Day Tripping with the RV-10 to Door Co. Wisconsin

Added 6/16/09

Heading in a similar direction as our June weekend to Mackinac Island in 2007, we were looking for a quick place to go to enjoy a one-day trip.  A few years ago we actually took this trip to Door Co. in our old plane, but it wasn't nearly as quick as in the RV-10.  For those who don't know, Door Co. Wisconsin is one of our many tourist trap areas of the state.  The peninsula lies East of Green Bay, and is famous for many things including it's cherry picking.  It's an awesome place for hiking, biking, boating, camping, and much more.

So after sleeping in late, you get a shorter day to enjoy, but the RV-10 really made it a breeze.  We quick dropped off the mutt, loaded up the kids and a minimal amount of geek toys, and just headed out.  The flight was 199nm, and due to our little side tasks ended up taking about an hour and a quarter give or take.  On the way over I stopped to play with my NavWorx ADS-B a little, watching some targets on the screen while doing circles, and then we made the short over-water hop over the bay.

When we arrived at the Ephraim-Gibraltar Airport 3D2, we were greeted by a guy who turned out to be real nice, named John.  I didn't know exactly what to expect, but after reading things about 3D2, I at least had an idea that I wasn't going to be in too awful bad a predicament.  Last time I was there I rented a car, which was a breeze.  We had a baby at the time, and one toddler, so a car worked out well.  The problem is, I didn't want to spend the time and effort and money to rent a car on this trip as part of the pre-planning.  I wanted to just go there and see what I could manage.  I had read that there were bikes available, and I measured off the walk and knew that worst case I could walk to town or the park where we had planned to hike or bike.  Well, John was nice enough to ask questions and give advice for a couple minutes.  We could rent a car, we could use their courtesy car, we could borrow some bikes (although they didn't have any small ones for our youngest), or we had one other good option....   There are many restaurants in that area, and many of them are happy to come and pick you up at the airport for free, and drop you off when you're done....and, one in particular was located right next door to a bike rental place....BINGO!!   So with that as our plan, we were ready to go!

One big note: If you're planning on flying in to 3D2, make sure you check out their website:
They have an awesome little idea for promoting public acceptance of our flying habit, in that they give you a strip of stickers that say "we flew in to 3D2" and when you purchase things in the area, you stick them on your receipts. That way the local businesses KNOW that the airport is doing their personal economy some good.  It is a really cool way to keep the public happy about aviation!

Above is the Gibraltar Grill.  Tom, the owner of the Gibraltar Grill was very very nice and personally picked us up at the airport and brought us to his restaurant for lunch.  Notice in the 4th photo above, you will see the bike rental place, Nor Dor Sport & Cyclery, which is right next door to them across the grass.  Nor Dor has all sorts of bicycles available for rent.  As you can see in the photos below, we rented a couple of Tandem bikes, for $12/hr.  The food at the Gibraltar Grill, by the way, was excellent.  They aren't a breakfast shop, but are open for Lunch and Dinner and have a great outdoor bar area.  It's an awesome little place that Tom built a few years ago from the ground up.
Just some general pictures of the bike ride around the state park.  The park has miles and miles of biking, hiking, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling trails for use year round.  We biked around the shoreline of the park to the bay at the far end.  Nothing too fancy....I actually enjoy the hiking even better, but it was a nice getaway.
You can see Nor Dor's sign above, and then next door we ran into a strange sight.....Stella Maris Parish of St. Paul's Catholic Church.  Hmmm, wasn't Stella Maris where we stayed in the Bahamas!?!?!
One other attraction out in Door Co. is a little Frozen Custard shop called "Not Licked Yet", where Andrea worked while in college.  A nice little place by a small stream where you can hang out for a short stop.  Below are photos from the departure.  You can see the grass strip in the photos, along with the main runway. 
Just some additional photos from the trip home.  With Andrea doing her flight lessons, I decided it was my time to snuggle up with the little one for a while and let her do the hard work of keeping the airplane pointed at home base.  All in all it was a relaxing day, and with the RV-10 we took about 9 hours of drive time down to 2.5 hours of flight time.  It makes for a great way for time-conscious families to get a little together time packed into a day.

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