Two Weeks on the “Door Peninsula” & First time around the “Rock”

After getting back to my house in Oxford, WI late on Friday 8/21. I spent all day Sat. & Sun. do work around home, I changed the oil in both the RV & car. Mowed the yard, did a hold lot of laundry & did a lot of cleaning in the house, car & RV. It was good to get that all done. On Monday I took a ride to Portage, WI to stop at Cardinal Glass where I worked for the last 20 years, just to say Hi to everyone. I do miss a lot of the people there, but glad that I am retired now 🙂  (I sure do not miss the headaches at all).

On Tuesday 8/25 we got early & headed to Peninsula State Park in Door County for a two week stay.

I have been coming to Door County most every year & sometime two or three times in one year, for over 50 plus years now. When I was a young boy my family would spend two weeks camping every summer at Peninsula Park. And over the years my wife (Sonia) & I would come to the Door Peninsula all different times of the year, then we started coming with our two daughters Crystal & Jennifer, sometime camping & sometime staying at one of the many Lodge’s or Cottage’s that Door County has to offer.

For those you that do not know anything about Door County, WI (The Door Peninsula) it is the finger of land on the east side of the state, that sticks up into Lake Michigan on the east side and the bay of Green Bay on the west side of it. It is a favored vacation spot for people from all over Wisconsin, (the greater Chicago area, which is only about a five hour drive away) & all the Midwest. It has many five star places to stay & eat at. You can go from five star Hotels & Motels to nice Little Cottages, Inns and Bed & Breakfasts’ and great camping too. There are all kinds of great restaurants to eat at, in all kinds of price ranges, shops, winery’s & bars to stop at and many fine golf courses & all that nature has to offer. The county has five State Parks, 19 County Parks & many more village & city parks to do hiking, biking, boating, picnicking & so so much more.

Wisconsin has 47 State Parks in the state & also has 13 State Forests, most of which have some kind of camping. I have been to almost all of these parks at one time or another & camped at most of the ones I have been to. My plan is to get to all of the rest of them sometime in the next few years 🙂  They are all great parks with so great thing to do & see (all kind of outdoor Adventures) Peninsula State Park has 468 family campsites (of these 165 have electric) we are in site 727 in the South Nicolet Bay Campground here is a photo of the site.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe State Parks in Wisconsin are very nice, but none of them none have full hook-ups, the most that they may have is electrical hook-ups & only about 50% of the parks with campgrounds have any electrical hook-ups at all. But they are a good deal for the price (so if you like boondocking like I do they are for you).

Peninsula State Park is the third largest and second oldest state park in Wisconsin (established in 1909), here is what the website said about the park.

Description: High bluffs and cobblestone shoreline, an 1860’s lighthouse, a challenging 18-hole golf course, a professional summer theater, a sandy swimming beach, bike trails and a year-round Naturalist program make this 3,776-acre park extremely popular. All sites are within a five minute walk to the shoreline.

Here are some great views from the road going to the site.

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On Wednesday Maxine & I did some hiking in the park and took a walk down to the lake so she could take a swim.

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Later in the day we took a ride to one of the many great county parks Door Bluff Headlands. This is a little use park just north of the town of Ellison Bay, you go a couple miles on a unpaved road to get to the park, then you can take a short hike in the cedar trees to some great views.

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The trees can blow over easily like these did sometime this spring, because the roots can’t go very deep in the rocks.

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Thursday 8/27,

On Thursday I took the two ferry to get too Rock Island State Park this was the first time ever for me going to this park. The Rock Island Park is wooded & largely undisturbed island off the tip of the Door Peninsula. All but a quarter acre of 912 acres the land that make up the island are all part of the pack (this ¼ acre is owned by the US Coast Guard for a navigational light, right next to the old lighthouse).

The only way to get to the park is by boat. You can take your own have a water taxi take you or the ferry’s, the way I did. I took the first ferry from Northport with by car from the mainland to Washington Island. From where the ferry docks it is a little over eight miles to the “Jackson Harbor” dock & there you take a passenger ferry to Rock Island. There are no vehicles allowed on the inland & only tent camping.

One of the first things you see is the impressive Viking Hall Boat House as you pull up to the dock.

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This was one of the many structures built in the 1920,s by Chester Thordarson (a wealthy electrical inventor) who in 1910 bought 775 acres of the island as his summer estate. In 1914, he restored one of the early settler’s houses on the east side of the island. In the 1920’s he began to clear, landscape & build on approximately 30 acres on the southwest side of the island. The remaining 745 acres existed undisturbed throughout the Thordardson family’s 55 years of ownership as they do today.

Photos of the back of the boat house & some of the other structures build in the 1920’s.

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We took a walk to Pottawatomie Lighthouse about two miles from the dock. This lighthouse has been restored and is open for tours daily from Memorial Day until Columbus Day. Door County Wisconsin has 300 miles of coastline, and with 11 lighthouses, it has one of the highest concentration of lighthouses of any county in the country! In May or June of each year there is one weekend set aside for tours of all of these. Here is a link to the website http://www.doorcounty.com/experience/lighthouses check it out.  This is Door County at its best!

Here is a photo of the lighthouse constructed in 1836 making it the first in Wisconsin & the third on Lake Michigan.

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Maxine could see the water from high on the cliff, it was so clear.

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So then we had take, the steps down to the lake, so she could go in 🙂

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We took most of the afternoon and hiked all around the island but in about six miles total.

Here is a water tower on the east side of the island, cool 🙂

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A little fog came in by the time we got back to the dock.

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Inside the basement of the boathouse.

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When we got back to Washington Island we made a stop at Mountain Park to go up the lookout tower.

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But before you get to the tower we had to climb all these steps.

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But the views are great from atop the tower.

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We made one more stop before going back to the campsite, we stopped at Ellison Bluff County Pack, this park is also down unpaved road, The Park is just little south of the town of Ellison Bay, this park is use a little more because you can drive right up to the great views.

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Caught the sunset  down by the bay.

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A very full day but a great time, more to come from the “DOOR” later 🙂

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4 comments

    • Tracy at you guy got to see Grizzly Bears I did not & wanted too 😦 Loop C is the loop I was in for 10 days you will like if good G4 there. Have fun, Rick

      On Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 8:51 AM, On The Road with Maxine & Me wrote:

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