Thursday, July 20, 2017

Camping Trip to Mackinac Island, Michigan

Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q. Rose
Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined she would be caring 
for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.
Hello and welcome to the Books We Love Insiders Blog!

The middle of summer and the prime time for travel is here. Today I'm taking you on a Road Trip to my most favorite place in the world--Mackinac Island, Michigan. Once the center of fur trade and now a top tourist destination due to the natural beauty and unique atmosphere of the area.
The small red star at the top of the map of the USA marks the place where Mackinac Island is located in Lake Huron, one of the five Great Lakes. (Can you name all five lakes?) Answer is below.

Our entire family spent a few days in upper Michigan. We camped at the Tee Pee Campground in Mackinaw City, Michigan. (I loved the name of the bath house--WeeWee TeePee) Weather was perfect, but then again, I have visited Mackinac Island several times and the weather has always been perfect.
You probably noticed the two spellings of the city and the island are different, but both are pronounced Mackin AW--the ac is a French spelling I believe.

 We boarded the ferry filled with tourists to cross the Straits to the island in about thirteen minutes on the catamaran beauty. We took the early morning Star Line cruise because they make a detour to sail visitors under the Mackinac bridge, a five mile long bridge connecting the lower peninsula of Michigan to the upper peninsula.
 The  bridge was constructed in 1954 and completed in 1957. It has certainly changed the economics of the area for the good.
The underside of the bridge is a work of art as well as of engineering.  How strong this must be to hold all the traffic going along it. On windy days, the bridge will close to traffic. I'm glad we camped on the south side so we didn't have to drive our camper across this monstrosity.

The first glimpse of the elegant Grand Hotel from the ferry always makes my heart quicken with the excitement of knowing we are close to this magical place. If you saw the movie, Somewhere in Time, you saw this famous landmark. The movie was filmed here with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour as the main characters. So romantic.

Arch rock is another famous landmark about a mile's ride from the commercial area. Oh yes, I forgot to mention there are no motorized vehicles allowed on the island (except emergency vehicles like a fire truck.) So we rode our bikes around the eight mile perimeter of the lovely island. Enjoyed taking our time to see amazing views of water and skies and wild flowers.

These draft horses are huge! They have to be strong to haul 24 passengers in their specially built Jayco carriages (drays?) Yes, Jayco is a well-known name in the camper industry. When you set foot on the island, there is no gasoline smell from motorized vehicles, but a distinct odor of horses. 

The front entrance to the Grand Hotel.  I wish we had more time to tour the hotel, but with young boys and a five year old granddaughter, it's probably best not to get too close to the elegant surroundings.
Dollhouse looking homes and B n B's in the Victorian style add to the charm of the island.
We visited the old fort on the hill. 
These costumed folks explained about the way of life and the history of this beloved area.
And of course, they fired canons and rifles to the delight of the crowd.

I wish my photos could do justice to the landscapes and sea surrounding the island. Breathtaking. We are standing in the old fort looking out over Father Marquette park. 
Sunset over Lake Huron

Hope you enjoyed the tour. If you ever get a chance to go to Mackinac Island, do it! And take me with you to my most favorite place on earth.

Click here for more information about Mackinac Island.

What is your favorite place to visit? Please leave a comment below.

Can you name the five Great Lakes?
Answer--Remember the names of the five Great Lakes by spelling H.O.M.E.S.--Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.

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