I was all set to hang around home during my vacation this past August, but Cindy had other ideas. She said she needed to get away for a few days and she suggested we go up to Door County in Wisconsin. I looked into finding a place to stay and we took off for four or five days.
Door County (see map) is the little "thumb" that sticks up and out of the state of Wisconsin with Lake Michigan on one side and Green Bay on the other side. It's probably the number one vacation destination in Wisconsin with a lot of people from Chicago and Milwaukee having vacation homes in the area.
Cindy and I spent a day in Door County just driving around once a number of years ago. The area has a series of small towns and villages that feature shops, restaurants, and little inns and hotels. We actually stayed in Sturgeon Bay at the base of the county and ended up driving the length of Door County nearly every day we were there.
This time in Door Count, we ate at a lot of great restaurants, we witnessed an authentic Door County fish boil, and we did some shopping and looking around. After we saw everything there was to see, it was time to go. Cindy said she'd like to go back again sometime and just hang at a hotel or in one of the small towns for a few days.
One of the places we went to during our trip to Door County was a re-visit to the Cana Island Lighthouse. When we were in Door County about 11 years ago, it was during a vacation where Cindy and I were driving around the Great Lakes and taking pictures of lighthouses. Cindy was studying art at the time and she wanted to paint pictures of lighthouses. We took a lot of pictures of some pretty neat lighthouses and Cana Island was one of the best lighthouses we saw.
When we were at Cana Island years ago, we parked at the end of a road and there was a shallow strip of water between the mainland and the island. It was - at most - ankle deep. There was a guy on an ATV who was charging people $5 bucks a head to go across to the island. I was being cheap at the time and Cindy and I decided to walk in the water. We both had a couple pair of old shoes in the car that we put on and we waded across. Other than the water being a little cold, it was an easy walk. And it also encouraged others to say, "Screw you!" to the guy on the ATV and walk across to Cana Island.
When we pulled up to the access to the island this time, we discovered that the water level of Lake Michigan had dropped over the years and it exposed the rocky causeway across to the island. In fact, the level of Lake Michigan has dropped about four feet since we were there years ago. It certainly put the guy on the ATV out of business.
The Cana Island lighthouse has been in existence since 1869. It was automated in 1944 and was taken over by the Door County Maritime Museum in the early 70's and opened to the public for tours. The United States Coast Guard maintains the light. The Maritime Museum offers tour of the lightkeeper's house and allows people to go to the top of the tower. It was kind of nice to be out there and we were the only people on the island (or is now a peninsula?). Well, except for a family on bikes that came out and then left when Cindy threatened them. (No, no, no... She didn't threaten them directly, but she did voice her displeasure to me when they rode up and interrupted a very tranquil evening at the lighthouse.)
We walked around the rocky beach area behind the lighthouse getting pictures and watching the waves come in from the lake. The weather was just gorgeous they whole time we were in Door County. We saw a number of storms all around us during the week, including this storm that was off to the north of us that evening on Cana Island. But we didn't get a drip of rain the whole time we were there. Temps were in the mid-70's in the daytime and the low-50's at night. It was great for mid-August.
Here's a shot of the lighthouse from the backside on the beach. Of all the places we went to during our trip over 10 years ago to take pictures of lighthouses, we agreed the Cana Island lighthouse was the nicest.
Coming up, I'll give my impressions of some of the places we went to and ate at while we were in Door County. It turned out to be a really nice experience and a nice place to vacation.