Friday, August 21, 2015

Door County, WI : Peninsula, Newport, Whitefish Dunes State Parks

Time for the annual girl grab your bitch(es) and get the heck out of dodge trip.  Now if you know me and my main girl partner in crime, the steppie, you know that we generally disappear on a river or in the woods.   This time around it was checking out three state parks.  One of these we backpacked/camped at.  Alright let's get on with our travels.
First off for this trip we had three other girls join us on the excursion, L and her two daughters (A and K).  Oh and let's not forget that my other regular was along, the grumpy old man, Bullet.
On the way up we stopped at a wayside for some lunch and to check out the geological marker.  Yes, we were halfway to the north pole.
Stop numero uno was Peninsula State Park. According to Wikipedia, Peninsula State Park is the 3rd largest state park in Wisconsin with over 8 miles of Green Bay shoreline.  Our master plan here was to see the Eagle Bluff lighthouse and hike the Eagle Trail. Right after I promptly stopped to take a picture of the turtle xing sign.  Sadly there were no adorable turtles crossing the road that day.
We stopped at the Nature Center quickly before heading to the light house.

Visitors are able to tour Eagle Bluff Lighthouse to learn about the history of the lighthouse and some of the personal stories of the lighthouse keepers of the past.

Bullet and I by the wall next to the lighthouse that faces Green Bay.
Our next stop in Peninsula State Park was the Eagle Trail.
The trail is posted as difficult, which I would attribute to the steep climbs of the bluffs.  This trail runs along the Niagara Escarpment.  Here is the view from the top looking out towards Green Bay.

As we progressed down the trail, it reminded me quite a bit of the ledge park that is close to our home.  Now this completely makes sense since the ledge is also part of the Niagara escarpment.

After having some fun peeking in the caves that have been carved in the rocks, the trail takes you to the shoreline of Green Bay.  Here you are treated to some crystal clear waters.

If you notice boats stopping at the clearing in front of you while you are gazing at the water, I highly recommend that you turn around.  The views behind you are glorious too.

As nice as it would have been to climb this that was just not possible.  Instead though we found another ledge for my brave steppie to climb too.

And we figure that ledge area is about 20 feet in the air.  Basically only attempt if you are confident and brave.  Here are her pictures looking down and of the cave area.

After the little climbing adventure, we continued on the trail working our way back to the top.

Now as we began reaching the top, mother nature decided that we could use a shower after the hard work and it began to rain.  ok, let me rephrase began to pour.  We opted to take the road and cut the hike short.  We made it to a shelter by eagle tower and hung out with a person on a pedal bike until the rain let up.  
After our little shower it was time to head out to state park number two and our base camp for the next two days....Newport State Park.
We breezed into the park just as the office was closing.  Thankfully the lovely lady stayed a bit longer to get us checked in plus give a little tip on a trail to take with the garden cart.  Even though this was a backpacking trip.  We stayed at a "walk in site" and were able to pull a garden cart. A garden cart let's you bring a few extras like wood to guarantee you get a campfire in the evening and a cooler with some ice for a cold beverage at camp. The site was about 1 3/4 miles in. 

The site just fit our two tents and had the perfect amount of shade.  A short walk away was a pit toilet that we shared with two other sites.  A little tip, when camping always bring toilet paper, you never know how bad the tp situation is going to be.  Now even though there were other sites in the vicinity, you could not see them nor hear the inhabitants of those sites.  A few more pictures of our little area...

Food storage boxes.  No bears, but there was supposedly raccoons and porcupines.  Knock on wood we did not see either nor have issues.  The nice lady at check in did inform me though that we should not leave anything out that is drenched in sweat either.  The porcupines at the park supposedly like the saltiness of the sweat and have messed with people's icky clothing that was left out.  Gross. 

Protector of the site.
Now another point was that this was a "waterfront" site.   We were rather saddened that we could not see the water from the site, but we were able to hear it.  There was a path behind one of the tents which appeared to lead to the shore.  It did, but the shoreline was thick with trees and we could only see the water coming up thru the rocks.   That was made up for though when we went looking for a geocache that was located on the point behind the sites.

Clear beautiful water again

And Gillian found the geocache.

Everyone had a blast playing on the rocks and watching the water there.  Bullet was like a mountain lion jumping around everywhere.  
We also took some time to spend at the beach in the park.
Sadly the shoreline was a little rocky here.  Then around lunch we realized that someone (me) forgot a lighter and we only had two options, hike back in or go to town.  We opted to head to town since they have ice cream there.

L scored some matches from Sister Bay Automotive and we had lunch in a little park area before taking a walk.   The city was Sister Bay and my Christmas list got really long....

No need to put them under the tree santa, just leave me some GPS coordinates where you parked it in Sister Bay and I will be ok.  Our timing was perfect as we walked the shore and just got back to the car before the rain hit.  Then of course, we found ice cream.  Amazing ice cream, which I have no pictures of due to a dying phone battery.  It was glorious though and that place has now been added to my must stop when in Door County list. Rest of the day was chilling and hanging by the campfire.
Our last day, after packing everything up and saying good bye to Newport beach, was spent at Whitefish Dunes state Park.  The path to the park had structures replicating times past. 

It was a nice little hike to the puppie beach area.

The water was clear the day was hot and everyone had so much fun playing in the water we didn't have much to show in the way of pictures.

Bullet did enjoy his swim and trying to chase other dogs toys that were thrown in the water.  We learned that we need to pack toys that Bullet can fetch out of the water.

My minion also found his people.  It was an intense battle, but he made it home to see another day....right along with the rest of us girls and old man.
Three days...three parks, and a ton of memories.