Hiking/walking miles: 9.7
Biking miles: 10.9
Miles on a ferry: 3.8
We have it from an anonymous source who is close to the issue, that tourists in/around Mackinac Island and in the Upper Peninsula of
Michigan Wisconsin are known as either fudgies or cone suckers or both. Fudgies because we eat a ton of fudge and cone suckers because we walk around with an ice cream cone attached to our face. Pretty sure they aren’t using these terms in a loving, supportive way, nevertheless, our mission today is to embrace the tourists mantle by buying/eating fudge, sucking on some ice cream cones and basically enjoying the gorgeous weather.
So we arise, shower and walk the 100 yards over to the ferries and at 0900 we are sitting on top of one of the ferries looking down on our catamaran as we head to the northeast for the 20 minute ride to Mackinac island. The day is spectacular. Sunny, blue sky, slight breeze from the west. As we pull into the harbor we marvel at how pretty the island looks. Victorian type architect. Forest and trees in the background. Manicured lawns with Adirondack chairs. It is gorgeous. And as we walk onto the shore we notice it smells like sh!t. Literally. Like horse manure. Because there are a lot of horses and consequently, quite a bit of horse poo. Which stinks.
Mackinac (pronounced Macki-naw) Island is just off the Upper peninsula of
Michigan Wisconsin and has some laws/regulations that make it unique. Automobiles are outlawed on the island, so the major mode of transportations are your feet, bikes or horses and horse drawn carts (for transport of heavy items). There are a couple of cars that are used by police/fire/emergency personnel, but you won’t see those unless there is an emergency. The town on the island is at the harbor entrance and it is packed with a 100 fudge shops, 90 restaurants, 80 tourist shops and 30 bike rental places. The remainder of the island has the hotels/bed and breakfasts/condos as well as some private homes. And an airport, two golf courses and a bunch of forest and hiking/biking trails. It is quiet and beautiful.
First stop is the bike rental shop immediately to the right of the ferry exit. We get three bikes, two bottles of water and not helmets and we are off on our trip. The plan is to ride the 8.2 mile road around the island. The road is paved and has no cars. Only the hundreds of bikers and pedestrians all enjoying the day.
Bike through the town dodging the horse poo and the other bikers. Our first stop on the road is the Arch–a natural hole in the limestone from ages past. It is nice to look at, but most notable was the 207 step climb to get to the top of the Arch. We did it with relatively little complaints across the board. Photo op. Then back down. When we got down to the bottom a son asked his father how many steps there were, and we told them 207. The dad asked us if it was worth the climb. “Sure!” we told him. “It is great!” I then confessed to the man that my answer would be the same if it stunk–I just wanted other people to be in as much pain as we were. He took it well and they headed up the stairs.
Then back on our bikes with the Wicked Witch song from the Wizard of Oz banging through our heads.
Next stop is the British battlefield where we learn a little history and check the first box on our tourist card: Ice cream cone. Thus fortified, we peddle up hill to look at a small cave and crack in the island. Then back along some roads/trails/dirt paths the the perimeter island road and back into town. Lunch at a nameless/faceless tourist restaurant, then back on bikes to look at more of the island. Drop off bikes, walk for fudge, checking the second of two blocks. Then back on the 1430 boat and head for home. As we board the ferry, fog rolls in making our trip back to the mainland a wet, cold and mysterious journey. We have decided that we will return to the island at some point in the future, but spend the night (or two nights) and enjoy some peace and quiet after the tourists (like US!) leave on the ferry.
We get back to the boat at 3pm, someone takes a nap (moi) and then we head off to the store for last minute provisions (junk food). Back to the boat, I’m not feeling so well, so I lay down which AJ plays and Jan reads and makes dinner. Dinner done, we touch bases with Steve on tomorrow’s plans and we head back for one more Agents of SHIELD and then to bed for an early day tomorrow.
We awoke this morning with a thousand or more mothions clinging to our boat on all exposed spaces. We were informed by a passerby that they are actually not a sick cross between a moth, dragon fly and scorpion, but instead a Mayfly. The adults mayfly. And their life cycle apparently is when the become an adult, they live for hours or days. They do one thing–breed. And then die. So it turns out all the dudes/dudettes hanging out on our deck were basically smoking a virtual cigarette and enjoying their last couple of hours on earth. Talk about going out on a high note!!