Today we got up and had our bikes out of the car and on the road by 8 a.m. We figured we could bike down the side of the highway along the Bay to visit one of the breakfast places in Ephraim. Our hotel is in Ephraim too, but a little outside the main drag. The morning was overcast and the ground was wet, so it might have rained during the night. The water in the Bay looked like slate roof tiles.
We easily biked as far as the Old Post Office restaurant where we had eaten yesterday, and this time we stopped across the street at a tourist information office, located in a stone cottage next to a public beach. A crowd of tourists had been waiting outside for it to open, and they were asking the staff member there advice on a driving tour. We picked up some pamphlets and post cards and biked on, passing the Anderson Barn History Center. We said we would stop and check that out on our way back. All the businesses in Ephraim had posters advertising next weekend's 50th Annual Fyr Bal Festival, which we had overheard Vernamae in the tourist office say was a Norwegian midsummer's celebration in which the winter witch was burned. Since we love a good witch burning, we were sad that we would be gone before then. Also, there is going to be a pancake breakfast at the Village Hall.
Then the road veered away from the water and got steep. We huffed up several hills, only to find that around the corner was another hill. This area had no businesses, just lots of private homes, each one with a sign saying the name of the house and who lived there. There were a few hotels too. After almost giving up and turning back, we finally came to a small bakery café, and since by this time we were hungry, we parked our bikes to go in. Just then, though, I got a phone call from our real estate agent. We had a rather intense discussion about negotiations on the sale of our home, and by the time I was done, I didn't feel like sitting down and eating a pastry. I was supposed to send an email to the buyer right away, and it was getting to be time for Erik to start working, so we decided to just bike back and grab something to eat at the little "breakfast cabana" next to our hotel.
On the way back we stopped at the tourist info office again, since I realized I had forgotten to pay for the postcards I'd picked up! Vernamae Juel, the lady working there, was very grateful that I had come back to pay for them. She had been busy with the group and had not really noticed us during our first visit. She sad sadly that the other group, who had driven in from Grand Rapids, was trying to see all of Door County in one day, which she thought sounded icky. She had helped them come up with a driving route that would take them to some lighthouses and Gill's Rock, coming back on backroads so they wouldn't have to backtrack the same highway.
We asked her where we should go biking next, and she recommended Ellison Bay, where there was a nice county park with a flat wooded path. We asked if we could choose one other DC community to stay in, where should we go? She recommended Jacksonport, on the Lake Michigan side, where we could see caves and walk on flat rock formations near the water level.
"I love the natural areas. People like to read about shops and that kind of stuff. But I love being on the water. There are tremendous land trust areas and natural areas for hiking. And personally I am interested in rock formations," she said. Vernamae moved here 10 yeas ago from the Chicago suburbs -- we soon found out that her son is a dentist in Oak Park! She was surprised to hear I might want to quote her in an article, since other folks who work for the tourist info service know much more about the area's history.
The Good Egg breakfast cabana was super fun. It was run by three guys. The first guy explained how it worked and pointed out the big container of Collectivo coffee from which we could serve ourselves. The second guy, who had a bicycle tattooed on his right arm, took our order and cooked it up. All they make is breakfast burritos. There are three kinds: a basic, a fancier one and a deluxe. The third guy had a long beard and I'm not sure what his job was, because the first guy rant us up. Cash only.
Since then we have been working in and out of the room again, and the sun has come out. I'm currently sitting at a table in the pool area, shaded by an umbrella, watching the Bay turn from gray to blue in the sun.
After a while of that, I wrote a postcard to each of the kids, and got back on my bike and rode back into Ephraim. I went into the Village Hall because I thought they might know where I could get some stamps, but there was no front desk there, only a meeting room where some people were talking (probably making last-minute arrangements for Fyr Bal). The other half of the same building is the library, so I went and asked there. The librarian was one of the only terse people I have met here, a lady with steely curls and (of course) glasses. She gave me directions to the post office and I rode there, enjoying as I pedaled the sight of more and more people launching boats into Green Bay. At the Post Office the world's friendliest postal clerk old me 3 postcard stamps, and I put the cards into the "out of town" slot.
Then I checked out the historic Anderson Barn, which turned out to be closed. It had an interesting little cabin next to it, which according to the sign was built to keep nice and cool inside, and had been moved board by board from its original location. Apparently it used to house a gallery, which is now closed. By looking through the window I saw it is once again furnished as a residential home, but despite an "open" sign in the window, it was locked up.
Across the road from that was Anderson Store, which according to the sign had been open from the 1800s through the 1950s, but was also locked up. From there I rode my bike down a broad stone pier, on which sat a building that people had graffitied, with names in different colors covering every inch. This turned out to be a gallery. A boy was painting on his name with a little plastic cup of paint and a skinny brush. A man was bobber fishing off the pier, listening to his radio.
I went back to the library to try to work using the wifi there, but I could feel the librarian's eyes on me and I was the only patron in the small room, so I went outside to work on a picnic table on the front lawn instead. From here I can see patches of Green Bay trough the parked cars and a big pontoon boat with a FOR SALE sign in te parking lot of South Shore Pier across the street,
Not dead yet.
1 day ago