Do you ever hear one of your favorite tunes and it reminds you of a certain place and time? "Going Mobile", a song by one of my favorite bands, "The Who", came to mind when I thought about my latest ride. I love nothing more than hopping on my bike and heading out for an adventure! I love to hike, climb rocks, get off the beaten path...well, you get the picture, and Door County is the perfect place to go "mobile"!
Leaving Sturgeon Bay and heading north you have two options, Hwy 42 or Hwy 57. As I approached the stoplights I decided on Hwy 57 simply because it has a big curve as the two highways split. I love the feel of my Fatboy as I accelerate through this curve knowing that there are more winding roads to come. Hwy 57 is such a cool drive and I love the peaceful ride along the "quiet side" of the county. My first stop was in Jacksonport at Lakeside Park. This is an awesome little park located right on Lake Michigan. I love to sit on a park bench and look over the water on a beautiful Door County summer morning!
Sometimes it's hard to leave such a beautiful spot, but I knew that there were more to come. What I love about long summer days with no agenda, is the fact that I can just "go with the flow". Heading up Hwy 57 I thought why not cruise all the way to the "tip" of the county. As you get past Sister Bay it has even more of a "laid back" feel. As I approached Ellison Bay I knew I had to stop at one of my all time favorite spots in the county, Ellison Bluff County Park. It's hard to explain the beauty of this park, and a picture alone can't do it justice. For me, this park is a "top 5" must see places in Door County!
As I left the park I wanted to see the water from below the bluff so I took the road all the way to the bay. Of course the road says "dead end", but that's never stopped me before. As I pulled into the little turn-around I saw two guys admiring the view. I stopped and had a nice conversation with Jim and Roger. Roger told me how his family had always rented a place nearby as his kids were growing up. You could sense the fond memories and cherished moments of Door County summer days long gone. Roger told me an interesting story of the small building that is literally built right into the bluff. A business owner from Chicago apparently built this small structure which acts as his office. His house, which also appears to be built right into the bluff, must have unbelievable sunsets!
This was turning into a great day, one in which I wished would never end. Cruising into Ellison Bay you come upon the welcome sign and a cool view of the bay. It's hard to keep your eyes on the road when you see such a breathtaking view!
Cruising through Ellison Bay you will notice a quaint little cottage that has been cleverly turned into a visitor information bureau. A stop here is well worth your while, you can learn about some hidden gems in northern Door County!
Before heading the rest of the way to the "tip" of Door County, I had to stop at one of my favorite little town parks. Fitzgerald Park is located off Garrett Bay Road on the north end of Ellison Bay. I love this small park, it is so peaceful and quiet.
As I walked around the park I came across a baseball diamond nestled in the woods, it has a certain nostalgic feel to it.
Back on the road, I had six miles to go to the "tip" and one of the coolest stretch of roads in the county. It's about two miles from Gills Rock to Northport, and for the motorcyclist an exhilarating ride!
Northport is where you catch the ferry to Washington Island. Whether you're taking a day trip or spending a few days, Washington Island is a magical place and well worth a visit!
Before I headed back home I had to make a stop at another of my favorite spots. Liberty Grove Township has beautiful little parks that are off the beaten path and over the years I have "stumbled" upon a few of them. This particular park offers a great view of "deaths door" and Washington Island. I had the itch to hike and climb so I made my way onto a rock jutting out over the bay. I know my wife thinks I sometimes take risks, but it's in my nature and the destination is worth it!
All great days must come to an end so it was back on the road to Sturgeon Bay. As I cruised through Sister Bay I was "forced" to stop and get one last picture and contemplate another day of "going mobile".