Last weekend we spent a couple of days in Door County, Wisconsin. It should have been named “Thumb County,” due to its position on the mitten that is Wisconsin, but nobody asked me my thoughts on the matter, and it’s probably too late to make the change.
Not surprisingly, a lot of other people also ventured to Door County for the weekend. In the main tourist towns there were tons of cars, bikes, and pedestrians trying to avoid coming into contact with each other. Off the beaten path, though, the rural Door County roads were sparsely traveled and pleasant.
Friday evening we were tired and hungry when we arrived, and it was late enough that our restaurant choices were limited. We went to a place called the Post Office, which apparently once was one. Their menu consisted of a Door County fish boil, or, if you were difficult to please, they’d find something else for you.
I’ve had a problem with fish boils. First, it’s the name. I know what a boil is, and if a fish has a boil, it should go to the doctor like anybody else. It’s like cured ham: who wants ham that was sick in the first place? The other thing about a fish boil is that sometimes the fish and potatoes and onions taste a little like a gas station, since the kerosene doesn’t always burn off all the way.
But, this time it was very tasty, and the portions were really large. I was still full at breakfast time the next day, but I had some anyway. After breakfast we went to an art show/tractor show. There were some great old tractors and some interesting art. We spent some time by the water, which isn’t hard to do on a peninsula, and took a drive through Peninsula State Park, where we came upon someone wearing a gorilla suit waving at the cars going by. I think it was Medium Foot, because he wasn’t that big.
We dropped in on some friends who moved up to Door County a couple of years ago. They live on a small farm, and apparently they’re raising mosquitoes, and doing a very good job of it. We went to dinner with them at a non-touristy place, and tried to replace the food and fluids that the little demon mosquitoes had sucked out of us.
On Sunday we hit some shops and managed not to buy much, and had lunch at Al Johnson’s restaurant – the place with the sod roof which is home to some goats. They weren’t out, though, because they apparently don’t much care for the rain.
On the way out of the Door (couldn’t resist it) we made about 37 stops at roadside stands looking for a bucket of cherries to take home. Life may be just a bowl of cherries, but not late on a Sunday afternoon in Door County. After a wild goose chase down the wrong road we finally found a place that had some freshly picked cherries and headed south to the mainland of Wisconsin.
It’s really a beautiful place, that Door County. I’m sure the autumn and spring weekdays are extremely pleasant there, since most tourists come on the weekends in those months. I would think winters must be kind of rough, but then again, that’s the case anywhere in Wisconsin.
You know, I think they really should change the name to Thumb County after all, and use their thumbs to squish the mosquitoes.