Why You’ll Love Biking the Backroads of Sister Bay

Door County is a biker’s paradise

Remember that feeling you had as a kid, when you got on your bike and you were absolutely free?! Well, I have discovered that feeling again – as a grown up, biking Door County Wisconsin’s backroads, where there are no stoplights, and you can just ride… I have gotten lost countless times, and in doing so discovered something I really love. Biking gives you a perspective you cannot get from behind the wheel of an automobile. You can go at your own pace and take in beautiful scenery that would get overlooked flying by at 60 mph. You don’t observe things quite the same way through a car window, as you do while riding a bike.

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“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” – Lewis Carroll

If you’re not familiar with Door County, it’s a narrow peninsula in northeastern Wisconsin, dotted with picturesque small towns and more than 3oo miles of rocky shoreline. The inland is mostly farms, fields, stands of trees and miles of winding open road, making it the perfect place for biking! Cell service can be spotty up here though, and it is easy to lose your way. I have have mapped a route for intermediate bikers highlighting choice spots in Sister Bay, that will keep you off busy roads, and offer a glimpse of what makes this place so unique. Hopefully, you will embrace the spirit of adventure, take a detour and discover something noteworthy and new.

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Hwy Q > Woodcrest Road > Old Stage Road

This 16 plus mile loop takes you from the eastern edge of Ephraim, to the back roads of Sister Bay. We’ll begin at the intersection of 57 and Q where there is a cluster of little shops and galleries worth checking out before or after your ride. Cloud Nine Juice Bar and Cafe, newly opened in July 2017, is located here and is quickly becoming one of my favorites! From the intersection, head east on Hwy Q for about a mile, and take a left on Woodcrest Road. After a mile hang a right on Old Stage Road and follow that for a steady four miles curving left around the bend. As you roll along, notice how big the sky feels with nothing to obstruct your view, and become utterly immersed in the sights and sounds around you.

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Old Stage Road > Hwy ZZ

Take a right on Hwy ZZ, which will send you over to the ‘lake side.’ This will be a gentle incline, no big hills on this ride, although there are many in Door County, particularly on Hwy 42. After about a mile, look for North Bay Road Farms, a quaint little roadside produce stand. Depending on the season, you might score veggies picked fresh from nearby fields, or a bouquet of sunflowers – I hope you brought a backpack, and cash. It’s the honor system, so dollar bills will come in handy too.

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Why ZZ > Waters End Road

As you round the curve and head north up Hwy ZZ, you may want to consider taking a little detour and stopping for a swim at Sand Bay Town Park, one of the less well-known (read: ‘no tourists’) beaches in the area. This is the halfway point, and most scenic location on the route to take a break, even if just to enjoy the view of Lake Michigan. Instead of turning left on Waters End Road, go right for an easy mile and a half, and look for the signs to Sand Bay. You will most likely have the place to yourself! Take my advice and bring a blanket and a swim suit. This is a lovely spot to chill, and let the sound of waves lull you into a relaxed state, while you soak up some sunshine.

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Waters End Road > Old Stage Road > Woodcrest Road

When you’re ready to press on, head west (away from the water) on Water’s End Road for about a mile and a half and turn left, or south down Old Stage Road. When you get to Hwy ZZ turn right. Keep your eye out for the farm with all the goats, you can’t miss it because there are at least thirty of them (and llamas too!) and they bleat, which can sound like babies crying. On this stretch you will continue to coast gently downhill past the most beautifully maintained barns and orchards. Hang a left on Woodcrest Road at the red barn, which almost looks surreal, like a picture postcard.

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Woodcraft Road > Old Stage Road > Orchard Road

You might be tempted to stop and take photos at this intersection, but you’ll lose the momentum needed to climb the upcoming hill. There is no shame in walking your bike, and fear not, the end is in sight. Press on, and turn right on Old Stage, and then left on Orchard, and right on Q again, where you will recognize your surroundings. You are back where you started, hopefully having fallen in love with the beauty of Sister Bay!

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Orchard Road > Hwy Q > Hwy 57

At this point, I’d recommend anything on the menu at Cloud Nine Juice Bar & Cafe, because you have certainly earned it! It’s a wonderful place to refuel and revitalize with organic, locally sourced, non-GMO fruit and cold pressed veggie juices and smoothies. The young couple who owns it is expanding their menu, and making it their mission to spread the word about clean eating. Relax in the serene minimalist setting inside or outside by the garden, and be sure to check out the stunning photography on display, while you ‘get your juice on.’

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I hope you enjoy the ride, and above all… the journey! Check back soon to see more featured routes in Sister Bay, Fish Creek, Ephraim and Baileys Harbor ~ and leave a comment if you have suggestions, or a destination you’d like to see incorporated into a route. I’ll scope it out! Please also remember to stay hydrated, and wear a helmet.

Satellite map & links:

https://www.cloudninecafedc.com

https://doorcountypulse.com/far-from-the-madding-crowd-liberty-grove-town-parks/

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Why You’ll Love Biking the Backroads of Sister Bay

To Wear or Not to Wear……Clothing for Photo Shoots

You’ve selected a photographer and a great location for family photos but what do you wear? Picking clothing for a photo shoot can be difficult and overwhelming especially when dealing with multiple people in the photo. Do you go casual or dressy and how do you keep it interesting and still have your family be the star of the photos.

Dressy or Casual?

Going casual or dressy is really a preference on what feeling you want to portray. If you want a classy, elegant feel to your photos, going dressed up is the way to go. If you want a more laid back, relaxed feeling then casual clothes is a better choice. Any location works with dressy or casual clothing options. It’s more of what you prefer.

Match Room Décor

There are several different ways to pick a color scheme for your clothing for photos. One is to pull colors from the room you are planning on hanging the photos in. If you have red and gray in the room, have accents of red in the photos to coordinate with the room design.

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Contrast Room Décor

Another way is to use a contrasting color to what colors in the room that you are going to use the photos. If you have yellow in your room décor, you can wear it’s contrasting color purple or have hints of purple in your photos.

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Pattern Mixing

Mixing patterns is a fun way to show your personality and keep the images interesting. Although you need to be careful mixing patterns (it can be distracting and a disaster if not done correctly), if done properly, it can add interest to the photos and look very polished and put together. Using large and small prints in the same color family is a great way to do this. For example, mixing a large plaid with a small flower pattern both in hues of blue can look awesome and interesting.

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Contrast Those Colors

If you want to make a bold statement with your photos, you can dress in contrasting colors, such as blue and orange or purple and yellow. Try to stick with contrasting colors on the color wheel so that your photos still look good. Pairing green and orange rarely works well. It does a make a bold statement but probably not the one you want.

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Oldie but Goody

If you are looking for timeless, classic photos, you can’t go wrong with black, red, white and gray. This color palette is good for holidays or if you are just looking for an easy, stylish color combination.

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Brighten Up Your Photos

When choosing bright colors, try to choose only one bright color and pair with neutrals to not have the clothing overshadow the people in the photo. Keep in mind the people are supposed to be highlighted in family photos not the clothing.

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Neutralize

The most versatile color combination for family outfits is to go all neutrals. Mixing creams, grays, tans and shades of blush look very soft and clean. Everyone looks good in these colors and its pretty fail proof to match neutrals.

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You matter most!! 

In the end, the most important thing to consider when selecting clothing for a photo shoot is that you feel comfortable and beautiful in whatever you’re wearing. The people and the memories are more important than the clothes that you choose.

C Avery Photography

Polyvore

To Wear or Not to Wear……Clothing for Photo Shoots

A Call to the Digital Generation: Print your Photos

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One of my favorite childhood memories is my mom taking me to Walmart to get our film developed. We would go to the photo department and drop off our film canisters, and then shop around the store for an hour until our images were ready to be picked up. It was like magic when we traded our last name for envelopes full of stacks of photos. We never waited until we got home to open them, and I can’t explain the thrill of flipping through the pictures right there as I leaned over the shopping cart. I am thankful for so many things my parents did for me and my brothers growing up, but the amount of photos they took and printed has to be up there with what I am most thankful for. My mom treated our camera like a sixth member of our family that we never went anywhere without, and she made sure to catch every moment. My dad always got incredible shots.

Now, we have around 30 shoeboxes filled with those photos, and more floating around in albums and frames. I can’t count the number of times I have carried all of the boxes into my bedroom where I’ve surrounded myself with piles of photos on the floor for hours on end, admiring the memories. And every time I have done this, in every different bedroom over the years and at every stage of life, looking at those photos is what makes me feel at home, even when everything around me changes.

In fifth grade, my mom and I picked out an Olympus digital camera for my dad’s birthday present, which is kind of a joke in my family because it only really belonged to him for the first five minutes after he unwrapped it. I was obsessed with the camera and took it everywhere with me. My mom’s film Kodak broke on a school field trip to a corn maze that she chaperoned for me in second grade, and our film Nikon stopped getting as much love. Now that things were digital in my family, Walmart’s one hour photo developing trips became a thing of the past. Since we could upload all of our photos to the computer, the hard drive became our shoe box. We only printed when we needed to.

Fast forward to present day. We are the generation of the iPhone, the goPRO, and digital cameras altogether. Advances in technology are amazing…but I’m scared. I’m scared of losing the shoebox generation. I want my kids to grow up laying on their bedroom floors laughing, crying and reminiscing on old photos like I did. And I don’t want my own memories to exist strictly in the digital realm post fifth grade. People are certainly taking more photos now than ever before, but those photos are living in hard drives and clouds. They are disappearing from walls, photo albums, and shoeboxes! I ask myself, am I overthinking this? Does it even matter?

Something happened in fall of 2016 that reminded me how important a physical photograph is. As we all know, polaroid cameras are making a comeback courtesy of FujiFilm in pastel colors, some even equipped with selfie mirrors. I was waiting in line at Hands On Art Studio in Door County with my mom, and a group of little kids came running into the front desk area. One of the girls had a yellow polaroid camera in her hand and I watched as she responded to the curious expression of her friend by saying, “It’s called a polaroid! It’s this cool new thing where you take a picture and it comes out of the top! There’s not even a screen!” The kids were beaming with excitement over this “new” invention, and couldn’t wait to take a photo and then hold it in their hands. I can’t explain how much it warmed my heart to watch that moment. That these kids were experiencing the excitement and suspense of setting up a photo you couldn’t delete, and then getting whatever was given after the shutter closed. Pictures matter. Yes, physical photographs matter. The magic I felt as a kid buried in those shoeboxes wasn’t a feeling unique to myself. Photos are magic for everyone.

Capturing memories for people is one is one of my life’s greatest purposes, and so will be encouraging you to PRINT YOUR PHOTOS! I believe the ways of the past and the present can coexist. I would be lying if I said I didn’t take 50 pictures on my phone every day, most that I don’t do anything with. My recommendation is this: don’t rely on your cell phone to be the only device that captures your memories. Don’t keep your images in the atmosphere. Buy a small mirrorless camera you can keep in your bag wherever you go. Make the time to get quality, printable, frame worthy photos taken of yourself, your family and your loved ones. Invest in a professional! They will provide you with quality photos that your great, great grandchildren will be thankful you had taken.

So what are your options for printing? There are many great online labs that you can upload your digital files to, giving you a plethora of options for prints and products to get as creative as you want with turning your files into tangible products. Nations Photo Lab is a user friendly website that offers everything from albums to prints to mugs to coffee table books, and more. If you are a photographer and are searching for a lab to work with for creating your client products, White House Custom Color will work closely with you to perfect your color calibration, and provide you with top notch products and samples so you can grow your business. And when it comes time to store your prints, Hanging Branch offers custom engraved photography packaging on beautiful handmade wooden boxes.

In this day and age, all it takes is forgetting to back up your phone one day and then dropping it into a toilet the next to lose it all.

I’ve never seen 30 shoeboxes get flushed down the toilet, have you? Ha, ha.

But really.

When you peak into the bedroom of your kids giggling at a photo, arguing about who the naked baby in the bath tub is, or you show your grandmother with dementia images from her past that light up her eyes like you haven’t seen in years, or when you are feeling lonely, nostalgic, or lost in this life, and you notice the shoebox under your bed at just the right moment, you will understand why.

With love,

Audrey

A Call to the Digital Generation: Print your Photos