Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pure Michigan: Part 2

The next chapter of our Michigan trip felt like a step back in time. We reached Mackinaw City to take a ferry ride across Lake Huron to Mackinac Island. Don't ask me to explain that spelling discrepancy to you, but both are pronounced [Mack-in-awe]. And awe is right. Look at this place:

There are only bikes and horses on the island, no cars. The main street right at the docks is adorable and touristy, but there is a lot more to the island. Native Americans lived on the island until the 17th century. Britain established Fort Mackinac there during the Revolutionary War, and two battles were fought on the island during the War of 1812. It's not quite four square miles, and we rode the eight mile path around the perimeter twice. We couldn't get enough of it!

The island is hilly and full of forest and just beautiful. At one point Michael led us onto what we later found out was a ski path. That was fun on bikes... and we went up to a lookout point by that arch there. Seeing a mountainous arch just made my Utah-born heart fill with joy. Riding my bike on a ski path to it, not so much. Our first day there was full of fog and clouded skies, but the next day was completely clear and sunny. Both are good.

There were just so many exploration options in the middle of the island. Like this staircase that looked so appealing going down but then magically turned three times as big when it was time to go back up. We also rode through the area of the island where all the residents live. It was interesting to read about what life is like as a permanent resident on the island (most of the homes are summer homes, but almost 500 people live there year-round).

We stopped by the Governor's House, but the Governor was not there. June and July is the right time to go to Mackinac Island, apparently. But I'm all for the fall. There was a sign to not pet the dog, so we hung around a little bit hoping to catch a glimpse of said dog (and probably pet him), but apparently he is with the Governor. Not on the island.

The cemetery was best explored on the foggy day. It felt like we were the only two people on the island. I always love finding the oldest date in a graveyard that I can. But there is always so much sad math to be found.

The Grand Hotel looms over the island in all its majesty. It boasts the largest porch in the world, and you can't even go inside after a certain hour if you're not completely dressed in formal wear. To be honest, you're not even allowed to ride bikes on the road in front of the hotel. But if you don't see that sign until after you do that, consider it beating the system. We did. The hotel has been visited by Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, multiple presidents, and Michael and Maddie Daetwyler. (The road in front of it, at least.)

We found our own personal beach spot that was complete with an endless supply of perfect skipping rocks. We're talking round, smooth, medium-sized beauties. Michael holds the record at nine skips and for some reason I have a glass ceiling of four. A short-distanced four. But it didn't take away from the experience.

Oh those Michigan sunsets.

We stayed in a hotel that I'm convinced was haunted. Not because of any actual experiences. Just because it was old and full of ominous photographs from ages ago. Had to be haunted. Michael fell asleep within seconds, as always, and I proceeded to watch two (2) movies all by myself, because I was possibly just avoiding the moment that the lights had to be turned out... I am so extremely good at creeping myself out.

But, even with my haunting suspicions, I was so sad to leave the island the next morning. We set off on our ferry back to the mainland, and I just stared back at this place with so much love for it. I want everyone to go. You, reading this. You should go. Don't think I took the time to link these two Michigan posts all up for nothing. This is your travel guide for your future visit, and we will gladly come with you.

I mean, the island is famous for fudge, and we completely forgot to buy any or even try a sample. So, looks like we'll just have to go back soon.


  1. I seriously want to go there! That is totally my kind of trip. But I admit it probably won't happen soon cause we don't have bikes, and honestly it sounds more appealing as a getaway from our children!

  2. wow. this looks AMAZING. you've convinced me. I'm adding it to my list.


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