Fall in Door County

When I heard fall was a great time to go to Door County Wisconsin to see beautiful foliage, I knew I needed to plan a trip for our group, the Midwest LTVers. It did not disappoint!

What I didn’t anticipate was a little cooler weather then normal. But it’s ok, I thought, perfect campfire weather. But I forgot about with cooler weather we might need to winterize. So we just made sure everyone brought some RV antifreeze to winterize, just in case. Fortunately, we didn’t need to do that.

Our journey started as we headed up to Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin the 2nd week in October where we stayed at Potawatomi State Park and spent the next 7 days. The fall beauty was all around us and each day it becomes even more beautiful. Just like the advertisement said, it was fall in all its glory!

Our first night was spent around a campfire bundled up (it was pretty cold) getting to know everyone and sharing stories about our motorhomes and the amazing places they take us.

Over the next 7 days, the group went to Sister Bay for a craft show, a lighthouse tour on the Door County Trolley in Egg Harbor, a cave tour of the process on how they age cheese, a fish boil at Pelletier Restaurant in Fish Creek, wine tasting and tour at Lautenbach Orchards, hiking in the park and gathering for meals back at the campgrounds. Our days were filled with lots to do and great company.

If you have never been to a fish boil, you need to go to one. Now, I will say, I am not a fish lover, but they told me I could have ribs instead. Whew! Outside behind the restaurant is where they had the big fire pit with the large kettle filled with boiling water. The owner told us the history of fish boils and the process. Then he told us to take a few steps back as he grabbed a huge scoop of salt to put in the water and the fuel oil for the fire. He dumped it on the fire and it erupted like a volcano. Very impressive and entertaining. Now time to go inside and eat those ribs! 🙂

Cherries are a big crop here in Door County, so of course, they had cherry everything….from cherry mimosas, cherry chicken salad wraps, jellies, donuts, wine and salsas to name a few. And it all was great!

One of the many highlights was on our trolley lighthouse tour that took us to Cana Island Lighthouse. First, we had to take a tractor that was pulling a “hay ride” trailer across to the island. Normally you don’t have to do this, but since the water levels were so high, we had to get across to the island somehow. Once we arrived on the island, we saw the lighthouse. It was beautiful! Some of us took the spiral staircase up 97 stairs to the top of the lighthouse where you were able to look out over Lake Michigan. The view was absolutely amazing, but a little scary going up and down all those stairs. But once at the top, the views were well worth it.

A few of us even went to a working dairy farm where we saw the process of milking the cows. Line those cows up, hook them up and out comes the milk. Unhook them and move them out! It was pretty interesting. We then ventured out to the 20-acre corn maze. WOW! This was one HUGE corn maze! I thought it was going to be a little tiny maze, oh no! Miles and miles of corn rows. We were in the maze for almost 2 hours and only got to about 1/3 of it. We decided it was a little cold and windy, and they did have homemade ice cream back at the dairy farm, so we had to figure out how to get out of the maze. I looked up and there it was Franklin our Motorhome peeking over the corn. Now we knew how to get out! 🙂

On our last night, we gathered together and brought our favorite camping meal to share. One thing about going on rallies with fellow LTV owners, you never go hungry. We chatted about the week’s activities and said our goodbyes. We hope to meet up again soon…spring is not far away!

Midwest LTVers Spring Rally

Spring is here and it is time to get out the LTV and explore! We planned our spring rally with our Midwest LTVers group for Starved Rock State Park in Oglesby Illinois.

As the coaches arrived, it wasn’t long until we were all gathered in one place meeting the new members and catching up with our returning friends. The food came out and lots of conversations were taking place. The best part was when we started to share our LTV “mishap’ stories. From not unplugging when leaving to getting stuck in the sand (just to name a few) there were laughs and learning all the way around.

We even had a non-LTVer join us and get info about owning one. As the night went on, we gave tours of the coaches to see which one would fit their needs. Even the owners were taking tours to find out how others stored items and what the newer coaches looked like.

The night ended abruptly when a racoon decided to join us. I have never seen 16 people scatter so fast! The men helped put things away while the women grabbed the food. But the rain started soon after, so I guess that racoon needed something to eat before it started to rain. We did hear how that same racoon and his buddies ate all of the food a couple campsites down…they left 2 coolers out. They woke to no food at all. Glad we cleaned up our food.

It rained most of the night and into the morning. I do like the sound of the pitter patter the rain makes on top of the coach. But we did feel sorry for those tent campers. Makes all of us happy to own an LTV. Some of us played cards inside, others gathered in their coach and got to know each other better. After the rain stopped we went coach to coach and visited. There is something about LTV owners, you become instant friends.

In the afternoon, just as the rain stopped, we went to the lodge to board a trolley for a historic tour. We were pleasantly surprised that it was just our group on the trolley. Our own personal tour. We drove around the park, stopped at the dam and lock system along the Illinois River, learned about the local town and got the history of the area. It was a very informative and relaxing tour.

Later that evening we had a potluck dinner at our campsite. Everyone brought food and once again we enjoyed each others company, shared stories, amazing food and S’Mores for dessert. After all, you can’t go camping without making S’Mores! As the night went on, we once again had an uninvited visitor, our friend the racoon. This time he grabbed our trash can and tried to take it under our coach. So once again, everyone grabbed everything and ran. It was pretty funny.

It rained during the night, this time the light pitter patter of the rain, was very loud. But that’s ok, just part of exploring.

The events of the day were rain or shine, so we got out our raincoats and off we went. The weather cleared just in time. Some went on a 4 1/2 mile guided hike on the trails to several canyons and waterfalls. It was beautiful. Others went on a boat ride and a shorter hike. It was a bit muddy, but we didn’t care. It is a beautiful area.

Some of the coaches left a little early because of the rain, but there were 6 of us that stayed. We gathered for dinner, a potluck of leftovers. We were all a little tired of being in the warm weather, so luckily we had a Unity FX there and the 6 of us loaded in the FX and had dinner…with lots of room too!

Not only do we love our Unity IB, but we love all the friends we are making along the way. Someone at the rally said, “we don’t care if it rains, we are having fun getting to know our new LTV friends”. That sums it up well. You are never alone when you travel with LTVers.

Buffalo Round Up

Today was the well anticipated Buffalo Round Up at Custer State Park. We woke up to the cool, crisp morning air and were ready to go at 5:30 am. We started to work our way though the campground and a convoy of Unitys formed. A total of 8 of us caravanned the 45 minute drive to the Buffalo Round Up. As we drove in the dark, the parade of lights from our coaches lit up the highway. It was a sight to see. As other cars approached, you could see the amazement in their faces as they saw us.

We continued to drive the winding roads, and as we got closer, I was able to see for myself in the sideview mirror what everyone seeing. These 8 LTV’s rounding the curves in the road of the wildlife loop. It was a sight to see.

It wasn’t long before we arrived at the parking area. I jumped out of the coach to get a picture of the arrival. The parking attendant was almost giddy with excitement to see us. She had lots of questions for me. And in the distance I heard the other 2 parking attendance say, “yea, that’s cool…they are all staying at the North Stockade Campground”…I guess we do make a statement where ever we travel.

The sun was starting to rise as we all exited our coaches. Time for more pictures. You could feel the excitement in the air, and a few yawns too. But it will be worth it when we see those buffalo running to the corral. We grabbled our backpacks and chairs and headed off to find the perfect viewing location along with 15,000 of our closest friends.

We climbed the hill and found the perfect spot to view the round up. Now to get set up and pass a little time…the buffalos were not expected to arrive until about 10:30. We sat back (the best we could in a chair on a hill) and exchanged ideas, stories and got to know each other better. Part of the fun of owning a Leisure Travel Van.

As the arrival of the buffalos grew closer…we could see something in the distance. Is it finally starting? But to our amazement, it was just 2 buffalos. LOL I guess they decided not to participate in the stampede. They arrived without the rest of their other 1298 buffalo friends. They were majestic beasts, standing tall as if they knew we were all there to see them. As we were watching them, we saw something coming over the hill…the crowd grew with excitement once again. Finally (we thought), the stampede begins. And what do we see…about a dozen burros coming over the crest of the hill. They stopped as to take a bow. The crowd laughed. I couldn’t help but think they felt a little left out. Weren’t we all there just for them!

We were beginning to think the buffalos didn’t get the memo that the round up was today, or maybe they did and they decided not to participate this year. We have been seeing the cowboys on their horses and the 4 wheel vehicles…but still no buffalo.

Then finally…we started to see dust floating in the air just above that hill…here they come 1300 buffalo running down the hill and into the pasture.

You could hear the cowboys hooting and hollering as they snap their whips as they herded them to the corral.

These majestic creatures were running right in front of us. It’s not every day you get to see this. After they were safe into the corrals, you could go down to the corral and see them up close and personal. This is an event that everyone needs to attend.

It was an early morning but well worth it. After it was over, we headed back to the parking area. You could see a line of cars as far as the eye could see. We all decided to sit tight, grab some snacks and exchange each others company. It is so nice to have a home on wheels where you can enjoy all the comforts of home while you wait out the traffic jam.