With the last two vacations we've taken being in Texas and Florida we decided to head the opposite direction and check out some new scenery on this trip. Door County Wisconsin was to be our final destination but we took the scenic route and spent a day in the Driftless region and then spent some time driving the scenic byways along the upper Mississippi River between Iowa and Lacrosse Wisconsin.
My wife was almost as impressed with the Driftless area as I am every time I make a trek up there.
The hills, the well manicured farms and of course those beautiful little streams that run through the floor of almost every valley are just a few of the reasons I've been making a return trip every year for the past 6 years.
Unfortunately there wasn't much time for fishing on this vacation but I did get to spend a few hours throwing a hopper/dropper on a couple of my favorite creeks in the area while we were driving around so my wife could see the sights.
I think I caught a half dozen pretty little browns and a rainbow or two, but the best part was simply hiking along the stream trails with the wife and Joe taking in the scenery.
We camped along a pretty little creek for one night and then woke up the next morning and packed things up to get back on the road again.
We spent the better part of this day cruising the scenic routes along the Upper Mississippi headed in the general direction of our destination. For someone who's used to seeing the larger rivers such as the Missouri and Ole Miss down here in the Midwest, where they look like giant drainage ditches full of muddy water, it's pretty amazing to witness their natural beauty up North before mans idea of progress alters their personality.
The only thing better than the scenery might be the fresh walleye and lake perch that can be had at almost every eating establishment along the river. If you havn't had the pleasure of enjoying a lake perch sandwich washed down with a locally brewed Wisconsin ice cold beer...let's just say you're missing out!
We arrived at our destination late that evening, just in time to unpack our stuff at the cabin we'd rented and catch the sunset over the lake just a short walk from our front door (which became a nightly event).
We were staying in the small town of Ephraim, in the Northern section of Door County, pretty much right on the tip of the peninsula separating Lake Michigan from Green Bay. This trip differed from a lot of our vacations, simply because we didn't have plans to do much of anything. The cabin was 250 yards from the shore of Lake Michigan, less than a mile from the entrance to Peninsula State Park with access to numerous hiking trails and beaches and right in the middle of all of the cherry orchards and farmers markets that the area is known for.
One of the cool things we did get to do was experience one of the Norwegian fish boils that they're famous for in the area. My wife and I both love fish so it was a no-brainer for us, but even if you didn't the whole event was a sight worth seeing.
I would have loved to do some scuba diving on a few of the wrecks in the area but Ginger isn't into the coldwater diving with drysuits and hoods so that would just have to wait for another trip.
I spent a few morning hours wading shorelines with the flyrod in hand, hoping to catch a glimpse of cruising carp on the flats or maybe catch one of those big smallies the area is famous for, but all to no avail. I still enjoyed it regardless, the water and surrounding scenery was worth the effort on it's own.
The one activity we really wanted to do, renting glass bottom kayaks and seeing some of the shallow wrecks in the bay, was cancelled on the morning we were supposed to go due to high winds unfortunately. Even so, with all of the state parks and small touristy towns located on the peninsula we ended up running out of time before we ran out of things to do on this trip.
Sometimes it's nice to get away without any real plans and just spend some time decompressing from lifes everyday hustle...and watching the sunset over Lake Michigan from the comfy confines of an Adirondack chair turned out to be a fabulous way to accomplish just that!