Before reaching Door County, we stopped in Kewaunee, where we explored Kewaunee Marshlands Walk, located right off of Highway 42. Kewaunee, although in its own county, has always seemed like the beginning of Door County for my wife and I.
Our first contact with another species
My wife has an eagle eye for birds
A collection of cormorants. Is that the right term?
A random indoor picture
A guitar that had accompanied The Rolling Stones on tour in 1965.
A view from Von Stiehl's backyard into Ahnapee Brewery's backyard:
Next stop was Sturgeon Bay, where my wife always demands we stop and visit the scrapbooking store.
Ordinarily, we don't have to ask where to go for a good burger in Door County. It's always been our ritual to stop in Egg Harbor and eat lunch there, along with a beer brewed in-house at the Shipwrecked Brewery. But this happened recently:
Here is a picture of the harbor in Egg Harbor:
A few years back, we first stumbled upon The Ridges Sanctuary near Bailey's Harbor quite by accident. After visiting the beach we decided to take a walk through the woods. This time we took a guided tour, which taught us something about the ridges and swales that help to make the area's ecosystem unique. The gradual recession of Lake Michigan's waterline has left a series of high strips of land separated by lower, marshier area.
Here was our first glimpse of wildlife at The Ridges Sanctuary:
The Carnivorous pitcher plant:
One of two light houses that were essential to the history of The Ridges Sanctuary:
A swale between two ridges. This one seemed not so obviously marshy, but I wouldn't venture to try walking through it:
No pileated woodpeckers were seen, but here is indisputable evidence of their presence:
A random shot of The Ridges:
There are three frogs sitting on top the lily pads, though two of them are worthy of a Where's Waldo picture:
Yet another swale:
A snowy egret quite comfortable with having his picture taken:
After a couple of hours' walk through nature, it was only fitting that we stopped in Beer Zot in Sister Bay where my wife kindly took over driving duties so I could have a couple fine Belgian Beers. For you beer snobs out there, I had a Triporteur Full Moon 12 in a bottle and a Gulden Draak on tap. One does not find such fine beer at your typical bar, nor does one attempt to drive after imbibing such potent brew.
After a walk along the bay and a compulsory visit to Door County Creamery, it was on to Ephraim where we were fortunate enough to catch the sled dogs before they departed the Door County Sled Dog Education Center/Museum. I've seen the dogs twice now and both times it was while they were on the bus. I can't help thinking of them as rock stars on tour, since that is the way they are treated by their handlers as well as their admirers. Whenever animals and humans are forced to interact, I am always worried that the animals might be taken advantage of, but in this case I'm relatively certain that this is a love-fest for all involved. These are rescued animals acting as willing envoys on behalf of people looking to rescue still more animals. Their lives are good ones.
A short distance from where the dogs stay. You should be so lucky:
Another picture from Ephraim. Not sure if the restaurant is dog friendly, but many in Door County are:
Lastly, a few pictures from Fish Creek, which was where we stayed. I've long considered Fish Creek to be the heart of Door County.
Touch Of The World. If Fish Creek is the heart of Door County, Touch Of The World is the heart of Fish Creek. Here, Door County simply explodes in bizarre and beautiful expressions of summer, of joy, of life. While there are certainly people with a good deal of money who come to Door County, it doesn't cost a penny to walk around the shops. And there are curiosities to be found for anyone, regardless of their price range.
Some of the many shops that can be found off the beaten paths in Fish Creak. The donut doesn't actually sing, but that doesn't lessen the surreal atmosphere that exists here:
As for the evening, there was plenty to choose from. The Indigo Girls were playing in Fish Creek, along with a lot of local bands. There is a Drive-In theater nearby which we previously went to, as well as the Peninsula Players Theater which we also knew from experience to be a good time. But I saw a poster for a play called Blue Material, which appeared to be written by a local. Sometimes I just get this sense that something is worth experiencing, although there seems to be no compelling reason to believe so. I had that feeling with this play, and so I urged my wife to give her Friday evening over to something that could possibly be a bust.
When I saw the modest size of the theater, I almost turned around:
When I entered the Gibraltar Town Hall and saw a mere 20 or so folding chairs, I asked myself what the hell I had gotten myself into. But then I remembered the times I had seen amazing performances by musicians and other artists, and I realized that the size of the audience seldom equates to the quality of the artists. So we sat ourselves down to a play written by an unknown, performed by a cast who didn't have the courage to set an actual price for viewers. Oh, plus we got free coffee and bakery from Fika Bakery and Cafe.
And such was our weekend getaway to Door County. Our next visit, I'm sure, will be quite different than this one, as there are many other places to explore, though I will make a point of seeing the Open Door Theater Company again.