Yes this weekend has been Labor Day here. The 'official end of summer'. And after a brilliant day out today we rode home. The roads were quiet, the shops shut up, motels and B&B's deserted, and there was a twinge of sadness that this was the end. Not for us - we aren't going back to school after the summer vacation tomorrow, neither are we back to work tomorrow after the long weekend but the atmosphere was there and I was affected. It just seemed so SAD. After having driven out round the peninsula the last few days it's been buzzing with people, everywhere was busy and the sun has been shining. But purely down to a date on the calender it's the 'end of summer' The people have gone but the sun's still shining. I feel like we're the last ones to leave the party. In England we don't seem to have this same 'defined' summer season - no, we just grab every last ray of sunshine we can get ahold of and milk it (Even if it is November!). It's more noticeable here in the Northern States. A lot of business are advertising their reduced hours starting this week - many only open for the weekend now. Several hotels were already closed for tonight (taking a break after their hectic weekend?) and restaurants were quiet as we cruised on by. And the campground - as we turned the corner on our 'road' we were the ONLY ones left (it was full when we left this morning!). Ah, and so to summer - we shall raise our glasses and salute a fine season!! Goodbye summer 2007.
But today we did have a GREAT day out! We rode to the tip of the peninsula on the motorbike and caught a ferry over to Washington Island. A 7 mile ride got us from one side to the opposite and there we parked the bike and took ANOTHER ferry over to Rock Island State Park (it's a Wisconsin state park right - you KNOW it's gonna be good!!) It's a 900 acre island that is inaccessible to motorised vehicles. Just pure, natural nothing! Very peaceful, just us, a handful of other day trippers and some deer crashing through the woods (they were making the most noise!). We hiked round the 6 mile loop around the shoreline. Stopping at the old turn of the century (the one before last!) lighthouse and visited the restored keepers cottage (we've been to a few lighthouses lately on the Great lakes and I have to say - they had SERIOUSLY nice houses - huge, and inevitably GREAT views!) There was also a beautiful stretch of sand dunes and sandy beach. Took a quick dip in Lake Michigan before heading back to the ferry dock to catch the last boat home.