We are staying just south of Sturgeon Bay, the largest town on the peninsula. The bay at Sturgeon Bay cuts about halfway through the peninsula. In 1881, they dug a canal through the other half to provide a quicker, safer passage for ships headed towards Michigan rather than going through Death's Door all the time. Since then, the northern half of the peninsula is technically an island, but they don't call it that.
Our first day after we met up with my sister, the six of us went to Potawatomi State Park for a picnic lunch and to exercise the dogs. Technically, the dogs were not welcome in the park but, even though they were outlawed, there seemed to be an awful lot of dogs there before we arrived, so we became scofflaws and took them along anyway. We had crackers and cheese and summer sausages except for David, who hates cheese so he just had garlic sausage (and an apple).
|A couple of real boats|
|Tugboat we didn't pay to see.|
There were a few other displays. I particularly liked this one that Vicki is standing by. I'm pretty sure I took a ride through the rivers of the world at Disneyland on something quite like this.
|Leftover from the Jungle Boat ride|
|My sister educates herself about ship building|
|Arrrgh... pirate deck matey!|
As a matter of pure dumb luck, that evening the Tall Ships Festival came through Sturgeon Bay on their way to Green Bay where they were to be displayed over the weekend. We had missed them by two days when we were in Duluth. I gather that they tour the Great Lakes about every three years. The canal at Sturgeon Bay has three drawbridges across it and as the ships arrived they had to raise the bridges to get the masts through. They came through in groups of two or three. They would raise the drawbridge and a couple of ships would come through, then they would lower the bridge and let traffic through for 10 or 15 min. We parked on the shore near the foot of the easternmost bridge, set up our folding chairs on the grass and kicked back to enjoy the show. My nephews (who didn't have chairs) got pretty antsy since the whole thing took over an hour, but Vicki and I enjoyed it and we got some great pictures. I was surprised that a number of the boats came through under sail. Anyway, a smattering of photographs follow.
|A tall ship comes through the drawbridge|
|The Dennis Sullivan|
|The Peacemaker, maybe|
|The Appledore IV goes under the bridge|
|The Windy with full sails|
It seems to be a common "thing" these days for towns to have statue decorating contests, presumably to give the town a kind of coherent decorative theme for tourists. A bunch of more or less identical statues of an animal are provided or purchased by local businesses who then paint/decorate them however they see fit. We've seen this done with bears and cows. They had buffalo statues all over Cody, Wyoming when we were there. Here, the statues are of, guess what, sturgeons. These statues are not all quite alike but they are all about the same size. At the end of the tourist season, they are supposed to be auctioned off and the money used for a good cause which I don't remember and don't care enough to look up. They range from this fairly plain looking fellow…
… to more colorful renditions like this open water themed fish…
… or an all-American theme.
But my favorite was this guy, a Sturgeon made entirely out of old dinnerware with spoon bowl scales, fork tyne gills and dinner knife fins sitting outside a little Café downtown. Bon appétite.