the pastoral outpost of door county

Wisconsin isn’t really that far.

And, on a recent trip there, I was surprised to find that it is actually a lot closer than I thought. To my heart, that is.

Driving through lush forests and green farm fields, I’d occasionally spot ribs of white limestone sticking up through the earth’s surface. It seemed a lot like another place I know quite well – the Bruce Peninsula, where my mom was raised and my grandmother lived. In her backyard, there were cherry trees. And cherries are so hot in Wisconsin’s Door County we ate them every day, in various forms, at least once.

Turns out, this bucolic back-to-the-lander’s paradise, edged as it is in historic fishing villages and spotted with a mix of lighthouses and inland art studios, is the western edge of the Niagara Escarpment, a stony arch that stretches from New York State, into Niagara (Niagara Falls is actually water dropping over it), through Ontario, along the Bruce Peninsula, Manitoulin Island, and the southern edge of Michigan’s U.P., before it drops down to create Door County. For all you visual learners (like me), here’s a picture.

Being there was a bit like going home and especially since I got to hang out with some great people, like my new friend Margo, who describes this perfect vacation retreat in a bit more depth.

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8 Responses to the pastoral outpost of door county

  1. Georgina Parrish November 12, 2008 at 10:44 pm #


  2. writerspice
    writerspice July 16, 2008 at 3:12 pm #

    Will do, Valda. In fact, I’m looking forward to a swim later today šŸ™‚

  3. Valda July 16, 2008 at 12:31 pm #

    I did indeed Lauren! Although winters can be horrendous there, it’s still a wonderful place to live. Ice fishing on Lake St. John, walking through Wye Marsh and skiing at Horseshoe stand out in my memory. Orillia is a special place and it tends to get inside a person if they live there long enough. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to take my daughter for a visit. I spent some of the best days of my life in Orillia and I miss it still. Take care and say hello to couch for me.

  4. Lauren Carter July 14, 2008 at 9:36 am #

    Thanks, Valda, for the response. I have been to Maine – the midcoast area called Waldo County. It was lovely, as well, and I did love the history and all the old sea-captain’s homes and getting out on the water. Didn’t see too much of the country-side, unfortunately… Came home yesterday from the weekend and felt a deep appreciation for the place I do live in – and nice to hear from someone who knows it šŸ™‚ (Did you see how much snow we got this winter! Crazy!)

  5. Valda July 13, 2008 at 4:22 pm #

    Hi Lauren,
    I happened upon your blog while doing search for pictures of Orillia. I used to live there about one hundred years ago it seems and was feeling nostalgic. Your blog is lovely. Oh, and Wisconsin is great also, but Maine has my heart. Have you been there yet? What were your impressions of the countryside? Take care and the best of luck with your writing. I know what a trudge through rewrite hell it can be.

  6. Nomadic Matt July 13, 2008 at 12:09 pm #

    I loved wisconsin. It was a great state. I used to have a girlfriend that lived there and I went to visit a few times. I liked it all, except the wisconsin dells…..and eventually her, but that’s another story for another day!

  7. writerspice
    writerspice July 8, 2008 at 5:11 pm #

    Hey Rebecca, Hope you’re doing well! I did hear that the cherry crop didn’t make it… It’s unfortunate. We were eating dried cherries (scones, muffins) and drinking cherry wine šŸ™‚ ~ L.

  8. Rebecca McCormick July 8, 2008 at 2:15 pm #

    Hi, Lauren,
    Sounds as if you had a blast in Door County. When I visited, I stayed in the same B&B!

    Glad to hear you guys had some cherries. According to an AP report here, the crop didn’t make it this year because of an early bloom and a late freeze. Is that true?

    (Are you LinkedIn?)

I would love to hear what you think!

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