July 5-6, 2021 We found goats on the roof!

The day started off hot just like the previous few days as we left Green Bay to go to Door County.  Door County is a peninsula known for its natural beauty, charming small coastal towns and miles of lakefront with Green Bay on one side and Lake Michigan on the other.  It had been a hot few days and we need a shower so I booked us a night at Peninsula State Park in Door County.  Our first stop was town Sturgeon Bay where we had lunch at Sonny’s restaurant.  It had a lovely view of the water and the portions were huge.  We got a loaded Tater Tot appetizer, a salad and meatball sandwich for the three of us and we couldn’t finish it all, taking most of the meatball sandwich to go.  After lunch we took a quick walk around but it was too sunny and hot to go far.

As we left Sturgeon Bay the clouds suddenly rolled in and it started raining.  The change was so sudden we could see steam coming off the road.   By the time we got Peninsula State Park it was cool and still raining.  The park was lovely with roads going through heavy forest and along the bay shore.  Although most of the shoreline was rocky there were a couple of beaches and there were some waterfront campsites.  Ours spot was a row back from the water and surrounded by forest.  It was a nice flat spot with a fire pit but no hookups.  This was fine since we didn’t need electricity and there was a great dump station with potable water nearby.  Since the weather was cloudy and still sprinkling we just closed up and did some homeschooling and dinner before going to bed.

Morning dawned overcast but at least it wasn’t raining.  We had breakfast in Rover and then we went to the nearby beach. The weather was not good for swimming but good for bicycling so Holly and Olivia rented some bikes to go exploring the park while I went to the dump station to dump and refill our water. Holly and Olivia had a real good time biking along the wooded trails and after returning the bikes we drove through the park a bit to a huge wooden lookout tower with a great view of the forest and water.

Leaving the park we quickly arrived at the town of Ephraim.  The signature dish of Door County is called a fish boil and one of the famous places to try a fish boil was the Old Post Office restaurant in Ephraim.  Fish Boils are served for dinner so we just made a quick stop to make a reservation before continuing north to the town of Sister Bay.

There we saw a building with a real grass roof and live goats on the roof.  We had to stop and take a look.  This turned out to be Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant.  In Sweden, some buildings have grass roofs to help provide extra insulation and so they send goats up to the roof eat the grass.  We went to the outdoor beer garden attached to the restaurant and had a couple of drinks to admire the goats.  It was a pretty good shtick and I am surprised there are not more restaurants with goats on the roof. 

Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant is more famous for what is on top of the restaurant than what is on top of it’s plates.
It was a great day, good weather and goats on the roof, what more could one want?
The roof is made from real grass and gets eaten by real goats!

After a few hours it was time go back to the Old Post Office restaurant for our 5:00 PM reservation. We arrived an hour early to ensure that we got a good parking spot.  A Fish Boil is actually quite simple.  They take a big pot of salt water and boil potatoes and onions over an open fire. When the potatoes and onions are almost done they add local whitefish for 8 minutes.  When fish is done they add some kerosene to fire which makes a huge fire which causes the pot to boil over and burns off the oily foam. 

Wisconsin Fish boil is simple and delicious.
When the pot boils over the oil on top hits the fire and there is a huge eruption of flames!

At 4:30 all the guests gathered outside to watch the pot boil and the impressive blast of fire when they added the kerosene.  It had started raining but that didn’t affect the large fire under the pot.  After the boil over we all went inside to a rather nice dining room where they served the fish, potatoes and onions with sides of coleslaw, pumpkin bread and rolls followed by cherry pie for dessert.  Olivia, who doesn’t like fish, had chicken fingers.  I wasn’t expecting too much since the fish was simply boiled but with some melted butter, lime and spice the fish was quite good, soft and flakey and not at all fishy. 

Tender fish, potatoes, onion, cole slaw and bread, a classic Wisconsin Fish Boil.

We wanted to visit Washington Island at the tip of the Door County peninsula so although the rain continued we drove to the ferry port and found a found a nice woodsy parking lot where we turned in for the night.

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