Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mackinac Island

 We were lucky to secure reservations for two nights dockage at this busy port.  The Port Huron to Mac yacht race was to arrive on Sunday so everyone had to leave by noon. That still gave us two full days.  We left Detour Village at 1030AM after a line of storms passed.  What did we do before radar and internet.

We traveled the 40 miles in 2 1/2 hours even though the wind picked up to 15-20 knots and we found out when we arrived, gusts to 30 right on our bow. We were glad to enter the protected harbor, but now we had to dock and back in a slip in a tight marina. 

With my able crew we looked like pros.
 Note how high the docks are.  They were installed in the 80s when the lake was 4-5 feet higher.  Many marinas have retrofitted with floating docks but not this state owned one.  
We had a nice view of main street homes.
 A small cruise ship was tied up to the public wharf. 

 A view of Lake Huron from the fort.

We decided to have a private horse drawn carriage tour of the island.  Very nice guide called Aaron, who has been at it 10 years.  Everything moves on the island by horse or person power, even UPS and Fed Ex!
 From the fort one could see the Mackinac Bridge in the distance.
 Debbie enjoyed seeing the Victorian homes and especially the flower gardens.  Many are private residences and some have been converted to Inns.  Typically built in the 1880's.

 I enjoyed the fort tour and the musket demonstrations.
 Of course bicycles are everywhere.  Check out this 1870's model, called a high wheel.  I didn't try that one. Thousands of tourists are disgorged from the ferries daily.  Many rent bikes others shop and buy fudge at the many stores.   

 If you stay at the Grand Hotel you are picked up in this rig by a driver in a tux.  Quite stylish.  Also after 6PM gentlemen must wear a coat and tie, ugh,  not on Island Hopper.  
 We walked up to the hotel and paid $10 each to go inside and wander around.  Very nice and formal but not my style.  There are many beautiful Inns I would prefer if not on our boat.  The porch is over 600 feet long, two football fields.
 This was the view of the Grand Hotel from the water as we passed, leaving Mackinac on Sunday  
 Many homes were built on the ridges and are still in use today.  

 We celebrated Debbie's birthday at the restaurant called the Carriage House at  the Iroquois Inn on the water a great spot and a wonderful evening.

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