dakota now too, at Elkhorn Ridge near Spearfish (far west side) for the week. If you feel like it and are nearby we’d love to meet for a meal or tea or whatever.

    Sent from my iPhone


  15. Thanks for the background on the county name. One day we will have to return and explore this peninsula. We always enjoy the little quaint town. This time of year I do miss the orchards. Like you said, there is nothing better than biting into a fresh picked apple:) Glad Al had a great time fishing with his buddies even if they didn’t retun with a bounty. Yes, those mountains are calling us!!

  16. Some of these photos remind me of Vermont and the lovely homes there. I particularly love the red lighthouse photo. What a great subject to photograph. We will keep this on our bucket list for next time we in are that area. I also love the use of black and white for a couple of the photos. Great post Ingrid.

    • Thanks Sharron. This is beautiful country. A fun trip idea is to travel around Lake Michigan which we’ve done years ago. Another is around Lake Superior which we’ve done partially. The shorelines, waterfalls, and lighthouses are worth seeing.

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