Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Alternate Plans

Egg Harbor  in Door County Wisconsin
It seems this travelogue is taking longer than the actual trip!  But if there is anyone still interested in reading about the final miles of our trek through Michigan and Wisconsin, I'll put the finishing touches on this and move on to other subjects.

Giant Hiawatha statue in the city park in Ironwood, Wisconsin.
After our drive up the Kewneenaw Penninsula, it was our intention to head down to Ironwood, Wisconsin, spend the night there, then the next day head up to Bayfield and on to the Apostle Islands. After a long day of riding we arrived at our motel, found a local restaurant for dinner and as usual spent the evening planning the next leg of our journey.  But when we turned to the Weather Channel and saw the forecast for severe storms in the area that we'd be traveling, we decided to change our plans.  It was disappointing because even though we had lived in Wisconsin for several years, we'd never had the chance to explore that part of the state.  But riding in heavy rain, with lightning and strong winds did not sound like a pleasant way to spend the last few days of our vacation. 

The next day, we got an early start as we headed east towards Door County, our alternate destination.  The best app on our iphones is the live radar weather map.  As long as we had good phone reception, we could stay ahead of the storms and plan our route across the state.  It wasn't but fifteen minutes after reaching our hotel in Green Bay that the heavy rain began.  We'd made it just in time!  The next morning, the clear blue skies were back and we could enjoy a trip up to the tip of Door County.  As you can see in the top photo, we had a beautiful day to enjoy a motorcycle ride and all the sights of this tourist mecca. Luckily the crowds and traffic during the week aren't too bad.

Though it had been over ten years since we'd been here in Door County, we didn't see that a lot had changed.  Wilson's Ice Cream shop was still the place to stop for a great lunch (or ice cream!) in Ephraim.  We sat under the awning and enjoyed our sandwiches and watched the activity at the beachfront park across the street.

After a day of riding, sight-seeing, and even a little shopping we tried one of the traditional things that tourists do in Door County.  Pelletier's is just one of the restaurants that offers the Fish Boil, but probably one of the most popular. You can click on their link for a full description of the "event" and the meal.  Which is basically just whitefish, potatoes and onions.  Maybe not the best meal we had on our trip, but still one of those things you just have to do when visiting the area.  The cherry pie that comes with the meal was wonderful though!
I thought you might like this pretty Wisconsin dairy farm photo.  Of course, buzzing by at 60 MPH on a Harley does not make it easy to get a good photo. 

We timed our departure from Door County to arrive in Sheboygan, Wisconsin around lunch time.  After a quick stop at the nice Harbor Centre Marina where we kept our boat when we had one, we were happy to find that one of our favorite restaurants of all time was  still in business.  Il Ritrovo has the BEST wood fired pizza!

So good, that I forgot take a photo until after we'd eaten half of it.  The waitress tried to tell us that one pizza only serves one.  But with the bruschetta, this was plenty for the two of us. 

Other than racing the rain storm, we'd had wonderful weather on this trip.  But by this afternoon, the heat was back on.  Once we got on the road, it wasn't too bad, but as we headed south to Milwaukee we hit road construction. For those of you who ride motorcycles, you know the joys of sitting in traffic on a hot Harley!  We were happy to finally get to our daughter's condo in northern Illinois, and even happier that her new air conditioner had been installed! Her college roommate and her cute little baby were visiting too, so we were lucky that there was room at this inn!   One food group we hadn't yet enjoyed on this trip was Mexican.  So E recommended a local place called Rudy's Mexican Grill.  We'd been here before, but I think it was so cold and rainy that I didn't really remember the food.  But this time I had the Tacos James - steak and shrimp tacos.  Yummy!   

We've never ridden the Harley through the Chicago area before, and we weren't looking forward to it much this trip. But it was either that, or take a looooong detour around the city and add several hours to our trip home.  So we got up early and hit the road.  I don't think we've ever had such an easy trip through Chicago - car or motorcycle.  But it was about 7:30 am on a Saturday morning and we lucked out with the light traffic.

Passenger's view of the Chicago skyline

The temperatures began to soar the closer to home we got.  The the last 75 miles brought back the necessary rain storm dodging again and we donned our rainsuits for the first time since we'd left home nine days before.  Home again!  Another trip is planned for August.  I think we'll be recovered by then and ready to tackle the highways again! 


Michelle said...

I love reading about your trips. Our trek through Chicago wasn't as pleasant, but we survived!
be blessed and have a great week!

Thimbleanna said...

Your pictures are beautiful Janet! I've always wanted to go to Door County and we've just never managed to get there. ;-( Sorry you missed the Apostle Islands -- we took our boys on a sailing adventure there one year -- it's beautiful up there!

joeks said...

I enjoyed the trip! Glad it was a good one for you!