Saturday, September 3, 2016 we departed Mackinac Island, MI, cruised under the Mackinac Bridge, left Lake Huron and entered Lake Michigan.
We docked at Mackinac Island Harbor on Thursday, Sept. 1st & 2nd. At this point of our Great Loop journey, we have cruised 2,295 miles, we are at the most Northern point we will encounter, this is Trip Day #127, and cruising day #47. As stated above, we have made the “turn” with Salt Lick’s bow pointed South. The third and final “inland sea”, Lake Michigan, awaits us.
SO – back to Mackinac Island.
The name, Mackinac (pronounced MackinAW), is derived from a longer Indian name meaning turtle. The shape of the Island reminded the Indians of a turtle’s shell. We arrived Thurs. afternoon realizing that the harbor is located right along the main street of the Island with the many shops, Mackinac Fort, and a park within a short walking distance. The next day we rode our bikes around the entire perimeter of the Island. We also rode up to the highest part of the Island to the Protestant cemetery. From there we wound our way to the Grand Hotel. We calculated about 11 miles of peddling!!
The waters of Lake Huron are beautiful with the South -East shores lined with hundred and maybe even thousands of “rock statues”!!
Other than the UNMARKED – ONE AND ONLY POLICE CAR, and emergency vehicles ( fire/EMS) the modes of transportation are strictly via horse, horse and carriage, or bicycle. Mackinac Island is a very different and special place. If one is addicted to fudge, you could visit a different fudge shop every day of the month!!! Tourism is the primary industry. The famous named hotel, The Grand Hotel (circa 1887), sits majestically up on a hillside overlooking Mackinac Straits , the harbor and the 5 mile long Mackinac Bridge that connects Northern Michigan with the Upper Peninsula. There are many other smaller hotels, B&B’s, cottages and boutique hotels and rooms for rent. The access to the Island is via ferry or one’s own boat. The Island architecture is Victorian.
When exploring the Island, we climbed up a hillside 207 steps to view the ARCH ROCK. This provided a KODAk moment or two.
The above photo shows Hank at the Protestant cemetery searching for a colleague of his who died at a young age of brain cancer. Hank was able to locate her grave site to pay his respects. Who would have ever thought there would be an acquaintance that called Mackinac Island home!
From here we rode our bikes to the Grand Hotel where we enjoyed a late afternoon cocktail and snack while sitting on their “GRAND” porch!
Our dinner this evening was at the IROQUOIS HOTEL. Wonderful atmosphere, delicious food ( the best morels ), and good service. We topped off the evening with a 20 year old Port and homemade fresh peach ice cream. Good thing we had that long bike ride earlier in the day!
Here are a few photos of the many horses we encountered on the Island.