"Sailors plan for safety. For escape. For survival. Sailors rely on plans, on strategies that have worked before. Trust me, most mariners are conservative. We stick to the tried and true." Randall Peffer, "Listen to the Dead"

Sunday, September 12, 2021

On Death's' Door

      I don't mean to scare anybody with the title. It's  just that we spent a week in Door County, Wisconsin. The county is named after the treacherous passage around the northern tip of the peninsula called Porte de Morts. 

Overlooking Green Bay

     The name refers back to a deadly raid in the 1600s by a group of Native Americans against a rival tribe. But later the name proved providential for Europeans since the passage became the site of scores of deadly shipwrecks suffered by French explorers and others who dared make the turn around the northern tip of the peninsula into the safety of Green Bay.

Fish Creek has a fairly large marina

     We were there as part of our trip to see my daughter and granddaughter, who live in Madison, and who were able to join us for a week of vacation. We were also attracted to the area because it's been called the Cape Cod of the Midwest. We love Cape Cod. So we figured we would love Door County.

We asked:  this boat came up the Hudson River and across the Erie Canal

     There are some similarities. Cape Cod is a peninsula east of Boston. Door County is a peninsula east of Green Bay. Both have modest populations in the winter, but are flooded with vacationers in the summer. A lot of people own second homes. We know a few New Yorkers who have vacation homes on Cape Cod, along with people from Connecticut and the Boston area.

Street in Fish Creek

     Cape Cod also has its share of retirees, including some friends who live in Falmouth. B and I even considered retiring to Cape Cod. But we finally decided that the winters are to long . . . which is what we hear about Door County as well.

A child's eye view of Lake Michigan

     Similarly, people from Milwaukee and Madison and other places around Wisconsin have vacation homes in Door County. But we were told the big crowds -- and big money -- come from Chicago, about a four-hour drive away.

An aid to sailors in Bailey's Harbor

     We stayed at a lodge in Bailey's Harbor on Lake Michigan, considered the "quiet side" of the peninsula. The more touristy side borders Green Bay where the water is warmer. There are more beaches on the bay. There's more shopping and things to do with the kids. And apparently the fishing is better. I don't fish. So I can't confirm that piece of advice.

Johnson's Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay ... that's real grass on the roof

     We found several nice restaurants in Sister Bay, Fish Creek and Egg Harbor, all with outdoor seating. We went to the beach, took a bike ride through Peninsula State Park, spent some time shopping for presents and souvenirs. But with a grandchild around (as many of you no doubt know) we spent most of our time on the playground running after a toddler.

Remember, we're in America's dairyland

     We drew the line at changing diapers. That's a parent's job, not a grandparent's responsibility. Don't you think?

A cove in Bailey's Harbor

     We're back home now. But we're planning a trip to the Massachusetts Cape Cod later in September -- to visit friends, eat lobsta and clam chowda, and maybe even go for a swim. The Cape can still be warm in September.

10 comments:

Olga said...

It's nice to enjoy new vacation spots. I have gotten to the point of being quite satisfied to do it more or less virtually by seeing where bloggers go.
Travel without the travel seems good enough these days. I do hope I haven't given up on seeing new places in person entirely though.

Kay said...

This is so wonderful! Thank you for sharing all those photos. It really brings back memories. One of our friends had a motel in Fish Creek that we visited several times.

Barbara said...

It was great to see the pictures. I've never been in that part of the country. That yacht/cruiser would certainly be a fun way to see the countryside.

DJan said...

Hope you have a great trip later this month. Loved the pictures in this post, and yes, grandparents should not have to change diapers! :-)

Anonymous said...

What!? No pictures of goats on the roof of Johnson’s Restaurant!? No fish boil pictures!?
You missed the best parts of Door County.

gigi-hawaii said...

I think it is just wonderful that you and B had such a great time visiting family. Not too hard to change diapers, but, hey, it might be for a man. David never changed diapers in our home. I love that grassy roof on that restaurant. Awesome!

Wisewebwoman said...

Beautiful shots of your vacation and as to diapers - my children's dad changed theirs no bother and I also changed Grandgirl's. A lot. As she frequently stayed with me. And PS I hate changing diapers, always will :)

XO
WWW

Tom said...

I changed diapers for my own kids, which is why I will try my best to avoid that particular chore with my grandchildren. We were only in Door Co. for a week, so we probably missed a lot -- which is why we've resolved to go back!

Kevin in Virginia said...

Tom, we lived on the water in East Falmouth when I was a kid. Your mention of The Cape brought tears to my eyes. We even loved the long, long winters - when my "regulars" on the paper route were especially kind. Thank you.

Linda Myers said...

I've been to all 50 states, but never to that part of the country. It sounds like a good possibility for a road trip.