Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/10/2015 (2046 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It's a perfect day in Door County Wisconsin, where blue skies, lush green orchards and ripe red cherries give visitors a real life postcard experience. The juicy abundant crop is ready for picking in July and August when the trees are loaded with Montmorency cherries, the most popular tart cherry in America. It's a fun family experience to walk through the cherry orchards and fill a bucket with juicy cherries.
However, cherry shakers mechanically harvest most of the cherries on the more than 2,000 acres of tart cherry orchards in the county.
Old timers who once picked all the cherries by hand must marvel at the efficient process. It takes the harvester around seven seconds too gently shake each tree, releasing about 7,000 cherries. The tractor-like shaker with a catcher resembling an upturned umbrella can shake anywhere from 60 to 100 trees per hour.
Fruit trees flourish in the rich alkaline soil of Door Peninsula, a 100-kilometre long finger of land surrounded by Lake Michigan to the east and the protected waters of Green Bay on the west.
Old fashioned Hollyhocks and other plants and flowers seem to grow bigger and brighter in the fertile area.
Life is sweet at Terry Ullman's candy store in Sturgeon Bay, where visitors come to enjoy the funky paintings and cherry fudge or bacon-flavored treats.
The shops, restaurants and galleries in the Bayside towns such as Egg Harbor, Sturgeon Bay, Fish Creek and Ephraim attract visitors year round, but especially in the summer, where Door County is an outdoor sports hub.
Each of the four seasons delivers the best nature has to offer. Cherry blossoms in the spring, bright foliage in the fall and ice fishing in the winter.
Wisconsin often brings up images of cheese and cheese heads, the fanatic fans of the Green Bay Packers football team. Fresh delicious cheese is abundant in Door County. Visit Renard's Cheese in Sturgeon Bay and stock up on the famous squeaky cheese curds. Yes, they do squeak. The family business employs a master cheese maker, one of six in the United States who have earned the designation.
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But cherries reign supreme on the beautiful peninsula. Breakfast in Fish Creek's classy White Gull Inn is a delicious way to start the day with an order of cherry juice and Cherry Stuffed French Toast, winner of the Best Breakfast in America Challenge on Good Morning America.
The family owned Seaquist Orchards in Sister Bay is the county's largest single cherry producer. Cherry salsa, syrup, dried fruits and cherry pie filling are among the many items featuring cherries in the orchard's market.
It's okay to spit a cherry pit at Orchard Country Winery & Market where a cherry pit spit is measured out in a special area. It's a sort of local sport in Door County.
Fresh baked cherry pies hot from the oven are sold at the bakery. Take home a fresh-pressed jug of tart cherry juice or a bottle of cherry blossom wine. The atmosphere and pace in Door County whisper "relax," slow down and enjoy.
First impressions on the drive to Egg Harbor along Scenic State Highway 42, are clean fresh air, green fields, trees and an overall tidy picture of a pretty state.
The peninsula is often described as the Cape Cod of the Midwest, due to 480 kms of shoreline, 11 historic lighthouses, fishing villages and more state parks than any other county in the United States.
Goats are the focus of Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay. Tourists aim their cameras at the restaurant's sod roof where goats, oblivious to their celebrity status, nibble away on the green grass or curl up and sleep until they go home to their barn at night.
End the day with a classic fish boil at Rowley's Bay Restaurant, a vintage waterfront resort. The menu features fresh Lake Michigan whitefish caught by local fishermen. It's cooked outside over an open fire, just as Scandinavian settlers fed lumberjacks and fishermen a century ago.
An entertaining storyteller and a huge boiling cauldron add drama to the evening. The beautiful bay and delicious buffet create an enjoyable experience. Sleep tight under the starry skies or in a cozy cottage and start another day in the beautiful Badger State.