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Old 09-11-2011, 10:14 AM   #16
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Segment 4 - Greenbush to Whistling Straits

Elkhart Lake and the surrounding area was the scene of open road racing back in the early 1950s. Courses were laid out on local county roads.

Seems like after WWII there was a lot of interest in racing. The local road courses ranged in length from three to seven miles.

Some big names in racing ran here.

After the tragic death of a child in Watkins Glen, NY, open road racing moved to private tracks.

Nearby Road America was one of the tracks that formed after the end of open road racing. It has been operating since about 1955 and hosts about 400 events a year including bike events like the AMA Superbike Series.

The course is known for great design and safety. The main loop has 14 turns in a little over 4 miles with a lot of elevation changes.

Nearby Sheboygan Marsh is on the route.

Climb a tower and take a look around.

Looks like it is a little short on marsh right now and the boat landings seem unused at the moment.

As you ride through Plymouth you will see several of these murals celebrating Plymouth's heritage.

Some interesting historic buildings in town.

This old mill has been converted to living spaces.

Kohler is the home of Kohler Company. It is a community formed around the manufacturing plant. When the founder moved his plant four miles out into the country away from the labor force people figured he was done. I guess he wasn't.

Kohler Company was founded by an immigrant in the 1870s. He started out making small castings.

In 1883, Kohler developed some enamel powder and sprinkled it over some of his hot castings. His new product, a horse trough/hog scalder, could also be used as a bath tub by adding legs. He made it his flagshp product.

Today Kohler makes kitchen and bath fixtures, furniture and tile, engines and generators, and is in the golf and resort business. They have a design center you can tour that features a wall of porcelin commodes of varying styles and types.

The American Club, on the Kohler grounds, is now a luxury resort/spa type deal that is affiliated with a couple of top tier golf courses.

It was originally built has housing for immigrant workers. Pretty nice.

As I passed by one of the older factory buildings, I couldn't help but notice the hot and smelly air venting from the windows. I guess that is the nature of this type of manufacturing. Beautiful looking old building though.

Waelderhaus was a Kohler project. It was built to remind him of the old country. Ornate carvings and metalwork.

This old school house in Sheboygan is still set up as it was in 1876. You can take a seat and experience education/cirriculum as it was back then.

As I looked around this site I was reminded about what a big deal it was for a circus to come to town.

Pierhead light.

Coal fired power plant. There are two nuke plants up the shore that have a much less intrusive footprint.

The Lottie Cooper was a lake vessel that was built in a shipyard in Manitowoc in 1876. It was 131 feet long and 27 feet wide and was about 250 gross tons. This is the kind of ship that was used in commerce on the Great Lakes for many years.

This ship sank in a storm trying to get into Sheboygan.

They used to pour salt through holes in the hull so that it would mix with the bilge water and help preserve the wood.

A ship like this took about four months to build. Craftsmen worked on it outside everyday until it was done.

When the city went to build a harbor a while back, they found the wreck and decided to bring it up and display it.

Another wreck nearby was more tragic. This boat was loaded with coffee, sugar, molasses, hardware, and immigrants.

The story is that the Captain injured his leg and was confined to his cabin leaving the ship in charge of someone else. During a stop in nearby Manitowoc the crew got drunk. While sailing to Sheboygan, some of the passengers noticed something wrong with the engines and tried to notify the crew. One guy, who was knocked down by a drunken crew member, was essentially told to mind his own business. The ship caught fire and burned in sight of Sheboygan. It burned so brightly it lit up the night. Two small lifeboats were launched that saved 42 people including the Captain. One lifeboat eventually returned to the burning ship from shore and picked up three more survivors. The rest already burned to death on the ship or died in the water from drowning or the cold. Some tried to climb the rigging to escape the fire and burned to death there. Anyone going into the water in November would soon die from exposure.

Whistling Straits is a newer golf course right along the shore of Lake Michigan.

The inside of the clubhouse if pretty magnificent.

In 2004 they held a PGA Championship here. Vijay Singh won.

Before the course was built, this was a featureless airstrip. 800,000 yards of dirt and sand later, we have a championship course.

The course has two miles and eight holes hugging the lake.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:20 PM   #17
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Nice report - you're definetly selling me on my earlier decision to get out of Ohio and look for work in WI. Hoping it pans out soon because the report is making me jealous
I'm not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance."

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Old 09-11-2011, 03:55 PM   #18
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Segment 5 - Straits to Manitowoc

Manitowoc used to build ships. Now they build cranes and some other products like food service equipment.

This is a crane they were building around WWII.

This is some of the stuff they build now.

I'm not sure how some of this stuff supports it's own weight, much less make some of the extraordinary lifts they do.

Big rigs.

It takes five guys about twenty hours to assemble one of these cranes on site with the use of a helper crane.

For many years, ferries hauled trains across Lake Michigan to avoid congestion at Chicago. One of these is still in service as an auto ferry.

I've used this ferry on some of my other routes in the past. Someone from Michigan that wanted to ride Door County could grab this ferry from Ludington to Manitowoc.

I think this ferry was built in the 1950s. Most ships at that time were oil fired. Since the railroads had coal and the means to transport it, this one was still built to be coal fired. This semi backs into the ship and drops coal.

Fuel pile in downtown Manitowoc. There is a problem with being coal fired as the ship was designed to dump the inert ash into the lake as a slurry. People want to stop that.

Since the ferry took trains on board, it can take oversized cargo and road construction equipment and save people a lot of money by not having to go around the lake.

This breakwater lighthouse has been automated for years. Many of these have been sold (or are being sold) to private parties. No lawn to cut.

This big grain facility in town has Budweiser all over it. I wonder what the Miller folks think about that.

Manitowoc is the home of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. A worthwhile stop.

During WWII, they used to build submarines just up the river a bit. They would launch them sideways and then ship them to New Orleans on barges via the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. I think Manitowoc built something lijke 28 subs during the war.

This sub was built in Groton, but is representative of what was built here. The USS Cobia had a great war record sinking 13 Japanese vessels including a ship carrying a tank battalion and 28 tanks on it's way to reinforcing Iwo Jima. The Marines credited this sinking as very important in helping them take Iwo a few months later. In 1945 she was depth charged for eight hours in only 120 feet of water. She was blasted over twenty feet into the sea floor. She got away, even though she was heavily damaged.

In a running surface battle with two armed Japanese sea trucks, she lost a crewman (20mm gun loader).

For a while, the sub was stationed in Milwaukee with a reserve unit.

You can tour the sub and even sleep overnight on it. Much of the equipment has been restored to operating condition.

Burger Boats still has their headquarters here, although shipbuilding is no longer present in town. Burger builds luxury aluminum hulled yachts for the very rich. I think it was Burger that built some wooden hulled ships for the Navy for minesweepers. They also built the Phoenix, which we mentioned earlier in a tragic shipwreck tale.

Some of the old works along the river have been put to a new use.

Instead of ships, a company is building wind generator towers there.

These port towns used to be quite the industrial centers.

At first glance this looks like one of those ships that has been converted to a barge. The rear is shaped to accept a power unit like a tug to push the rest around the lake. Not sure if this is one of those or not though.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:36 PM   #19
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Segment 6 - Manitowoc to Two Rivers

Two Rivers has a new farm museum for those that might be interested.

The ice cream sundae was invented in this ice cream parlor. Back in 1881 some guy asked the proprietor to pour chocolate sauce over some ice cream he just ordered. Up until this time, chocolate sauce was used in chocolate sodas. The new concoction cost a nickel but the proprieter would only serve it on Sundays.

Eventually some whiney 10 year old kid demanded a sundae on a weekday. She pointed out that we could all just pretend it was Sunday. It all took off after that. The term "sundae" was used by a glassware salesmen when he put in an order for the special dishes used for the mix.

Someone thought it ws important to capture stuff related to wooden type and printing.

There is a fishing village exhibit along the river in town. This is the old lighthouse that was moved inland when it was replaced by a more modern and durable version.

The museum has fish shacks and a boat to look at.

There is still an active fishing fleet in town.

One of these got run over and sunk when the crew was busy working inside. Some thought it was a gas barge that hit the boat but I don't think they ever proved it.

Many of these harbor towns have small Coast Guard stations. Many look similar to this one prominently positioned in the harbor.

They had a boat I hadn't seen before on a trailer ready to respond if needed.

It looked like it had some fancy seats that would take a pounding on rough water.

A short while later I was pulling out of a gas station in town when a local cop waved me over to a parking lot. He asked me if I had been taking pictures by the Coast Guard Station. I told him I was and explained what I was doing with this motorcycle ride. He told me that the Coasties had called it in and he was following up. No issues. The Coasties were following procedures involving force protection and people that might be "casing the joint". Obviously I wouldn't post anything that would put anyone at risk. Everything you see here is in plain view right in the middle of town. In a minute or two I was on my way to get a sandwich based on a recommendation the cop made about a place he thought I'd enjoy in town. Good tip!

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Old 09-12-2011, 07:05 AM   #20
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Segment 7 - Two Rivers to Kewaunee

Required artillery picture.

Rawley Point lighthouse. This tower replaced one that was originally brought up from Chicago. It was installed in 1894. It stands 113 feet high and is the tallest of this type on the Great Lakes. Ships can see it for 28 miles.

Since the light is automated, the keeper's quarters are not used. Military personnel and retirees can inexpensively rent the quarters for a getaway.

Point Beach State Forest runs along the beach in this area.

It has a great campground just off the beach.

More Ice Age Trail.

Government boat?

Another Rustic Road. This one in the state forest.

A visit to a nuclear power plant.


Interesting displays at the visitor center.

This plant is undergoing some kind of refurb. There are three of these new transformers standing by. There are large temporary parking lots around with bus service to the plant. License plates indicate that the workers are from a wide range of states.

Since the place is a refuge of sorts, there are a lot of deer and turkeys around.

This is the next plant up the shoreline.

Another Rustic Road.

This one has a little gravel on it.

A fish processing facility. This one is seasonal. People are welcome to come and watch the technicians process fish. There are windows on the fish ladder that allow people to watch the fish migrate.

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Old 09-12-2011, 07:28 AM   #21
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Segment 7 continued

Kewaunee pierhead lighthouse.

Old courthouse/jail. Now a museum.

Classic gas station still in use.

Downtown street.

Since this wa a lumber town for a while, there was no shortage of sawdust. To manage mud in the streets, they use to put down 2-3 feet of sawdust each spring.

From the look of this hotel, this town had something going on at one time.

This Corps of Engineers tug hauled ammunition barges across the English Channel in support of the D-Day invasion during WWII.

This looks like an old lifesaving boat station.

They used to ferry railroad cars through here.

Some of those large rocks they use to build breakwaters.

Interesting to stand on a spot and think about someone coming through there in 1674.

I hope the light from the lighthouse didn't bother Marquette when he camped there.

Harbor entrance.

At one time they used to build ships here.

Lots of shipwrecks in the area as well. In October 1878, this ship left Chicago loaded with wheat bound for Buffalo, NY. A downbound ship loaded with fence posts rammed into the side of the wheat ship at about 4 AM. The ships remained locked together long enough for the crew of the wheat ship to scramble aboard the rammer. The wheat ship sank and is now a popular dive spot. It lies in about 110 feet fof water.

Winery in town.

This yacht looks interesting, but it also look like it is well past it's prime.

Another fishing boat on display.

Shipyards are gone now.

One notable ship that was built here was the USS Peublo. It was built as an Army cargo ship during WWII.

Sometime later, the Navy converted the vessel to a spy ship. It was captured by North Korea. The imprisoned crew famously gave the ADV salute in a picture the Koreans took which later earned them some more beatings.

Today the ship is a popular exhibit in North Korea.

This place maintained this novelty (working) clock and some other carvings. It looks like they just went out of business though.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:26 PM   #22
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Segment 8 - Sturgeon Bay

Turkeys can be a hazard like deer.

This pierhead lighthouse and foghorn mark the end of the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal.

Coast Guard station at the end of the canal.

Nice shore roads.

This is a replacement structure that was put in over a hundred years ago,

Response boat.

Back in the 1870s, somneone decided they needed to dig a canal to cut across the door peninsula instead have having to go around the tip through "death's door". A private outfit figured they could charge tolls. Eventually a canal was cut through a little over a mile of land and another five miles was dredged. It all worked out and was done by private companies without the government.

Some museum boat exhibits.

One version of how Sturgeon Bay got its name is that when an early discoverer came through the sturgeon (fish) were so thick in the bay you could walk on them.

Working tugs.

US Geological Survey research vessel.

Old Wisconsin DNR research vessel.

I think this is the new research boat. The DNR had a link to watch the progress of the boat being built on line. It was interesting to see the shipbuilding company fabricate the boat.

Door County has more shoreline and more lighthouses than any other county in the nation.

Bay Shipbuilding Company.

You might say they have a lot of overhead.

When I was here a few months ago the Coast Guard ice breaker was in the dry dock. I think that ultra-modern ice breaker was built here.

They had a documentary on ice breakers on television that featured this ship.

In the winter when shipping shuts down, these yards get pretty busy.

Fruit research.

They also have a bank of 5,000 samples of more than 150 potato species from around the world. Their job is to preserve these strains.

The usual farm exhibits.


Cannonshot screwed with this post 09-13-2011 at 02:27 PM
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:22 AM   #23
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Segment 9 - Sturgeon Bay to Cana Light

This Coast Guard station shares access to a public dock.

These Rustic Roads along the shore are great. Keep in mind that 10 pix like this get you a Rustic Roads motorcycle patch from the Wisconsin DOT.

This shore road is a fantastic ride!

Low lake levels in the past few years have made some launches and docks irrelevant.

Nice beach destination.

Nice park, but no beach. Just booming shoreline caves.

Built 120 years ago. Still uses the original pews, pulpit, altar rail, and reed organ.


Interesting point - needing farm land for the pastor.

Halfway point to the north pole.

Immigrants built this replica of a 15th century church.

Ornate structures with great craftsmanship.

Nice lunch stop.

Local biker gang in Bailey's Harbor.

More rustic riding.

Old range light. These were used to guide ships into the harbor without running aground or hitting the rocks. Kind of like an instrument approach.

This is the modern version with a daymark and light.

Another fish company.

I wonder how many of these are left.

Some of their boats.

Looking across the bay to Bailey's Harbor.

Still more rustic riding.

Cana Island lighthouse.

The attraction of visiting this lighthouse used to be that you had to wade through the lake to get there. Since the lake level is down, the causeway is dry.

Some adjustments for lower levels.

A nice bedrock beach.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:59 PM   #24
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nice report as usual...with excellent detail on what many people just blow by on a daily basis. thanks for the reminder of the history of this area.

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Old 09-13-2011, 02:06 PM   #25
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Thank's for your excellent RR and hard work in putting this together. You've just made my bucket list longer.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:41 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by ajmaki View Post
Nice report - you're definetly selling me on my earlier decision to get out of Ohio and look for work in WI. Hoping it pans out soon because the report is making me jealous
Hope it all works out the way you want. I guess about every state has some nice things to offer when we looka round a little.

Originally Posted by freeflow View Post
nice report as usual...with excellent detail on what many people just blow by on a daily basis. thanks for the reminder of the history of this area.

I agree about a lot of people not knowing much about what the are seeing. I learned a lot of stuff when I did the research for this ride. Kind of interesting when you look into it a little.

Originally Posted by OldSilverFox View Post

Thank's for your excellent RR and hard work in putting this together. You've just made my bucket list longer.

Mark, come on over. One option would be to take the ferry to Manitowoc and tour the Door from there. Then ride back over the top of the lake on your way home.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:58 PM   #27
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Segment 10 - Cana to Washington Island Pt I

Washington Island

Log cabin sushi place.

The usual early settler stuff.

These township parks often appear where a road runs up to the lake. Some of them of pretty nice. Worth visiting.

This wilderness park has a lot of nice hiking trails.

Another nice township park. This one is embedded in a state park.

Just before this highway runs out at the tip of the peninsula, there is a long series of winding curves. Very entertaining.

Car ferry to Washington Island. Bike and rider round trip was $27.

Pretty calm today. Centerstand and no tie downs.


Leaving the dock.

Pilot Island lighthouse. The trees look denuded. Might be that cormorants took it over.

Plum Island range light.

Cargo for the island. Things ranged from hydraulic oil to library books, to lab samples.

This looks like an old lifesaving station.

Nice to see that the ferry was a local project.

Something I haven't seen before was these lights on the buoys.

A few other ferries around for peak periods.

Landing at Washinton Island.

Aerial of the island.
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:04 AM   #28
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its all a hoax, none of this stuff exists

but if it did, i've smelled most of those roses shown.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:54 AM   #29
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Segment 10 - Cana to Washington Island Part II

Washington Island has one of those immigrant built churches that recreate those of the 15th century.

Washington Island airport.


More local shoreline parks.

Fantastic shore road riding.

Part of Rock Island State Park.

The boathouse on Rock Island State Park. No vehicles are allowed there. You can take a ferry over and hike around though.

Rock Island. Just to the NE of Washington Island.

The ferry that will get you and your backpack to Rock Island.

This mini landing craft is kind of handy.

I think I could enjoy something like that for some of my excursions on the Mississippi River.

Part of the harbor.

Steps leading to an observation tower. The tower climb is easy compared to these.

Going down wasn't much easier.

More local attractions.

Odd set up.

Nice bays.

More museum stuff.

The electric co-op for the island.

They bring power in from the mainland, but when that fails they have their own diesel electric generators to provide power.

A few tags around of course.

I think I took the 1400 ferry going over and the 1700 ferry going back. The trip is about 1/2 hour.

Pretty calm day.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:58 AM   #30
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Wonderful ride report. Really enjoyed it.
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