Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Trip to Mackinac Island

Since I was staying in Mackinac City, I decided that it would be a good day to head over to Mackinac Island.  I was hoping to catch one of the ferries that actually passed under the Bridge.  Plus it had been over 30 years since I'd been over to the Island.  I remember going there once as a kid.
 Some time last year, I found out that one of the ferry companies make a run to the island that passes under the Mackinac Bridge.  I looked at the Sheplers schedule and they had three runs in the morning.  So I made sure that I caught one of those ferries.  Fortunately, it wasn't too busy, so I was able to get a ticket.
 Pulling out of the dock brings us past the Ice Breaker Mackinaw.
 Also quite a few sailboats.
 We approached the Bridge.  It was pretty cool since I'd never seen the Bridge from this angle before.
 If you think the Bridge looks impressive riding over it, you should try going under it at some point.
 The towers loom over you.
 You can even see through the road.  You can also see why they are always doing some sort of maintenance on it.
 The Captain went over the history of the bridge and slowed the ferry down so that you had a good chance for pictures.
 I just love this view.
 Looking up at one of the towers.
 Looking back towars the shore.
 And then we proceeded towards the Island.  This also gave me a chance to get a picture I wouldn't otherwise get.
 And then we passed by the Round Island Lighthouse.  I think one of these days, I would like to take one of the lighthouse cruises.
 And we approached the island.
 The Arnold Ferry Dock.  There are three companies that service Mackinac Island - Sheplers, Arnold's and Star.  I'm not sure if all of them do the Bridge thing.
 Cars are not allowed on Mackinac Island, so you either walk, ride a bike or get on a horse drawn carriage.  I actually think that is pretty neat but it gives a different aroma to the island.
 I think this is the main street of the island.  You can see the fort in the background.
 A couple of the buildings.  The whole place has the ambience of the 1800's.
 A film shop would be another throwback, I think.
 The courthouse.
 A lilac flower.
 Then we headed over to the Fort.  I'd never been to the fort before.
 One of the churches on the Island.
 The view of the Island from the Fort.
 Fort Mackinac was built by the British in 1780 in order to defend the Straits of Mackinac.  Before that, the French used Fort Michilimackinac on the mainland to defend the Straits.  The British considered that too difficult to defend, so they built a Fort on the Island.
 Despite the terms of the Paris Treaty, the United States did not get posession of the Fort until 1796.  At the beginning of 1812, the British re-captured the Fort.  The Americans would not regain control of the Fort until after the war.
 I believe this is a uniform from the later 1800's.
 And then we got a cannon demonstration.
 Here he is cleaning the barrel to make sure there is nothing that comes out.
 Ready to Fire.
 From 1875 to 1895, the Fort became part of a National Park.  It would be the second National Park after Yellowstone.  After 1895, the Park was given to the State of Michigan to become the first Michigan State Park.
 A soldier dressed in the uniform of 1812.
 One of the blockhouses.
 One of the entrances to the Fort.
 A steel statue of Gerald Ford.
 One of many horse drawn carriages.
 This is the Governor's Summer Residence.  It was donated some time ago.  If it were sold today, it would be worth a couple million dollars.
 One of the Horse drawn carriages used by the Grand Hotel.
 In 1886, the Michigan Central Railroad, Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad and the Cleveland Steamship Navigation Company for the Mackinac Island Hotel Company.  Out of that came the Grand Hotel.  Construction was completed in 1887.  The Hotel was advertised as a summer resort and people could come here by rail and then steamer.  This is the porch which the hotel boasts as the longest in the world.  I would have gone on the porch but I didn't want to pay the 10 bucks.  I don't blame the hotel for charging that because I'd imagine the last thing you'd want as a guest is a bunch of visitors traipsing around.
 A view of the gardens.  I'll have to say it is a pretty impressive looking hotel.
 The dress code of the hotel.
 Another view of the hotel.    The hotel was feature in "Somewhere In Time" with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.
 Another church.
 A peonie.
 Looking down the street.
 There are quite a few nice houses on the island.  I would imagine that these are used as summer cottages or bed and breakfasts.
 I really like this house.
 A view of the Mackinac Bridge.
 Another house.
 I kind of liked this house too.
 Another lilac bush.
 It was a little busier when we left the island.
 Back to the ferry dock to head back to the mainland.
 A view of the island.
 And we were leaving.
 I believe this is an automated lighthouse.
 And we pull further out.
 A view of the Bridge.
 Passing another ferry.
And the pilothouse.

I would like to go back to the Island some day.  Maybe stay on the Island so that I have some time to wander around.

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