Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mackinac Island Day Trip 8/14

While my Mom was in town last week, Eric expressed a desire for us to take a day and go explore, leaving Kaylee with Nana. I was excited because I miss Washington for the beautiful scenery we had so close to us that we could explore. All I had seen of Michigan, really, was the drive from the Detroit airport to Algonac, which included run down Detroit. I was beginning to explore more of the state but the really good stuff isn't close, it takes a decent drive to get to. Eric definitely wanted to show me Mackinac, so that was the plan.

We left super early Friday morning to start the drive north. Google estimated about 3.5 hours drive time to get to the ferry in Mackinac City. Mackinac Island itself is a state park. The whole island. Additionally, motorized vehicles are prohibited.  You can get around on foot, by bike or by horse! My kind of island!

We made it up in time for the 11am ferry which was scheduled to make a pass under the bridge. It went out of its way to do this, but it meant I got some nice shots of the suspension bridge!

All photos have had some minor color correction done with tweaks to the exposure levels, brightness and contrast. That's it.

Coming close to the dock I could see horses already! On the docks!

As this was just us on an adult trip, we decided to have fun. We weren't being held back by a toddler. So we rented a tandem bike to take the 8.2 mile perimeter bike path around the island. It was hilarious getting the hang of riding a tandem bike. We learned that I do better when I'm in the front seat and Eric is in back. If we switched, we just couldn't balance or pedal at all.

The path is fully paved.

A natural spring. A sign cautioned against drinking it, however it was gloriously frigid and felt great splashed on our face and neck.

We paused here to take the stair climb up to a view point. There were over 200 steps! My fitbit was very happy with me that day lol.

Looking down

The water was gloriously clear. You can see bedrock formations just offshore

The beach was mainly rocks, no sand but that didn't stop many people from going swimming

Arch Rock

Arch Rock from the bike path

Eric and the tandem bike

The Mackinac Bridge from the Island

A bunch of teens/college kids were jumping off this old dock


The Grand Hotel is one of the Big Things on Mackinac Island. If you've ever seen American Wedding, that is the Hotel where the film takes place. It is gorgeous. It is expensive. It has a formal dress code after 6 pm if you want to walk the main hallways. Their horse and carriages are equally spiffy

Eric at lunch

You can apparently rent horses. Maybe another time!

Right in town, this picture and the one above are where some of the island horses stay during the summer season. 

You can also rent a single horse and surrey. We saw a few of these while biking and the horses looked like they were on autopilot, probably the safest thing for Joe-Shmoe to rent while on vacation.

Walking up the grand thorofare to the Grand Hotel. We could hear thunder at this point

Topiary horse and carriage

Grand Hotel gardens and Mackinac Bridge in the distance

All the horses with the Grand Hotel had fly fringes on them

Even the driver is spiffy. These horses were in the best shape of all of the ones I saw

Delivery service!

The Island is known for its fudge. We did bring some home. The outgassing of the fudge fumes onto the sidewalk was making me feel ill though!

We played 'mini golf' at an executive putting green. It was some fun competition with each other (Eric won) after the teamwork of riding the tandem bike.

Leaving Mackinac and the Grand Hotel

We grabbed a cup of coffee so we could make the drive back to Dryden. We ended up getting caught in a pretty severe thunderstorm. I was driving and I couldn't see 10 feet in front of me the rain and wind were so ridiculous.We pressed onward long enough to make it to a town that would have restaurants and had dinner to wait out the storm and let it pass. We didn't get back until 11 pm and promptly passed out. It was a great trip.

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