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.
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.
Whether it’s sailing, power boating, or paddling; boating of any kind is a beloved sport around here.
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.
So where did the name “Door” County come from?
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.
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.
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 navigating 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
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.
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).
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.
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.
“The mountains are calling and I must go” – John Muir
Door County Tales:: Shipwrecks, Cherries and Goats on the Roof (American Chronicles)
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