Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Day 1 Door County, Continued

When I returned from shopping yesterday we took a quick dip in the pool and ate lunch in our room -- Erik really loved the smoked whitefish I'd bought. Then we worked all afternoon, alternating between the tables on the veranda that runs along the second floor and inside our suite. As the afternoon went on, a few clouds appeared over Green Bay, turning the water from deep blue to the color of fish scales, and the breeze picked up.

At around 5:45, we had a margarita by the pool and then drove to No Door bike rentals, which we caught just before closing. We rented two cruisers for three days at the cost of $50 each and headed into Peninsula State Park. We saw a bike trail marked Sunset Trail, and since it was the end of the day we thought this would be a great way to go. The path alternates between fine gravel, dirt and paved stretches, and moves from dense trees -- birch, pine and maple, with wildflower sprays and ferns on the ground -- into open meadows where the wildflowers are tall to compete with the grasses, At certain points the trail runs along Green Bay, and there will be a little bench and a pebble-covered beach. There were almost as many shells as stones on the beach. We put our feet in the icy water and it felt wonderful. Then the path took us through a nice campground, with play structures, and to a lighthouse which we later realized is featured in the painting in our bedroom. We past a swimming area with concessions and kayak rentals. Then we went past the Fokloric theater, and the path was thick with people walking from the parking lot. It sounded like a performance was already going on. A lady biking past us said that if we hadn't been to it before we should because it was a hoot.

The Sunset Trail was well-marked and also had mile marker, which were encouraging, and periodically there would be a "you are here" map to show us how far we had come. There were uphill parts but nothing too strenuous. The air was lush with the sell of all that greenery and the occasional whiff of pine. On the last mile or two, we saw a whitetail doe eating grass, totally unconcerned by our presence. The only thing not perfect about our evening bike ride was that we had forgotten to put on mosquito repellent, and in the cool of the evening, the woods were full of them. We each got a few bites.

When we emerged from the park at the end of the 9-mile loop, we put the bikes in the back of the car and drove into Fish Creek. Erik wanted to eat at a wine bar called The Cookery. It was just about sunset time, so we sat on an upstairs patio with a view of the Bay. Sadly, with all the clouds that had come in, tonight's sunset wasn't much to see. We ordered a bottle of "California/Door County" zinfandel -- grapes grown in Napa, wine made in Bailey Harbor -- for $35. It was fine, nothing to write home about but totally drinkable. We also had a plate of deep fried eggplant sticks and two little baked bries, with house made jam. That was spectacular. We shared an arugula salad and a cherry crumble with vanilla ice cream. By the time we were finishing our coffee, the mosquitoes had come out of the woods to find us, so we fled inside the restaurant to pay our bill. Our waitress, who like everyone here was chatty and helpful, said that the Shopko in Sister Bay might still be open if we needed to shop for cream for our bug bites. Instead of racing to Sister Bay, we decided to try to sneak in a quick hot tub session even though it was almost the 9:30 closing time. We had no sooner sunk into the hot tub, though, when someone came out of the office and said we needed to get out so we could lock the pool area. We went up to our room and used the Jacuzzi tub there, which was nice, but of course not the same. One thing we haven't been loving about Door County is that it seems everything closes so early!

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