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  • Michael Hayes

Base Camp: 45° North & Porte des Morts

Updated: May 7, 2021

They call it Door County, the Wisconsin peninsula that juts like a thumb out into Lake Michigan. A ship's canal cuts the peninsula in half well to the south at Sturgeon's Bay, so it's really an island. Jimmy and I came here a lot growing up, even before the travel magazines had branded Door County the 'New England of the Midwest', and the inevitability of tourists and traffic. That's not to say it was ever really wild, at least not wild enough for Jimmy. But we got our fill of sailing and fishing and diving on the old wrecks along the rugged coastline and out in the notorious Porte Des Morts Strait that separates mainland from Washington Island. Jimmy moved on when Door County, in his words, became too civilized. The Hayes branch of the family hung on. As a matter of fact, I'm looking out my window now at Porte Des Morts Straits and Washington Island about five miles out. More from the Door in some future posts.

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