Woke to wind - what's new?! Forecast is for N 10-15kn but sunny, temps high 68.
To Mackinac I. via Sheplers Ferry; they picked us up in a shuttle ['free'] which made it much easier. Mackinac is still pronounced 'Mackinaw', same as the city. Waves were 3' but ferry punched through them easily, on a 20min. ride. [Lots of photos of our day to share but wifi is really sluggish tonight so may not get them uploaded until tomorrow morning. ]
They took us under the Mackinac Bridge [10min. side trip] en-route; it is the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere, built in 1958, and is 5 miles long overall. The middle span can move as much as 35' in a severe wind and occasionally traffic must be shut down until the storm/wind has abated.
Mackinac I. is unique. No motor driven vehicles except EMR/Fire/Police; mostly bicycles, walking, or horses. They have a million visitors a year, with many staying in several hotels or B&B places; the best known hotel, which has catered to several US presidents, is the Grand Hotel, built in 1888 and is not cheap to stay in [we did not visit it].
Had a coffee and pastry [cinnamon dusted cake donut, and apple-cinnamon scone] in a neat shop where we sat at the window and watched all the people, the horses, the bicycles. A horse-drawn delivery wagon was dropping stuff off at the door [see photo]; both curbs have bicycle parking lanes and they are filled! Lots of carriages and taxi carts. Many people bring their own bikes over on the ferry.
The island terrain is quite hilly and took a 2 hour horse-drawn carriage tour [see photos] which was well worth it; the driver was a college student who knew his stuff and chatted constantly and was funny. He deserved a tip. At the halfway point, and before we changed to a 3-horse drawn carriage, we visited the Butterfly House - see several photos - which was worth the trip just on its own!
We are finding the constant chop a bit fatiguing, despite trying to adapt to it with repeated line adjustments; locals say it's always like this.
Maintenance: washed the bugs, etc. off the boat after we returned from the ferry.
A great day. First, it was nice to leave the boat driving to someone else! It was rough and windy crossing to the island. The day got much nicer later. Mackinaw Island was a great spot. Totally touristy, streets (there are only a couple) were packed and everything smelled like fudge! Fudge is apparently a big deal and almost every store sold some. Lots of cute gift stores and nice little bars/restaurants. Had lunch at the Pink Pony outdoor bar overlooking the ferry harbor. Very good spot. Could still smell fudge. It would be nice to someday go back to the island and stay for a couple of days, maybe even splurge for the Grand!
There are many spots in this area we would like to see more of but transportation on land is a problem. Covid caused a huge rental car shortage and many of the smaller stops are miles away from something like an airport that does have cars. This is an area of the country that I have underappreciated. Our year in Flint probably influenced my perspective.
The long summer evenings still have us off schedule. Loopers midnight and Rob's normal bedtime is 9pm, but it's still light. Our 26 years in the south have reset our internal clocks.
Time to say goodnight.
Plans: work on finding marinas to stay after we leave Bay Harbor Lake on July 5th. Get groceries. Maybe tour the Mackinaw Icebreaker here.
Terry • 02 Jul, 2021 - Primary export of Mackinac Island is horse manure
Deedee • 02 Jul, 2021 - That looks so interesting and adorable!
Ernie R • 02 Jul, 2021 - Fun tour! A good break from boat work!
Ann R • 02 Jul, 2021 - What a beautiful day, and such lovely butterflies - there are many different varieties from our butterfly house in Huntsville. Are you going back to the Island today? Thank you for sharing your day. And Marg, I like your new haircut! Looks nice!
Helen • 02 Jul, 2021 - Bet a good percent of the million visitors are from Chicago area...the island is a hotspot for urban folks! What a fun place to visit and love the butterfly house!