Sunday, November 14, 2010

Washington Island Tour Report


After a delicious breakfast at Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay, five "Little 'Birds' departed for Northport Pier to catch the ferry that would take us to Washington Island. Before boarding, a couple of guys decided that they needed a snack for the long six-mile trek across Lake Michigan. The air was brisk, but we enjoyed a pleasant ride to Washington Island. Once there, we met Janet who would be our tour guide on the Cherry Train. She didn't know how lively nine T-Birders could be! Our first unscheduled stop on our adventure was the Red Cup. Their wide assortment of delicious coffee, teas, and hot chocolate was a hit for all on the Cherry Train. Tom graciously treated Janet to her favorite cup of coffee.

We began our tour at the Double K-W Ostrich & Exotic Animal Farm. We were given information about the characteristics of an ostrich and all had a chance to hold an ostrich egg that was quite large. Animals on the premises included a camel, a bear, a potbelly pig, and some other animals as well. All visitors have a chance to purchase an ostrich stick (resembles beef jerky) as they leave.

Our next stop was the Schoolhouse Beach with its distinctive all-white limestone rocks that are totally smooth. One can enjoy this unique beach along with the crystal clear water of Lake Michigan. Just don't try to remove these precious stones-a fine of $250 for each rock taken!
Our journey continued on to the Washington Island Farm Museum that was founded for the enjoyment and education about farm life on the island. Some of the original six buildings include a log cabin, blacksmith shop, weaving shed, and sawmill. Very old farm machinery and primitive hand tools were displayed in an old barn. The farm sits on three acres and there are also some live animals on the premises. The final stop on our tour was visiting Stavkirke (Church of Staves). It was designed to look like one built in Borgund, Norway in 1150. This is a very unique church of Scandinavian heritage that was built and constructed by craftsmen under the guidance of the Trinity Lutheran Church. Services are held here each Wednesday evening during the summer. The prayer path, or walkway, to the church consisted of all wooden planks.
We were running a few minutes behind our scheduled time to return, but the ferry waited for the Cherry Train to return to the port before departing. Jokingly, they told us "It was time for us to leave!"

Those on the tour were Len and Mary Keil, Tom and Judy Bruin, Ken and Kathy Smizinski, Bob Sroka and Lloyd and Joan Schellin.

Joan Schellin

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