COLUMNISTS

Braving the weather for a stunning view

Susan Manzke
Susan heading up the Eagle Tower ramp.

I’d estimate that 95% of my time is spent at home, puttering and writing. My children like to mix things up for me so I don’t become a complete hermit.

Last Saturday, my daughter Rebecca and her husband Andy asked if I wanted to go for a drive to Door County. My daughter needed to restock her copper tree creations at Jacksonport Cottage Gift Shop in Jacksonport. Since I was free, I decided to go along for the ride.

Even though I wasn’t expecting to leave the car, much less hike, on the way out of the house, I grabbed earmuffs and gloves. It was cold and windy so if something unforeseen happened I was prepared.

The gift shop had an assortment of arts and crafts which I perused, buying a Christmas gift. After we left the shop, Andy drove north to a shop in Sister Bay only to discover it closed for the season.

On the way south again, I was asked if I would like to take a detour through Peninsula State Park. I thought that was a fun idea. All I had to do was sit and gaze out the window at the Door County scenery.

As we rode through the park, I heard of excursions, golfing, and camping Rebecca and Andy had done in past years.

Suddenly Eagle Tower was standing before us. I had forgotten this was here and open. Of course, we had to stop.

No close parking spaces were at the foot of the tower so Andy dropped me and Rebecca off and parked a little farther down the road.

Andy and Rebecca going up the Eagle Tower ramp n Peninsula State Park.

Rebecca said we could start up the ramp, that Andy would catch up.

With a long, winding 850-foot ramp, Eagle Tower is now handicap accessible. The ramp was perfect for me. I could meander along its length, looking at the scenery. Andy did catch up before we were a quarter of the way up.

It sure was a good thing I had worn a heavy jacket and brought gloves and earmuffs. The brisk wind made the cold day feel very chilly. Too bad Rebecca and Andy hadn’t brought extra winter gear. They made me feel guilty that I had mine and none to share with them.

Visitors ranged from the young to the old. No one needed to use a wheelchair for the ascent, though I’m sure many have and more will in the years to come.

The reconstructed tower replaced the one built in 1932 — and dismantled in 2016 — and stands at 60 feet high. While that's 15 feet shorter than the last tower, it still offers panoramic views of the park, nearby islands and Upper Michigan shoreline. 

At the top of the tower, the wind could almost blew me over. I made a short video which I shared on my blog. I would have stayed longer, except for the cold wind.

Susan and her daughter Rebecca braving the cold and the wind at the top of Eagle Tower in Peninsula State Park.

It would have been nice if the trees weren’t so bare. Autumn must have given a great show there. Still, I think any day of the year would be a good one to go to the top of Eagle Tower.

We didn’t take the ramp going down. Instead, we took the stairs. I have less trouble going downstairs than going up. I just have to watch my step and hold the handrail—arthritis has taken its toll on my joints.

The day clouded over as we drove home. Lunch was hamburgers and then home for me. It wasn’t a long trip. We left around eight and I was home by two.

It sure was a nice day for a ride. Walking up Eagle Tower made it extra special.

Now I await spring when I’m asked again to join a drive to Door County and venture back up the tower that overlooks the waters of Green Bay. That day will be a special one, too.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net/blog.