A Ride in Door County to Rock Island, September 2006

A Ride in Door County to Rock Island, September 2006

We four intrepid cyclists had a great trip.  September weather is always iffy, and the forecast wasn't too promising, so we hauled a large (and heavy) tarp, but it only rained a bit one night.  The strong south winds the whole time we were on Rock Island, blowing all the way up the length of Lake Michigan, kept temperatures close to the water temperature (65 F).  Just after we got back on the mainland, a strong cold front went through, so our last night at Peninsula State Park was cool and windy, as was the ride back to Sturgeon Bay.  It was dry, so it really wasn't uncomfortable.  We were prepared for much worse, hence the bulging panniers.

To get to Rock Island, you first take the car ferry to Washington Island off the northern end of the Door Peninsula.  You then ride 9 miles or so across Washington Island to catch a smaller boat to Rock Island.

We took a 5-day trip, starting and finishing in Sturgeon Bay, with two nights on Rock Island.   So that mountain bikes don't destroy the trails on Rock Island, biking there is prohibited, but we were allowed to walk our bikes to the campsite.  The walk around the island is about 7 miles, which we did on our day there. Rock Island was once owned by a wealthy industrialist, Chester Thordarson, whose family sold it to the state after he died. The stone boathouse and other buildings were built by Icelandic masons imported by Thordarson. The history, as well as the natural features, makes Rock Island a really special place.

While the biking was leisurely, it would have been nice to have had another day on Rock Island, as well as more time to explore Washington Island.  Next year, we'll probably propose driving to near the Washington Island ferry terminal, so we can spend more time on Washington and Rock Islands, probably a 4.5 day trip.  (One could do it in 3 days, but that wouldn't leave much time for exploring, and it's a long drive.)  We'll also try to schedule it in August, when the weather is more reliable and there's more daylight.  I hope more of you will join us!

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Full Car
Packing up in Sturgeon Bay
Ron's Big Load
We're Off!
Gee, everybody else has aero bars!
Door County Mainland
Notice how FLAT the road is!
Still on the mainland
Caution Wide Load
Bonnie really likes her aero bars
Neil, your zipper is open!
Fish Creek Harbor
How did all that stuff get on my bike?
Relaxing in Fish Creek
Fish Creek Panorama
Dinner in Fish Creek
Lighthouse in Peninsula State Park
Ron and Neil taking no chances with walnuts
Is Bonnie thinking of loading that anchor on my bike?
I don't think so!
One final lighthouse shot
Morning Fog at Peninsula State Park
Islands off Peninsula State Park
Washington Island Ferry