Door Peninsula Wisconsin – Part 1

On Wednesday, July 4th, we got up early and packed our bags and our dog and headed to Door County, Wisconsin.  Door County is the most northern part of the Door Peninsula.  We had heard from various friends and family how beautiful that area is along the eastern coast (Lake Michigan) as well as along the western coast (Bay Green Bay).

We decided we would take a more southern route over to the lower east side of the peninsula.  Our first stop was near Two Rivers, WI, at Point Beach State Forest.  It was our first glimpse of Lake Michigan, and the first thing we noticed was how much cooler it was there.  We were a little disappointed because it was very hazey over Lake Michigan.  A friendly man explained to us that it was a very warm wind that was blowing from the east to the west (instead of from west to east).  The water in Lake Michigan is still very cold this time of year, so the warm wind causes “steam” to rise off the lake.

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I can’t believe I caught that bird in flight.

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Lake Michigan (and all the Great Lakes) were critical to the success of travel, trade and settlement of this area (and still is today!). Signs like this one were all over the coastline. It was interesting to read about the history of the water transportation at each of our stops.  I won’t bore you with pictures of ALL those signs.  😊 [[[[

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We also saw our first lighthouse of the trip:  Rawley Point Lighthouse.  Construction on the lighthouse and keeper’s dwelling began in March of 1873, and because of various complications, was not completed until December of 1874.  The lighthouse was staffed until 1979 when the station became fully automated.

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And one more picture of the lighthouse.

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Now I REALLY can’t believe it!  Zoom in and look between the circular roof of the dwelling and about halfway up the lighthouse. Do you see the bird dive-bombing something? 😂

Then we headed north along the Lake Michigan shoreline to the town of Kewaunee.  Kewaunee is a lovely coastal lake town with beaches, a marina and it’s own lighthouse (I never discovered the name of this lighthouse).

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Then we continued north along the coast to the town of Algoma.  Algoma has a scenic walkway along the Ahnapee River with views of boats, old fishing shanties (didn’t get any pictures of those 😢), and the Algoma Lighthouse.

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I’m getting good at catching these birds in flight.

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We were getting close to Sturgeon Bay where we had motel reservations for three nights.  We had gone far enough north on the eastern coastline side and decided to go across the peninsula to the west side which was close to where our motel was located.  However, before checking into our motel, we headed to Potawatomi State Park which is at the mouth of Sturgeon Bay and only 4 miles from our motel.

This state park is named for the Indian tribe that once occupied the land.  There are campgrounds, picnic areas, a nature center and park store, and Old Ski Hill Overlook (which has a beautiful panoramic view that I can only imagine how gorgeous it is in the fall!).

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There were 3 or 4 deer that crossed the road right in front of us. This is the momma, and her baby is behind the tree (you can kind of see baby’s hind end in this picture.)

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And…..NOW there is baby!

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Old Ski Hill Overlook.

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Old Ski Hill Overlook.

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Old Ski Hill Overlook.

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Old Ski Hill Overlook (I zoomed in on this picture).  Can you see the country church on the left about halfway up?

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The final view at Potawatomi State Park. Can you tell it was getting ready to pour down rain?

The town of Sturgeon Bay is the gateway to Door county.  It is located right at the natural end of Sturgeon Bay.  The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal was built across the remainder of the Door Peninsula to connect Bay Green Bay to Lake Michigan.  Ships were and are an important mode of transportation for goods as well as people.  The shorter portion of the canal was dug between July, 1872 – late fall of 1881.  Smaller watercraft began using the canal in 1880, however, it was not open for large-scale watercraft until 1890.

There are two draw bridges that allow larger ships to go from Bay Green Bay to Lake Michigan through the canal.  We drove across both bridges and actually saw one of the draw bridges letting a large yacht go through one evening (although I didn’t get my camera out in time to catch the yacht going through;   I just got the bridge coming down).  Sturgeon Bay is an beautiful, interesting bay and busy harbor.

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All of this was just DAY #1 of our trip to Door Peninsula and Door County!  Now you understand why I chose to make a Part 1 and Part 2 blog of this adventure. 😆   I’ll post more about DAY #2 and #3 in a few days.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

EAA Museum

Last Thursday we took about an hour and half drive over to Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  We have heard so much about Oshkosh and the big air show they have there from family and many friends.  We didn’t see much of the town of Oshkosh itself because we spent nearly all day at the EAA Aviation Museum.  EAA stands for Experimental Aircraft Association.

The EAA Aviation Museum in Oshkosh, WI, is dedicated to the preservation and display of historic and experimental aircraft as well as antiques, classics, and warbirds.  It is located next to Wittman Regional Airport and the organization’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh event that occurs every year at the end of July/early August.  AirVenture is the world’s biggest fly-in and airshow.

My older sister, who has attended AirVenture several times with her husband, describes the event this way:  “… there are 10,000 planes and 500,000 people, hundreds of venders and exhibits, a 1,000 workshops and learning sessions, and constant flight demonstrations and daily air shows.”  That sounds pretty amazing for any aircraft enthusiast.

Our travel plans don’t allow us to attend AirVenture this year.  Oh, well.  Maybe some year in the near future.  However, we thoroughly enjoyed touring museum and reading about all the aircrafts on display and the history of the EAA organization.

Here are some of the pictures that I took.

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The museum has a great section called “KidVenture Gallery” for kids of ALL ages.  Jack and I for sure had some fun in there … until some “real” kids came in!  Then we had to act like “adults.”

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Entrance to KidVenture.

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I’ve always wanted to be a pilot!

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Jack enjoyed the flight simulator. I was along for the ride in the Flight Engineer seat.

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Well, Jack needs a little practice.

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Oh, well. We crashed SEVERAL times.

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Maybe he can do better flying the hot air balloon.

They had one very large room dedicated to World War II aircraft.  The display features MANY examples of actual aircraft nose art (Google that if you need to learn more about nose art).  Before you enter the room, there is a “Parental Warning” sign letting all those who enter know that some of the nose art might not be appropriate for smaller children.  I’m sure parents of small children appreciated the warning.  My photos show some of the nose art; some of the art is pretty risqué.

One whole wall of the WW II exhibit was an interactive map where you could press a button while you were reading about events that took place, and the location would light up on the wall map.  The whole display was very interesting.  It made me want to go back and do some more studying on WWII events.

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You can see part of the interactive map of WW II on the wall in the background of this photo.

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The interactive map is in the background of this picture also.  Along that wall, under the map, are displays and information about different events where you push the button to light up the map.

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The museum had a fantastic display of memorabilia, artifacts, and information about Charles Lindbergh’s flight to Paris.

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There is just SO much to see and read about in this aircraft museum!

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WHAT AIRCRAFT MUSEUM WOULD BE COMPLETE WITHOUT A DISPLAY ABOUT ORVILLE AND WILBUR WRIGHT!

If you are anywhere near Oshkosh, WI, it will be worth the drive and the small entry fee to visit the EAA Aviation Museum.

I hope you will stop by my blog again to see where our next adventure takes us.

So for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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