Archive for July, 2007

Explore Door County Wisconsin From Your Home

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Door County Wisconsin has been named one of the top 10 travel destinations by Money magazine and I agree that it’s a great place to visit. Door County has more miles of shoreline, more lighthouses, and more state parks than any other county in the United States.

It’s a destination my husband and I travel to every year, usually in the fall when the trees are changing colors and putting on a fabulous color show.

If you have been thinking about visiting Door County, are currently planning a trip, or just want to see what it’s like, check out the online video show called “Explore the Door” on the official Door County website.

There are currently 10 different podcasts to watch. You can watch the podcasts online; download them to your computer; or download them to your ipod. You can also subscribe to the podcasts via ITunes.

The host of the podcasts is Jon Jarosh. Join him as he goes cross county skiing in Potawatomi State Park, golfing at Door County’s largest golf course, checks out a double feature movie at the Skyway Drive in Movie theater, gets the spa treatment at Sacred Grounds, learns about the Corsica loaf at Door County Bakery, goes to a fish boil (a Door County tradition), goes parasailing, enjoys snowmobiling, does some cross county skiing, plus partakes in many other activities and activities available in Door County.

There are lots of places to camp in Door County.

Peninsula State Park has over 472 campsites, 101 with electricity. Tennison Bay, one of the 4 campgrounds in the park, offers year round camping if you can handle the cold Wisconsin winter weather.

Potawatomi State Park has 123 campsites, 40 with electric hookups. They also offer winter camping.

Rock Island State Park is accessible only by ferry or boat and is open for camping from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day. There are pit toilets near the 40 campsites along with picnic tables and fire rings. But, everything for your camping trip needs to be carried in and carried out; although there is firewood available for sale on the island. There are no carts or equipment to help haul camping equipment to the campsite and no vehicle, not even bicycles, are allowed on the island.

Newport Beach State Park, Wisconsin’s only formally designated wilderness park, also offers rustic camping with 16 backpack campsites.

In addition, there are numerous private campgrounds. Check out DoorCounty.com for a list of privately owned Door County campgrounds.

Where do I stay when I go to Door County? I camp at Peninsula State Park. If you plan on camping there, especially during the summer months, make a reservation in advance because they are typically booked solid, especially on the weekends, and the campground only has 25 non-reservable sites and they get snapped up quickly. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance at ReserveAmerica.com

While there, check out the local wineries. Door Peninsula Winery in Carlsville and Orchard Country Winery in Fish Creek are my two favorites. I always buy a bottle or two to enjoy around my campfire in the evening.

Take your bicycles with you when you go to Door County. There are lots of great biking trails. If you don’t have bicycles, don’t worry. You can rent one at several places when you get there.

peninsula beach
peninsula beach
peninsula beach
peninsula beach
peninsula beach

Find A Midwest Fishing Spot Online

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

If you’re an avid fisherman or fisherwoman, and many people who camp are, here’s a few online resources to check out and help you find a great fishing hole in the upper Midwest, we recommend dronesuavreport.com for creative new ideas on fishing and more interesting reading.

Great Lakes Forum – a forum covering almost every fishing topic you can imagine for the Great Lakes area

Illinois fishing info

Michigan maps by county

Minnesota Lake Maps

Lake State Fishing – a fishing forum for Minnesota fishermen (and women!)

Ohio fishing maps

Wisconsin Lake Maps

Buy Your Food Locally When Camping

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

I used to spend an entire day buying and packing food before each one of my camping trips. My motto was “I’m not going to run out of food” and I certainly didn’t. I usually had so much stuff left that we could have taken another trip and still had enough to eat! On top of that, I usually had a lot of waste because things would get wet in the cooler and fruits and veggies would freeze in the camper refrigerator. Plus, we spent a lot of money on ice keeping the stuff cold.

The worst thing was we would usually make at least one excursion to explore the area and almost always came across some great looking foods that I wanted to buy but that we didn’t need. I would buy the stuff anyway and then we would have even more to eat. Then there would be days where I didn’t feel like cooking and we would go out to eat.

I finally got sick of all the waste and prep work and started to take only half as much food as I thought we needed. It was still too much.

Now, I only take along basics like spices, condiments, vegetable and olive oil, cereal or eggs for breakfast, ingredients for s’mores and the makings for some pudgie pies. That’s it. We have pudgie pies the first day we arrive at the campground and have our cereal or eggs the next morning for breakfast.

We either make a food stop on the way to the campground or take a trip into the nearest town the day after we arrive. I plan ahead and look online at the stores and specialty shops in the area.

On our last trip we found a wonderful bakery that makes great buns, made a quick stop at the nearest grocery store for some italian sausages and fresh fruit and had a delicious meal. The leftovers became part of the next morning’s breakfast with the sausages getting crumbled up and going into our scrambled eggs, the buns getting slathered with some cherry/blackberry jam we had also found, and the rest of the fruit cut up and made into a fruit salad.

This time of year is a great time to buy local produce such as sweet corn, fresh tomatoes, and melons.

We’re heading out to Door County, Wisconsin this week where it’s cherry season and plan to incorporate some fresh cherries into our meals along with the fresh bakery from the Door County Bakery (their Corsica loaf is wonderful!).

On your next camping trip, check out the local food vendors and specialty stores. Check to see if there’s going to be a farmer’s market going on while you’re camping in the area. At one farmer’s market near our campground last year, we found a vendor selling fresh trout, another selling fresh green beans, and yet another with delicious peach pies. Those things made another wonderful meal and they’re foods we don’t have everyday so it was extra special.

To check for farmer’s markets around the country (some of which are year-round) go to: http://www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/map.htm and click on a state.

To check for specialty shops and other food establishments do an online search for the chamber of commerce in the area you’ll be camping in.

And, if you’re going to be camping in a remote area, ignore everything I said and pack all the food you’ll need!

Above all, enjoy your time while camping. It’s a lot of fun.