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Ice Age, caves and history in southern Door County

May 2022. Door County Part Two.

Moving down to the Door County KOA in Bristol gave us the opportunity to explore the base of the peninsula (and do laundry!). One rainy day we drove into Green Bay. Of course we had to check out Lambeau Field since our oldest is a packers fan! The area around it has been developed into spaces with playgrounds, restaurants etc. I got a kick out of the houses opposite- all decorated in green and gold.

We also wandered the grounds of the Heritage Hill State Historical Park I love peering into restore firehouses and shops. We almost missed the amazing trading post, early courthouse and Native American created church because they were on the other side of a road.The Belgian farm had charming recreations going about daily life and two young enactors allowed me to take their photo. It was fun watching schoolchildren on their field trips race around and take it - the “fur trader” had a skilled way of keeping them focused!

We drove to Algoma one day to visit several art galleries I’d read about The first - Bren Sibilsky - was behind their old farmhouse and a working studio in a barn restored by her husband from family property. Bren creates in many media but particularly as a sculptor. We were particularly enchanted by her faces and especially the eyes. I hope to convince Jim that we should do one of their annual bronzecasting classes! They kindly allowed our obstreperous dogs to run around and Jackson decided he was a barn studio kind of dog. We also went to the Robert Ray Gallery which had a wonderful selection of various artists. Jim was taken with some midwestern farm oil paintings while I liked some quirky ‘personal map’ art and various birds but with no nest to feather we just enjoyed them without purchasing. I did buy a brooch that was a very detailed bug - all part of my plan to be eccentric to my eventual grandkids!

We had neglected Potawatomi State Park earlier but having read the Ice Age Trail has it’s eastern terminus there we decided to hike a short bit of it. Just like my home state of Massachusetts, Wisconsin has a lot of geological features found where the glaciers stopped before they retreated. The trail starts at a gorgeous overlook. Apparently a fox snake thought so too as he was taking the sun from his hole in a cement footing. we did not see him until uncomfortably close! The forest you walk through is filled with lovely white birch rising up from a bed of ferns. Soon it became more rock strewn then it went down by the water looking across at the city of Sturgeon Bay. We let the dogs have their near daily swim then hiked back. I did a quick marker sketch of the view.

On another day we went to a nature preserve on the fields of a former dairy farm. It was an enjoyable ramble from a high point on the peninsula to the lakeshore.

We also did some shopping in Sturgeon Bay - handmade soaps, fudge and saltwater taffy - and checked out a small park that overlooks two shipwrecks but the waves were too choppy to reveal more than a glimpse. We liked Sturgeon Bay more than we thought we would. But a real highlight was returning to Cave Point. It was Jim’s first time and he was wowed also. He took the dogs while I got a chance to capture a view in watercolor. Unlike my first visit the lake was calm and I was glad I had my cobalt teal blues and my viridian and quinacridone gold to capture the spectacular colors.

Then finally, before we left our campground, I hiked up the road with my art backpack and captured a lovely tree in bloom by a back barn at the corner of Lovers Lane and Hilly Ridge Road. All in all, a wonderful sojourn in Door County.

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