Tuesday, July 17, 2012

More Mackinac con't from yesterday

I did not take this photo of the 5 mile Mackinac Bridge at night, but it is just that spectacular.  The bridge was begun in the spring of 1954 and opened November 1, 1957 and is designated as the number one civil engineering project for Michigan of the 20th century.   It is currently the third longest suspension bridge in the world.  For other data such as shown in the poster yesterday, you can go to this website link

We watched 4th of July  fireworks from the American Legion, on the mainland, Mackinaw City. Being Legion members gave us the advantage of staying right at the bar inside where we could people watch for a break from being out amongst them.  Besides the bartender, a local gave us tips on where to eat, avoiding the  multitude of touristy places.  It is always a benefit to get acquainted with locals.

They  did show off with the best fireworks I have seen live  since Calgary, Canada. We knew we were above the 45h parallel which is exactly half way between the equator and the north pole, up north as the say, but we were oblivious to  how far north that is until we noticed day light lasts until 10 o'clock PM so fireworks could not start until 10:15PM or so making for some mighty cranky tots if their parents had not napped them earlier in the day. Many many years ago, when we spent summers in Prince George, British Columbia and Steve was a boy he refused to go to bed until midnight, because it was still light.  We recalled that.  And also when talking to the locals they mentioned the light is great now but oh those long dark winters. 

Before this trip, I could not get straight whether nac or naw or Lake Huron or Lake Michigan but now that we have been there, I've  got it. The mix up with the nac and naw is traced back through the history of the area way back to the Indians, the French, the British as explained by this clipping which you should be able to enlarge by clicking on in your browser.  Fort Mackinac itself is very interesting and the re-enactments and docents in period dress travel and transport visitors back into history of the fur trades.  The beauty of the area enhances the reality of the experience.
The following page said that the British never did
develop a friendly relationship with the Indians and suffered for that

Another carriage on tour.  Some walked, some rode bikes, some
rode horseback.  To me the carriage was the best way to see
the island.  Our guide, Dave knew all the local history.  He also told us how
his job entails caring for the carriage horse teams too,
washing and feeding and gearing them up and down.
Here we stopped to switch carriage horses mid tour

Douds founded in 1884, on Main Street is the oldestAmerican family
owned  grocery market  Their website is

Although the lilacs were not blooming, beautiful hanging
flower baskets are everywhere.  Reminiscent of Victoria
British Columbia

Atop the island, the Fort lies down the hill.  This is Turkey Hill,
during the carriage ride we did see some wild turkeys.

Hearse and fire carriages at the Island museum.  The carriage
stops here so passengers can use necessary rooms and
grab a bite to eat. 
Arch rock looking down to the Lake is awesome
Seeing the Arch rock made me wonder yet again, why people who have never seen half of what there is to see in this country rave about traveling elsewhere in the world.  The water there is as beautiful as the Carribean anytime.  Of course we are flying adverse refusing to spend good money to be herded into a flying bus crammed with hundreds of others, packed like sardines and not even pickled.  Nope, we prefer driving our 2nd home. I have another spectacular photo of this arch but Blogger will not post it correctly.
A Girl Scout on duty working as a docent; summer jobs for youth abound
for the industrious, willing to work and learn the history
We got well acquainted with Dave, our carriage driver whom you met yesterday.  When he saw me taking the following photo he asked if I knew his dad.  I replied  I did not, but that there was something about this sight that reminded me of some people.  I asked Dave if he ever got tired of the view afront, what's that old saying, unless you are the head dog in the sled the view never changes...look on, recognize anyone?

Dave explained when he told his family he was returning to the island for another year for this summer job, Dad said, "uh huh so you are going to spend the day looking at yourself..."  We learned that the horses are
transported off the island to the upper peninsula where they winter. 

To be continued with our trip on the mainland along the magnificent tunnel of trees and to the Legs Inn.


  1. Hi again, I think that I got out of comments before finishing an earlier comment, but not sure. Whenever I use my iPad to comment on blog posts, my fingers seem to move differently than my brain and so I sometimes navigate away from a blog before I meant to...aargh huh. Anyway, I said earlier that I enjoyed the carriage ride, even if you and Jerry were the ones taking it. I agree with your comment that there is so much to see in the US instead of travelling out of the country. But perhaps touring in cooler temps would be better. We're now on our way to RI for granddaughter Elizabeth's 1st birthday.

    1. We had great weather there in MI but some heat only one day in IN at the rally. But home since it has been cooking" like the rest of the country. I agree, travel in fall or spring or even winter. Glad we were home this summer mostly or our massive lawn and rose goarden would be gone. In the hot drought that is not our MN weather

  2. Well, this makes it an little more to my liking. Carol would love this place,
    I'd like it. But from the pics it does look like you avoided much of the
    crowds. Tom

  3. Tom, That's because we were not interested in t-shirt shops nor fudge or carmel corn shops which seem to dominate both the island and mainland...that's where the crowds go. Nothing of interest to us, so we were not doing any shopping & that avoided the mad throngs.

    The carriage tour took many hours and we got to see things we"d not have seen in one trip including the desolate side of the island and the fort. If one stays on Main St. on the island it's just bumper to bumper tourists. Funny thing is when we landed, I noticed the pools of water along side the sidewalks in places; I thought it might have rained the early morning there before our arrival. Jerry immediately told me, "don't walk in those puddles, it's not what you think." I looked puzzled so he explained that though there were pooper scoopers after the horses, the liquid was washed aside....so there is a concentration of horse pee some diluted some not in the puddles. I thought he was making that up because sometimes he does that to me. I did not step in that though because I was wearing sandals....but I saw many young and not so young women and well guys too wearing flip flops walking through the liquid. Our carriage driver, Dave, pointed out when we saw one group that it was best to avoid the puddles and described what Jerry had said earlier...so Jerry grinned at me smugly. I asked him how he knew that and he said what did I think happened to the horse pee? The horses are not diapered so it goes where it flows...

    Wait till you see Legs Inn & 119 photos...I have not had time to get those onto the blog yet.