The Quiet Side of Door County
We finished up our first work camp position as camp hosts at Peninsula State Park in the Welckers campground. The last weekend was our busiest. My dear friend Sharon came to visit and join me in keeping the campground in order while Rick went to Milwaukee for his nephews wedding. Congratulations Wes & Kelsey!!!! Sharon and I enjoyed our girls weekend and we rocked the big Sunday exodus from the campground by cleaning right around 40 sites before Rick got back. Wow what a day!!! We did however have a great day out Saturday as I took Sharon on a tour of Door County. We even snuck in a beautiful sunset viewing. These sunsets never get old!!!
We finished up our camp host assignment on Tuesday and looking back at the month we spent here, we really did enjoy it and thought it went well for our first gig without knowing anything really. We were thankful for the other camp hosts and staff that graciously answered our questions and gave us helpful info. Here are a couple pictures of our time at work and breaks.
However, we did not leave the park unscathed. Peninsula State Park is really not set up for larger rigs like our 42ft 5th wheel. We did pretty good getting it into the park, going down the middle of roads and then into the site by encroaching on our neighbors site across the road to squeeze it in. As we left the site, I walked behind the rig to ensure we were making it through without too much overhang or side trees brushing up against the RV, however, what we did not account for was the hidden tree stump in the underbrush as we turned a sharp corner. The back of the RV had to go into the brush to make the turn and there it was. It got our rear hydraulic landing leg and ripped off the snap pad, bent the foot up and bent the landing leg as well. Ughhh...our first big booboo. Once we arrived to our new spot, Rick was able to pound down the foot enough to extend the leg and lower it onto some blocks. It is hard to see in the picture, but the leg is also bent. The leg is not leaking any hydraulic fluid at this time, so it could have been alot worse! This story does look to have a happy ending though...Rick got in touch with the couple leading the Grand Design RV rally we will be attending in Goshen, IN in a couple weeks and she put in a quick call to the manufacturer and it looks like we will get a new landing leg installed while we are at the rally, oh yeah, free of charge!!!! They do know how it happened and they still said there would be no charge to us. Again, another reason why we love our Grand Design family!!!
We are now parked at Baileys Grove Campground in Baileys Harbor. We have stayed here before in our "weekend" camper a couple years ago and enjoyed how quiet and peaceful it was, even though you are close to your neighbors in an RV park setting. This park attracts more couples looking for a longer stay of a month or seasonal with some weekenders sprinkled in and some families, but it doesn't look like a seasonal place with alot of permanent structures. They have a very nice pool, playground, dog walking area, fish cleaning station, free movies and books and free morning coffee and evening popcorn. We have a nice FHU pull thru site on the last row, that also includes cable, which is handy since we only get 6 over air stations and most are PBS. People here are friendly and in talking to the next door neighbors, they have been coming here for 6 years and just so happens, they remember us from when we camped here last because the owners put boards to our camper when it rained soo hard it created a moat around our camper. What a small world!
While here, we have taken full advantage of the laundry room which charges a sweet $2.50 total for wash and dry. Soo much better than the $3.50 for just a regular size wash I was paying on the other side of the peninsula! Amazing what makes me happy these days! We also decided to extend our stay here rather than risk more damage trying to squeeze ourselves back into a site at Peninsula State Park for the annual family camping trip. We are only 8 minutes from the park so we can easily popover for campfires and fun.
We took a day out of relaxing to go explore Washington Island which is off the tip of the peninsula. Washington Island has just over 700 year round residents and alot more seasonal guests. Access to the island is via two ferry companies. One is a passenger only ferry and the other is a passenger/vehicle transport ferry. We opted for the vehicle one since I actually had some work to do on the island. I needed to take some property pictures for one of my gigs and after talking with them, they got approval to pay for my passenger and vehicle ferry charges. Sweet! Free day at the island for me. We only had to pay for Rick's passenger fee.
After taking care of the pictures I had to take, we explored the island. We ate lunch at a really cool, laid back place called Fiddlers Green. For those in the military, it has a special meaning, but we also found out from the owner that it has a special meaning and references another poem for maritimers. Huh, who knew. This place was like walking into someones living room and was very eclectic but had amazing food! It's history runs way back to 1860, when it was built as a schoolhouse and in 1920 moved to its current location near SchoolHouse Beach. Here it was everything from a grocer to butcher, gas station, auto repair, ice cream shop and antique store and for the last 10 years, a cozy little restaurant, hangout and music shack. They even have an old 1950 trailer outback that is renovated to be a soundstage.
After lunch we did some sightseeing and visited the lavender fields where we spent some relaxing time taking in the wonderful smells. You could even book chair massages out in the field! We then went to SchoolHouse Beach where the rocks are protected because they are a geologic rarity. No sand on this beach.
We also checked out a cool little maritime/island museum that included some great history of the island areas shipwrecks, fishing and just plain island living, especially in the winter. Some interesting information on how they sawed ice up and transported it to the island for refrigeration and how they got their mail delivered. Below is the mail delivery snow car complete with tracks to make it across the frozen water. Their maritime history wouldn't be complete without the Coast Guard and lighthouses. Below are a couple examples of those spread out on the islands surrounding Washington Island. Finally a picture of the boat house on Rock Island, which is a State Park. There is another ferry you can take to Rock Island but we ran out of time.
Another day we explored the Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor. This great hidden gem is Wisconsin's first land trust and showcases the interesting topography that has formed over time as the shoreline receded, creating ridges and swales. There are walking trails throughout the 30 acre property and contains several boardwalks over the swales. One of the highlights are the Baileys Harbor lighthouses, open for tours and are currently being restored.
On Sunday we moved to our second site at the campground, since we extended our stay. We will then move again on Thursday further down the row for the remaining three nights we are here. The vibe here is certainly different than the state park we were at, as it is more couples in larger rigs, spending the summer or several weeks, sprinkled with a few camping families. I certainly think this stay is preparing us for our adventure out to Mesa, AZ this winter where we will work camp at a 55+ resort. We are now gearing up for our annual extended family camping trip with our boys, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins and assorted others thrown in for good measure. The last big hoorah of the summer! Stay tuned...
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