Showing posts with label Mackinac Island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mackinac Island. Show all posts

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.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Retreat from the heat and wish we were there

Yooper Ruthie famous lady of the Michigan
Upper Peninsula, aka UP

 It is to be 100 degrees today which is not our MN weather, but puleeze nobody tell the global warming alarmists.    I walked early this morning and even then, by 8:00AM on the return I was sweaty; the high school track which I often have to myself for 1/4 mile laps was invaded by our Lancer football team and not wanting to mix it up amongst  the boys twice my size and 1/4 my age, I departed the track for the 'hoods and woods.  So its a good day to catch up and post some of the vacation photos.  We have been home a little more than a week now and downloading, editing and dealing with the photos takes time.  In old days, a simpler time, we just took the film out of the camera and dropped it off taking our chances with printed results a week or so later. 

This 2+ weeks motor home trip to the Fleetwood Rally in Goshen Indiana followed by a swing up north to Michigan's upper peninsula and all the lake lore was a great time.  Trip details, we  added only 1376 total motor home miles,  26.5 hours actual driving time, consumed 163.7 gallons of diesel including the 3/4  tankful we brought back home, and appreciated the declining cost of diesel, spending only $587 on fuel.  Altogether not an overly costly trip, $526 for RV sites including our rally gathering that had been prepaid in February, $93 for tours, $19 for tolls,  $217 restaurants, $45 groceries, and a  whopping $458 shopping for other items including my RV purse at the Indiana quilt shop, more microfiber mops and cloths at the RV rally from my favorite vendor, a new carved wooden sign for the RV which Jerry is now staining and shellacking to protect it (there never is a piece of wood that he can just leave as is) and other miscellany and finally a special rally deal to extend Good Sam coverage for a couple more years at $99.  All total only  $2044 spent.  Further poof to those who doubt the economical side to RV travel and we never have to worry about bed bugs from hotels having our own home on wheels.  

Now  the first series of photos of Mackinac Island and departure to it, here I am at the dock mainland and it is  a windy cool day, I was not ready to have my photo taken but in a rare moment Jerry had control of the camera, so here, do I look a bit like Ruthie?  Do not answer!  Ahhhh wish  I were back in the cool lake with the wind.  There was no need to comb hair because it would tousle around.  Fortunately I have a simple  cut that doesn't demand staying in place.   

Rest stop sign about Bridge
The previous day, on our drive to the area a rest stop along the American Legion Highway displayed a nice sign and photo of the bridge.  We were a bit early for our RV site arrival so we dallied at the rest stop outside of Grayling Michigan. It is one of the few we saw amidst the plentiful forests of hardwoods of the area which reminded us of western Canada and British Columbia, an area Jerry especially loves. 

We took a Ferry to the  Island along with the multitudes of others touring that day.  Although locals said that the numbers of tourists were down, we could not tell. To us if there was a downside to this trip it was too many people,  more people than w see in a year here in our town.  I especially dislike crowds so it was a bit of a stretch to have to be amongst so many of them the entire time both  on the island and mainland.  If we ever return to this area it would be September when the crowds disperse.  Tourism is a key if not the key industry of the area.

Our Cadillac arrives at the dock

Jerry took many magnificent shots of the world famous
Macinac Island  bridge from our ferry 

We learned too late that had we stayed across the bridge at
St Ignace, the ferry would have taken us under the bridge
Lite house and Ft Mackinac left, up the hill

The ferry takes about 25-30 minutes to the island;
Here we approach as does another ferry

No kidding about the people and the bikes
We arrive at the dock as others too come and go

Breakfast dockside
Main street on the island.  Bikes,  walkers, or those riding either
horseback or carriages.  We had a carriage ride and tour.
It was a good choice which took us all around and over the island.  

The Island is famous for fudge and lilacs.  This is one of the oldest lilac trees
on the island at 100 years old.  Bloom was done

Meet Dave, handsome, personable MI guy and
 our carriage driver and tour guide for the day.  This was his
second year working there.  He is a college Senior at Northwestern.
Grand hotel carriages were empty
To be continued later around the island and more....I have been sitting here long enough.