Greetings and salutations! Hope you all are doing well. We are great and enjoying our last few days here at Potawatomi State Park in lovely Door County, Wisconsin. Since October 1, we’ve served as campground hosts here at the Park. For free camping, our volunteer duties are to help campers when needed, clean fire rings, and generally keep the campground looking neat. Our busiest workdays are Sunday and Monday when most of the campers check out after the weekend. We figure that we work 15-20 hours a week, the rest of the time is our own. During the week the campground is pretty quiet, some days with only 10-15 campers in the 120 available sites. It’s fun talking with other campers, chatted with a disabled Vietnam Veteran and his wife, really nice folks. They are staying in the disabled cabin, a number of state parks offer handicap accessible cabins as a way to provide camping to all residents regardless of ability. They really appreciate the opportunity to “camp” and be outdoors. During our stay, the Friends of the Park held a 5K and 10K run. We were responsible to stop traffic to and from the campground during the run. We also cheered on the runners, a fun time and lots of visitors to the Park. Here are some photos from the Park and the Run Wild.
A little about Door County. If you look at your hand palm up it looks a lot like the outline of the State of Wisconsin. The “thumb” roughly represents Door County, a peninsula surrounded on the west by Green Bay (the body of water and part of Lake Michigan) and the east by Lake Michigan. The County is about 70 miles long and 18 miles wide at its widest point. Washington Island lies off the northeast tip of the peninsula and can be accessed by a ferry service from Gills Rock. That gives Door County about 300 miles of shoreline with some nice beaches and a lot of picturesque views. It’s often referred to as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest.” Tourism is the major industry followed by ship and boat building and agriculture (dairy, cherries, apples, and grapes for wine). With a population of a little less than 30,000 people, the summer tourism season can see a population growth to around 250,000! So you can imagine the traffic on the two lane highways. It’s estimated that Door County receives more than 2 million visitors a year. Most of the names of towns in Door County had something to do with water. There are the Bays; Sturgeon, Sister, Ellison and Rowley. Then there are the Harbor’s, Baileys and Egg, then Fish Creek, Jacksonport, Gills Rock and Ephraim. Here are some photos from our travels around Door County.
With lots of tourists, there are a number of excellent restaurants throughout the county known for their innovative cuisine. We tried a couple, Dal Santo (Italian) in Sturgeon Bay and the Parador (Spanish style tapas) in Egg Harbor. We recommend both for a nice medium priced meal.
The Potawatomi State Park is located near the city of Sturgeon Bay in Southern Door County. The Park was established in 1928 and is one of five state parks in Door County. In addition to camping, it has a number of hiking and biking trails in the summer that serve as cross-country and snowmobile trails in the winter. The park also boasts a tower that takes visitors above the tree line for panoramic views and a boat launch. Potawatomi is about a third smaller than it’s big relative to the north, Peninsula State Park near Fish Creek and has more three times as many campsites at 468. The other state parks in Door Country are Whitefish Dunes, Newport, and Rock Island. Door County also boasts several county and city parks. More photos from the Potawatomi State Park.
During our off time, we took in some of the tourist sites and generally relaxed before heading back to the city. This weekend the campground is full, I think a lot came for leaf peeping but the leaves are turning very slowly this year, maybe 30 percent so far. We also took in the drive-in movie in Fish Creek, a beautiful night with clear skies and a full moon. The movies were good too (Sully and the Magnificent Seven)! Its been a long time since we’ve been to a drive-in movie, maybe 40 years! We also attended the Pumpkin Patch Festival in Egg Harbor and the farmers market on Saturday morning in Sturgeon Bay. Visitors will find a lots of ways to entertain themselves or just relaxing listening to the water lapping on the shoreline.
One evening we visited our Madison neighbors, Bob and Karen West who have a cottage along Lake Michigan in Southern Door County. A beautiful view from the deck.
And finally, a few more photos from our stay in Door County, hope to return again.
We are heading home on Monday, its time to get the trailer ready for winter storage. We have a few travel plans for the next six months so stay tuned for more travel stories.
Until next week, take care.
PS: And a few more photos (skip if you’ve had enough!)