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Harry and Judy's RV Trip
29th Jul 2014 - Summer 2014
Day 24-July 29, 2014-Door County Peninsula and the Fish Boil

Day 24-July 29, 2014-Door County Peninsula, Wisconsin and the Fish Boil

Sunny today but not much warmer, high of 70.

At breakfast I started looking at my notes again and found a campground in the Upper Peninsula, MI that I hadn’t called yet.  As luck would have it, they have plenty of sites for the next week so it looks like we will be going up there.  We decided to stay another two nights here because it’s so nice and there’s lots to do. 

We had only planned on staying here one night and then moving on but by chance, not by design, we find ourselves at the foot of the Door County Peninsula, a tourist haven.   On the east side of the peninsula is Lake Michigan and on the west side is Green Bay.  Villages such as Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, Sturgeon Bay and Ephraim that have a winter population of about 250 are now crowded with summer tourists. Cherry picking, water sports, beaches, summer theaters, wineries, breweries, restaurants, fishing, orchards, state parks, golf courses, etc. bring people from all over.  In between the villages are dairy farms, bed and breakfasts, cottages and marinas on the lake and bay.

We started out on route 42, part of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour, and stopped in Kewaunee to see the Tug Ludington, a tugboat built in Oyster Bay, NY in 1943, participated in D-Day and was sent to Kewaunee in 1947.  Stopped to pick some cherries but it was too late for sweet cherries, all they had was tart cherries for pies.  As we got further north on the peninsula we started the Door Peninsula Wine Trail at Von Stiehl Winery in Algoma, a really busy little town with a beautiful beach right on Lake Michigan and lots of parks and outdoor activities.  Had one of the biggest tasting rooms I’ve ever seen and is an historic building.

Our next stop was at Red Oak Winery in Sturgeon Bay, where we brought in the lunch we packed and ate it with our wine.  We met some nice people at this tasting and one of the men was just as involved with the Decorah eagles as I was.  He and his wife have gone to the Upper Peninsula many times and he gave me some great ideas of things to do while we’re up there.  Another couple we kept bumping into the rest of the day.  We had seven tastings at this winery and the pourer had a really heavy hand.  Harry was fine when we left but that was it for me.  So we then went to Door Peninsula Winery which was really big, had lots of pourers and the people were three deep at the bar.  I had a couple of sips and then went into their vinegar tasting room where I got some nice blueberry vinegar.  At the other end of the building they had a distillery where they made gin, vodka and cherry vodka but I had to pass.  While we were at one of the tastings some people started talking about a fish boil, a Door Peninsula tradition.  They said we can’t leave the peninsula without trying one.  By now we were 80 miles from our campground and hungry.  Every one we spoke to said The Old Post Office had the best fish boil so we called for reservations.  They said to get there early to see the whole process. Process, what process? What do we know?  So we got there early and in the back of the old Post Office was a huge fire with Earl, The Boil Master working the crowd.  He gave a whole dissertation on the fish, the fire and the tradition.  He boils and salts the water, puts in the red potatoes, then a few minutes later, the onions.  He shows everybody the Lake Michigan whitefish that was just caught today before he puts that in the water.  He then puts kerosene on the fire to create the "boil" and make it boil over.  Tells some fish jokes, some funny, some really lame, then everybody goes inside and it gets served out of big pots along with cole slaw and four kinds of delicious breads.  After you’re seated your waiter comes along and debones the fish for you.  Oh, and homemade cherry pie and ice cream for dessert.  Great fun time.  Took a different way back to the campground past more dairy farms and small villages.  Quite a few deer out.  The whole peninsula reminded me of New England, the weather, the farms, the little seaside villages, the landscape and the fish boil reminded me of a New England lobster bake.

Got back to the campground about 9PM, and it’s getting chilly again, probably down to about 55. Another double blanket night.

Next: Day 25-July 30, 2014-Two Rivers, Wisconsin, the birthplace of the ice cream sundae
Previous: Day 23-July 28, 2014-To Two Rivers, Wisconsin

Diary Photos

The Tug Ludington

Von Stiehl Winery

Red tart cherries

Earl The Boilmaster

Harry at the Fish Boil

Fish Boil dinner

The Fish Boil

Green Bay in Ephraim, WI

Ephraim on Green Bay

Us on Lake Michigan in

Wine in Von Stiehl Winery

Dessert at the Fish Boil

Diary Movies

Fish Boil video

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