Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Door County (Saturday, Continued)
We spent the rest of Saturday driving up the peninsula, visiting one harbor town after another, including Ephraim, Sister Bay, Ellison Bay, Gills Rock, and Northport. One of my favorite stops was to Uncle Tom's Candies in Northport, which is a small candy shop in an old schoolhouse that I remember visiting as a child during our frequent family camping trips to Door County (we were one of those pop-up camper families). The memory of Uncle Tom's seemed so vivid to me, even though it's been over 20 years since I last visited. Uncle Tom, who owned the shop since the 1970's, passed away in 1997 and gave the store to his favorite employee, who later sold the store to the current owners upon her retirement. Uncle Tom's legacy remains, and remnants of his zany personality are everywhere. I ended up purchasing ungodly amounts of Uncle Tom's famous pancake batter and peanut brittle to get me through the winter, and to send to some very important people. After Uncle Tom's, we drove to Gill's Rock and considered taking the ferry to Washington Island, but decided to save it for another time.
We then drove back South along the peninsula, and stopped for a quick lunch of chili in Sister's Bay, followed by ice cream at Wilson's Ice Cream Parlor in downtown Ephraim, which has been a classic Door County icon since 1906. Interestingly, just in front of Wilson's, on the piers that jut out into Lake Michigan, is where I had a pretty good fall in the lake when I was approximately 5 or 6 years old. As the story goes, I was walking along the pier, tripped, and fell in frigid waters of Lake Michigan. My dad jumped into action, and reached down into the lake to grab and pull me out. We have a great picture of me warming up afterwards by a campfire. Perhaps this accident is what initiated my first swim lessons and subsequent career in competitive swimming...