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STURGEON BAY and the DOOR PENINSULA, WISCONSIN

A Pastoral Setting

sunny 72 °F

Hi everyone;

After traveling from Wausau we arrived at our Sturgeon Bay campground about 1:00 pm, proceeded to get set-up & then drove the short distance to the city of Sturgeon Bay. It is an absolutely charming town separated by the bay. Three lift bridges span the water allowing the ships to pass through. Beautiful homes line the shores, many are B&B's with the original owners having been in the maritime industry. A number of marinas with large yachts moored in them are wonderful to see. Aside from the tourist and agriculture industries, the shipyard of Ancaittieri Co. employs presently about 500 men with peak periods of 1,000 employees. Huge gantry cranes stand out in the skyline and a floating/submersible drydock accommodates the huge ore carriers who sail here for maintenance work. We saw an ore carrier under construction in the yard.

The Door peninsula extends into Lake Michigan in a northeasterly direction from the Wisconsin mainland. Settled by immigrants from Belgium in the mid-1800's its original inhabitants were mariners from the North Sea and farmers. Door County has beautiful farms and busy harbors surrounding the peninsula in a 'pastoral' setting reminiscent of our visit to Prince Edward Island. Door County is famous for its cherries which are grown on hundreds of acres, & are sweet-tart in flavor, great for pie baking. The shops had dozens of applications for cherries in recipes. Cherry pie filling, cherry salsa, cherry donuts, cherry-flavored wine, etc., etc.

On the day we arrived we drove into town for a late lunch at a lovely place overlooking the harbor. While there we learned of a local waterfront 'resort' that hosts 'happy hour'. In conversation with one of the locals I learned more of the shipyard. He was a 'colorful' 30 year veteran of the yard. He told us that the yard also does Navy and Coast Guard repairs in conjunction with two Green Bay shipyards.

Sturgeon Bay is located on the western side of the Door peninsula providing shelter from Lake Michigan. It has Green Bay (the body of water) which is about 20 miles across to mainland Wisconsin, to the west. A shipping canal was dredged in 1908 connecting Lake Michigan and Sturgeon Bay allowing easy transfer from the yards to Lake Michigan. At the northern-most point of Door peninsula is a treacherous area named 'Death's Door" by French explorers of the 1700's for many sailing vessels have ship-wrecked there.
We drove the perimeter of peninsula stopping at Sister Bay for lunch overlooking where Green Bay and Lake Michigan mingle. On the way back to Sturgeon Bay we stopped at 2 wineries for tastings. We learned that the Door Peninsula climate is not conducive for growing grapes suitable for wine & the wines sold here were mostly from California. We did find a good wine with a hint of cherry flavor so we bought a bottle.
Our next stop will be Mackinaw City and a ferry trip over to the island.

Dick

Posted by dixter 17:36 Archived in USA Tagged door bay & county sturgeon

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