Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Door County

We spent several more days in Door County sightseeing with my sister and her family. I have been trying to put it all together into some kind of coherent story but failing miserably so I'm just going to post some pictures with brief explanations and leave it go at that.

Egg Harbor
Egg Harbor is a small town on the west side of the Door Peninsula, population of 201 permanent residents. According to the town webpage, the name derives from an incident in 1825 recorded in the journal of Elizabeth Baird, an alleged witness:

"She wrote that the battle began when men among a six-boat trading flotilla began throwing hardtack at each other while approaching a spot of land. This first bout ceased due to their continuing need of the staple. Shortly thereafter the young Mrs. Baird saw eggs flying in the air, some of which occasionally struck her in the head. The leader tried to stop the battle, but the fun was "too fierce to be readily given up." When they camped on that spot of land, she wrote that a storm was brewing ... another egg storm!

The great egg battle stopped only for want of ammunition, and the men "laughed until exhausted." The next morning the battlefield was so strewn with egg shells that before leaving shore, speeches befitting the occasion were made, and the spot was formally christened Egg Harbor."

Exercise for the kids
I found this story fairly unlikely. If you decide to stop throwing hardtack around as being too valuable a form of ammunition, what are the chances you are instead going to squander a month's supply of eggs? But if that's the story they want to tell the tourists, who am I to argue?

The harbor itself lies just east of the town and has a nice looking beach park where the "boys" amused themselves at the playground while Vicki dipped her toes in the water of Lake Michigan. None of us had thought to bring any kind of swimming gear, so that was all of the water sports we engaged in.

Vicki wets her footies
The Eagle Bluff Light
Further up the coast we stopped at the Eagle Bluff lighthouse. The coast of Oregon has 11 lighthouses, most of which we have seen. I thought that was plenty. The Great Lakes apparently have 344 lighthouses of which we will probably see some tiny fraction. The lighthouse at Eagle Bluff was built in 1868 out of cream colored brick which was brought in from Milwaukee. It has been in more or less constant operation since its construction but was automated in 1924 at which point the lighthouse keeper's residence was allowed to fall into disrepair. In the 1960s it was restored and has been converted into a museum. Unfortunately, we arrived late in the day, just as the docent was leaving, so we only saw it from the outside.

The next day, most of our group went to visit another lighthouse at Cana Island. Not me. I sat in my comfy folding chair on the beach with a pair of dogs in my lap and was perfectly happy to do so. But Vicki went and took her camera with her so that you, as well as I, could enjoy some pictures of the structure.
The Cana Island Light
Members of our group enjoy the view from the top of the tower.
On Saturday we went to Washington Island, off the north tip of the peninsula. This requires a ferry ride. We considered going over without our cars and taking a tram tour of the island but David and Daniel vetoed that idea. Back when we lived in Tacoma we took ferry rides fairly frequently but haven't really done so in ages, so it was kind of fun. Daniel complained bitterly because he gets seasick but the ride was smooth and he did fine, complaining and all.

Leaving the Garrett Bay ferry dock.
Daniel survives the boat ride.

Tom waves from the conning tower

Arriving at Washington Island
Swimming in Lake Michigan
After our experience at egg Harbor, I had suggested that everybody bring along bathing suits and towels. Everyone took my advice except for Vicki and Laura. And Daniel. And David and Tom. Actually, I was the only one with a bathing suit and towel. So when we arrived at the beach park at the northern tip of the island, I went into the water while everyone else watched. It was cold but not freezing and, given that the outside temperatures had been steadily rising all week, it was really quite pleasant, however my travel companions soon let me know that they were tired of watching me paddle around and I had to get out.  Spoilsports.

Aww... do we hafta leave already?

Scandinavian church on Washington Island

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