Flight Report – Door County, WI: Aviation Geeking and Glamping

Door County. This is a flight report I’ve been looking forward to writing for a loooooooong time =)

It had always been in our conversations as we’d dream about places to fly when the plane was finally done… We’d spent hours and hours on Google maps – dreaming about the trip.

“OOooh, look! There’s a cool beach right across from the airport!”

“And we could ride our bikes to Peninsula State Park!”

“And we could eat here, and here, and here and here!!!” (obviously, we love food)

With our July 4th weekend open and an airplane ready to go, we realized this, INDEED, was the time to make our long-sought-after trip a reality.

As we started pulling together the details however, we realized that lodging was going to be an issue. With a limited supply and LOTS of demand, even the Super 8 was going for $300+/night. Ick. The other item we put heavy thought into was last mile transportation. We decided on two great airports that were close to fun destinations: Ephraim Airport on the west side of Door County Peninsula and Washington Island Airport.

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The Ephraim airport was very close to the town of Ephraim and also a quick bike ride away from Fish Creek. Washington Island airport was relatively close to Schoolhouse Beach, but farther away from the town. Luckily, the airport managers of both the Ephraim AND Washington Island airports were both happy to let us camp next to our airplane if we wanted. 

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HAPPY DANCE!

To that end, we also recently purchased a new tent – the REI Kingdom 6 Tent. We tested it in the backyard, but this would be our first time camping with the tent (for reals!). More details and review of our camping equipment choices to come soon =)

So! After a ridiculously geeky shared OneNote doc for travel planning and packing, we were off on our long-awaited trip!

Door County Flight Report and Destination Summary

FRIDAY

Flight Stats: Red Wing, MN to Ephraim, Wisconsin (w/ unplanned stop in Menomonie, WI)
Origin Destination Flight Time Distance Fuel Burned Economy Altitude Ground Speed
KRGK KLUM 0h15 37nm 4.9g 12.2gph 7500 147kts
KLUM 3D2 1h18 205nm 15.7g 11.1 gph 7500 159kts

 

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After REALLY trying to be minimal with our gear, the above pic shows everything we packed in the RV-10 for the weekend. This includes food, tent, bedding, and all our clothes/necessities. I think EJ actually got to bring the most stuff here! Everything packed up nicely in the baggage compartment and we strapped the tent into the front seat.

After a SURPRISE STOP (you’ll see more about that in the Flight Report VLOG below!) in Menomonie, WI we were a little delayed in getting to Ephraim.

TRUTH: Okay, okay — we were delayed anyway and we’re blaming it on the kid. There.

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A beautiful night flight in the RV-10 and view of the instrument panel

So word to the wise… putting up a tent in the dark next to an airplane while wrangling a toddler that didn’t want to nap that day isn’t the most relaxing thing in the world. But in-between fits of craziness, when I had the chance to look up at the sky, I was amazed by the most beautiful view of the Milky Way I HAD EVER SEEN. Seriously.

With our airplane on one side and a cricket-chirping-grassland on the other, we had a peaceful nights rest.

SATURDAY

Good Morning, Beautiful!

After using the FBO facilities to freshen up we ventured out to find some grub. Luckily, the airport van was available!

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Breakfast verdict? The Chef’s Hat in Ephraim. A cute little gem voted high by Yelpers. No wonder. Try the Matzke or Southwest Scramble. You will not be disappointed. They have cute little gardens and an outside patio.

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Right across from The Chef’s Hat is a walk-out area into the lake. I couldn’t get over how crystal-clear the water is here!

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On the way back to the airport we rented a bike trailer from Nor Door Sport and Cycle in Fish Creek. Ephraim Airport had free bikes for use. We spent the afternoon biking around Peninsula State Park. A number of hills gave us a good workout, but it was worth it. The lookouts along the trails were fantastic!

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After some beach time and sandcastle making at Nicolet Beach (and more bike riding!) we were famished and looking for some more yums.

And then like water in a dessert was … The Wild Onion situated perfectly at the end of our bike trail.

Not only was the was the wood-fired pizza awesome, but they brought out some “play” (pizza) dough for EJ to play with. INGENIOUS! After the pizza we topped it off with some dessert at Not Licked Yet Frozen Custard. This is like the Fish Creek child-mecca. They have a HUGE playground that EJ adored.

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I also thought the Marigolds lining city streets in Fish Creek were a cute, beautiful pop of color.

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To top off a great day, EJ also went to his FIRST DRIVE IN MOVIE. We took the Ephraim Airport Van and had a blast with Dory and Nemo!

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SUNDAY

Breakfast Day 2? Blue Horse Beach Cafe. My favorite of the whole trip. Breakfast sandwich heaven and divine coffee. A cool atmosphere overlooking the water. I liked it so much I picked up a mug to remember the spot.

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After filling our tummies we packed up camp and headed to the skies for an aerial tour of the tip of Door County. We even saw a shipwreck from the sky =)

Flight Stats: Ephraim, WI to Washington Island, WI (Sightseeing Flight)
Origin Destination Flight Time Distance Fuel Burned Economy Altitude Ground Speed
3D2 2P2 0h30 60 nm 5.2 g 7 gph 2000′ 120 kts

 

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Peaceful and wild grasslands of Washington Island

No airport vehicles were available so we brought out the trusty B.O.B and walked to a little heritage village.

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And spent the afternoon at Schoolhouse Beach – which turned out to be the coolest thing ever! No sand to get stuck in your swimsuit. Endless rock skipping stones! My favorite beach of the trip. It was also really neat learning about the geological reason for the stones. Just remember to bring some footwear ’cause those stones hurt the feetsies!

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And with that we were a tired, ready-to-come family, feeling like we fully explored a little piece of Door County!

Flight Stats: Washington Island, WI to Red Wing, MN
Origin Destination Flight Time Distance Fuel Burned Economy Altitude Ground Speed
2P2 KRGK 2h02 292 nm 23.7 g 10.7 gph 8500′ 144 kts

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…and without further ado, the DOOR COUNTY FLIGHT REPORT VLOG!