Great Lakes 2005 – The 6th Day

Butterfly

Today’s underlying motto was: Look out for lighthouses! Unfortunately, I had very limited success with this motto which was entirely due to my own stupidity. In the end it didn’t matter because Door County and especially Door Peninsula is so incredibly beautiful and most certainly one of the most attractive places on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Door Peninsula can be easily identified on the map. It looks like a finger pointing into the lake. Why it is called a Peninsula, I was unable to find out. From my point of view, it is only connected to the mainland via a bridge to the mainland, which in my books makes this an island good and proper.

Door County

My first exploration began in Sturgeon Bay where my motel was located and led me north along the western shore towards the point called Gill’s Rock. On the way back, I stayed on the eastern shore as much as possible which, from time to time, was quite a spooky business because huge and very dense swathes of fog emerged from the lake.

But we haven’t progressed that far yet in the recital of the day’s events. First I had to distribute my obligatory “beach time” and “lake gazing time” among the various places suitable for that purpose.

Fish Creek

One of these places is Fish Creek, a miniscule village ca. half an hour’s drive from Gill’s Rock. Most of the villages have municipal beaches accessible to everyone...

Public Marina

... even for butterflies...

Butterfly

...which is a very good thing as most other beaches belong to private marinas or hotels.

Quilter's Quest

Rather surprisingly, I found a quilt shop almost at the very point of Door Peninsula: Quilter’s Quest. The shop's web address is www.doorcountyquilts.com. Apparently the shop has moved to other premises since my 2005 trip, but we will check this next year when we explore Door County again during our Quilt-Zeit-Reise 2012 and will let you know... ;-)

Of course I had to investigate the shop thoroughly and was standing peacefully in front of a wall filled with quilting notions when suddenly a male voice beside me said “You are everywhere”. Of course I didn’t react at first. I didn’t know anybody in that area, did I, and therefore wasn’t at all prepared to be addressed by anybody, let alone a man, when standing in a Wisconsin quilt shop (!). As it turned out, the very nice gentleman belonged to a group of two couples who had attended the same tour visit at Taliesin East two days before. This encounter created quite a to do in the shop and everybody was VERY impressed that I, a woman and a foreigner, was so brave as to attempt this great advantage of circling Lake Michigan entirely on my own. You can imagine that I metaphorically grew about 3” and felt like the reincarnation of Marco Polo.

Door County

In the picture, you can see the fog at the point of Door Peninsula. From Gill’s Rock, there is a ferry to take you to Washington Island and from there to Rock Island. But that day, I was already too late and anyway, I don’t like ferries very much and can only be persuaded to board one if there is absolutely no other possibility.

In Jacksonport on the eastern shore I found a quilt shop selling finished quilts. According to the owner of the shop, most of these quilts had been made by Amish women, although very few had typical Amish patterns. For me, especially the price tags on the quilts were interesting. 800 USD is a lot of money, but didn’t strike me as expensive for the well-made and mostly very large quilts.

By this time, I was fed up with the fog and drove back to the western shore along small country roads. This turned out to be a good idea, because the fog retreated quickly and the sun reappeared and literally lightened up my day (and my mood!).

Man on boat

Quite suddenly, I had to hit the brakes so as not to slam into a tractor pulling a sizeable motor boat. If you look closely at the picture you can see a man standing on board. My first thought was compassionate: The poor land rat was probably afraid of boarding a ship on the lake (a fear with which I could heartily identify as I not only dislike ferries but all other large boatsas well). Quite soon it became obvious that this guy had to perform a very important duty: He had to lift the many cables which hung over the street so that the tractor with the boat could pass through!


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