Mackinac Island is about 10 miles around. It has a narrow paved two lane road and is the perfect relaxing bicycle ride. When you get to the opposite shore from town, there tends to be a lot less bicycle traffic and people around. We rode to the Northwest side to see the bridge view first. It’s great to stop on one of the beaches along the way like British Landing. We kicked off our shoes and stuck our toes in the crisp, fresh water of the straights of Mackinac. They also have a little restroom and ice cream shop if your thirsty or gotta go.
While Coco, Jake, my Mom and I were riding around, we noticed that all of the lady slippers were blooming around us. What a beautiful sight. They are such dainty little flowers.
There are also roads and trails that are intersperced through the center of Mackinac Island. These take you past battle fields full of historical importance. There are many areas where they have plaquards you can stop to read that explain Michigan’s past interactions with the British, French and the Native American Indians. There’s an old cemetary up in the center of the Islands where some of the Island forefathers are burried. There are some great panoramic viewing areas too, like Fort Holmes. Up high, where you can look out to see great expanses of the Upper and Lower Penninsulas along with the great crystal blue body of water surrounding you.
Once you’ve done the circuit around the Island, you’ll want a little rest. And will make an excuse to go to a pub or get a little fudge. It’s famous up there, that creamy sweet chocolate brick candy. They make a ton of different flavors all invented around how to make your kids jump up and down hyperactive and rot their teath. I do like fudge, don’t get me wrong. But I also think that we have a mentality in the United States to eat junk food and extra calories on holiday. Like it’s a reward to have a day off and make yourself fat. Anyway, there are lots of little shops and restaurants in the downtown area where you can buy t-shirts and eat. It’s a very Victorian looking town and there are always tons of pedestrians, bikes and horses around so keep your eyes and ears pealed for the tourist traffic.
As I mentioned in my earlier Summer in Michigan posting, my friend Coco came to visit from Miami. As every Michigander knows, one of our most popular tourist destinations in the summer is Mackinac Island. We had to make a pit stop to the island of bikes, horses and buggies while she was in town.
We were a bit on pins and needles the night before about going because the weather was actually looking like a storm and the news was giving it a 50/50 chance of showers. In the morning, we decided the weather was clear enough and took off in the truck with our bicycles in tow.
On the way up, I did some research online from the passenger seat and found out that if you order your tickets online from the folks at the Arnold Ferry, you can save $4/ticket. That really adds up! We didn’t have a way to print them in the truck, but they just printed them for us at their offices.
We sat in the front of the ferry but stayed inside cause it wasn’t very warm. I think the high was about 60 degrees (F) and there was a strong breeze on the Easterly side of the Island. The lilacs were in full bloom and the tulips were just finishing up with their last few petals falling to the ground. It was like being transported back to the beginning of spring. (I missed the lilacs in the Detroit area while we were performing on the West Coast on the Sapphire Princess.) The weather was cool, so the horses weren’t very smelly and you could actually smell the flowers. This may sound funny, but anyone who has spent anytime on a farm or has been to the Island in the heat of the summer knows the aroma I’m talking about.
Mackinac Island is only about 10 miles around. It has a small Victorian style downtown area with a very Midwestern Revolutionary War charm. It was a British stronghold during the War of 1812. There is alot of historical significance around the Island, like Fort Mackinac, the actual battle fields and also the revamped Indian College formed by the missionaries, now a nice hotel called Mission Resort. For several years before we did ships, Jake performed at the Resort. We always had a very nice time spending the week on the Island. One time, a guy proposed to his gal at our gig and we caught it on tape. I hope that they are living a happy and wonderful life.