Al’s Lonely Goatherd

“High on a hill was a lonely goatherd”

Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Loud was the voice of the lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo

(from the movie “The Sound of Music”)

One cannot spend time in Door County, Wisconsin, without passing the iconic Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant. They are noted for their Swedish pancakes and goats on a grassy roof. Al Johnson’s has been around for over 65 years, which means that the restaurant’s cuisine and several goats have entertained tourists for longer than I’ve been alive. (I’m always glad when something is older than me.) You will always find people (like me) taking photos of the goats. As if we’ve never seen goats before, right?

My friend and I did not eat at Al’s this trip as the line to be seated was a mile long.

Then again, the line and calories might have been worth it…

Mmmmm…pancakes…

However, we did wander around the gift shop. I bought a goat magnet and scarf for myself and a nice Swedish mug for the neighbor, who was babysitting the cats. A fruitful stop, complete with chewing animals and a song in my head.

Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo


This post has been brought to you by pancakes and goats. It has also been brought to you by Linda G. Hill’s “One-Liner Wednesday.” All you need to play along every week is an awesome one-liner and follow a few rules. Birds on a wire are not required, but make sure you link back today’s post to HERE so the rest of us #1linerweds peeps can read it.

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42 responses to Al’s Lonely Goatherd

    • bikerchick57 says:

      It’s a lovely, smile-inducing song, Joanne, that reminds me of one of my all-time favorite movies. Just chew on it awhile – it has a nice bleat…I meant beat.

    • Lordy, me too. And a pressing desire to watch The Sound of Music….. (Trivia note: I’ve been in the production twice as a nun. I can still sing the alto part of the Alleluia at the start of the movie. 😀 )

      • bikerchick57 says:

        I’ll watch the movie with you, H. So many lovely songs to sing. It’s not just for goats or marathon runners. 😉

      • I went to one of those ‘Sing a long’ movie screenings once. Such a hoot. We had to boo the Nazis, say “Awwww” whenever Gretl said anything and we had our little piece of Edelweiss to wave. 🙂

  1. Dan Antion says:

    I’m glad I came early before these puns get out of hand. Those pancakes look wonderful. I don’t blame you for not waiting, though. Food lines are the worst. The song isn’t stuck in my head, but I am getting hungry.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Yup, I totally expect the puns to get baaaaad. (That’s what the sheep say.)

      I’m hungry too, Dan, but it will be English muffin time for me. And coffee. And maybe I’ll try to yodel. 😏

      • Dan Antion says:

        I think that’s why the song isn’t getting stuck. I really can’t yodel. But I am hungry, and I’m on the road. time to search for coffee.

  2. These are the goat cam people, yes? Damn. I forgot to check them out in summer instead of waiting for them to wander out into the snow in the middle of the night….

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Yes, they are the goat cam goats. There is still time. We’re having beautiful weather right now and I can assure you the goats will be out on the roof the rest of this week and this weekend, when the tourists are at their most touristy.

      • It doesn’t look dark in the webcam. Just that sort of predawn greyish light (that personally I consider broad daylight these days after a winter of running in the real dark….).

      • bikerchick57 says:

        The sun is trying to make its way up now. When you get up Thursday morning, check it out then.

  3. “As if we’ve never seen goats before, right?”

    More like we’re never seen goats on a roof before. Well, outside of the von Trapp residence, that is.

    Yodel-ay. Have a good day!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Well, true, Maggie about goats on a roof. I’ve seen that many times, but I suppose the people that come from the city are fascinated by it. The goats and the pancakes bring in the tourist dollars and that’s probably all that concerns Al.

  4. loisajay says:

    Dang, Mary–you sure can yodel! Oh, those pancakes…..I think I would have them for dessert.

  5. Frank Hubeny says:

    We would look for those goats on that restaurant when passing by in Door County on vacations. We even ate there once or twice. As I recall it was pretty good. But then my taste is all in my mouth. My favorite places to stop were Fish Creek (great tourist trap!) and Peninsula State Park to see the bluffs.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      The odor of breakfast was intoxicating. If I had not eaten breakfast beforehand, I would have been in trouble. We did window shop Fish Creek and eat lunch there. It’s fun to look at everything that I can’t afford. 😉

      As for the park, it’s a good one for a bike ride. Very pretty!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Al and the goats have been getting successful attention for 65 years. Al knows not to mess with a good thing.

  6. Herman says:

    Love the song but I prefer to go for pancakes, though… 😉

      • joey says:

        Yessss! Oh that would be unfortunate!!! Imagine 😦 😦 😦

  7. marianallen says:

    I must have read a picture book when I was very small with goats on a grassy roof. I was born and raised in the inner city, but I’ve always had that image in my head. I would LOVE to see that in person, whether I got to eat in the restaurant or not. Although those pancakes sure look delish!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Perhaps one day you can see the goats, have pancakes and enjoy the area. It is very pretty in Door County.

  8. John Holton says:

    I’ve eaten there. I think I told you my aunt had a house in Sister Bay (she sold it earlier this year). Great food and the goats on the roof are a riot.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Yes, you told me about your sister. I think she knew my cousin, if I remember our previous conversation about this. I’m amazed that goats on a roof are still such a draw and that there is always more than one person taking photos. I wonder what would happen if they saw a deer crossing the road. Hmmmm…. 😉

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thank you! I was humming the song before I even walked in the doors of Al Johnson’s. I can’t help it, seems so natural. 🙂

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