travel tales for family and friends. . .

wild horses. . .Theodore Roosevelt NP - North Dakota

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Check One Off The Bucket List–Mackinac Island

What a fabulous, beautiful, air conditioned sunshine day

to tour Mackinac Island, long awaited and anticipated. . .

Shepler's Ferry leaving from St Ignace MI

we chose Shepler’s only because our RV Park owner

told us that was the one they preferred. . .

a combo Ferry/Mackinac Carriage – $46 PP. . .

Panaramic View of Mackinac Island from the Ferry

our view of the island from the ferry – panoramic style. . .

The GRAND - Mackinac Island

and of course. . .the show place – Grand Hotel

Beautiful Views of Mackinac Island - St Anne's Catholic Church

a pretty view as we pulled into the harbor. . .

Mackinac Island Carriage Tour $21 - pic $10

our chariot. . .I highly recommend the carriage ride,

as it is a long way to several places you want to see,

and it is very steep in places. . .

there were a lot of people pushing bikes up hills. . .

after each ascent, the carriage was stopped to give the horses a breather. . .

(as cheap as I am, I paid the $10 for this pic. . .how else would I get one?  I love it!)

Mackinac  Carriages

at Surry Hill, we changed carriages,

and went from the 20 seat, drawn by two Belgian Draft Horses,

to this 35 seat, drawn by three Belgian Draft Horses

weighing 2000 lbs each. . .we were in the third row. . .

they were high octane. . .let me tell you (smile!)

Arch Rock

our first stop after changing carriages is Arch Rock. . .

which is located inside Mackinac Island State Park. . .

we are allowed seven minutes to see this phenomenon. . .

it is quite lovely. . .

 

watering the horses

while we are seeing the Arch. . .the horses are taking a break. . .

being watered and offered oats. . .

they are given three coffee cans full of oats per day,

and all the hay they can eat. . .
(Jason’s instructions as we exited, “children. . .

do not play in the puddles. . .it has not rained today. . .LOL!)

Michigan Governor's Summer Residence

our next stop. . .if you wish to exit the carriage,

is the Governor’s Summer Residence. . .

the Governor is in residence today, and a soiree is being held. . .

there are folks everywhere. . .we choose not to exit.

Fort Mackinac

the next stop. . .Fort Mackinac. . .where tours are available for an extra fee.


Everyone exits but us. . .we choose to return to Surrey Hill,

where we can once again change carriages and be taken to the Grand Hotel. . .

Mackinac  Carriages

at Surrey Hill we were also give the opportunity to tour

the Grand Hotel Stables where these beautiful Hackney Horses reside. . .

Mackinac  Carriages

the Stables also serve as a show place for several antique carriages. . .

 

and if you so choose

The Butterfly Conservancy

you may tour the Butterfly Garden for an extra fee. . .

Mackinac Fire Engine

of course the Surrey Hill Tourist shops are available

for your viewing pleasure, and a couple of snack shops

are also available. . .we browse a bit and enjoy the antiques

on display while waiting for our carriage to the Grand. . .

The GRAND - Mackinac Island

ah. . .here it is. . .the Pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance. . .

the GRAND HOTEL at Mackinac Island. . .

this is what I have been waiting and planning for. . .

the tour. . .$10 each to be allowed on the porch,

and inside to tour the fabulousness. . .

 

BUT WAIT!. . .STOP RIGHT THERE. . .

the Governor is in residence on the island. . .

there is a Conference at the hotel. . .

The Grand is CLOSED to TOURS. . .

WHAT?  are you kidding me?

as you can imagine. . .I was NOT a happy camper. . .or tourist. . .

WHY. . .oh WHY did they not have a notice posted

at the ferry terminal where we purchased our tickets. . .

we could easily have rescheduled our day. . .

OH WELL. . .nothing to be done about it at this point. . .

so on we trudge back into town. . .

thoroughly disappointed by this turn of events. . .

Mackinac Island Fudge - 17 Fudge Shops - we chose Murdick's as it was the original

perhaps some fudge will ease my heartache. . .

we choose Maple Walnut. . .it is fabulous. . .

but not really helping. . .sad. . .sad, sad, sad. . .that’s what I am!

the famed Mackinac phone booth. . .located on the front nine of the golf course

a few more things we really enjoyed. . .

the famed phone booth located on the first nine of the golf course. . .

Mackinac  Carriages

all the beautiful carriages, Governor’s Residence in the background. . .
 

one little tidbit we learned about the porches of the Grand. . .

The GRAND - Mackinac Island

the ceilings are painted sky blue to fool the birds

into thinking it’s the sky. ..

which discourages nest building. . .

is that true?  Don’t know. . .but it makes a good story. . .right?

Mackinac Bikes

as stated in several articles I read. . .bikes were everywhere. . .

Mackinac  CarriagesHay Wagon

worker wagons. . .stuff has to get places. . .

Mackinac Post Office

and no tour would be complete. . .PO for me. . .

Emergency Vehicles are the only motorized vehicles allowed, and are given right of way at all times. . .

Fire Trucks for Dave. . .emergency vehicles are the only motorized vehicles on the island. . .

Mackinac  Gardens

I thoroughly enjoyed all the art, and the gardens of Mackinac. . .

and even with the disappointment, we really enjoyed our day!

Would we have enjoyed it more, had I been able to tour the Grand. . .

absolutely. . .will I return at some point to make that happen. . .absolutely!

We hope you have enjoyed sharing our tour,

and will be encouraged to visit this beautiful place for yourself. . .

 

We’ll see you next time at the SOO Locks where we have a boat tour planned. . .

‘til then,

Janice and Dave

 

A FEW EXTRA THINGS. . .

some winters, an ice bridge forms across

the Straits of Mackinac, allowing you to

walk or snow mobile the five miles to the island. . .

Would I want to do it?  NO. . .

Does it seem interesting?  YES. . .

Here are some pics and references about it:

Weekend Explorer Mackinac Island

Mackinac Straits Ice Bridge

Mackinac Ice Bridge Movie

More Blog Posts about Mackinac Island

Gypies @ Heart

more by Gypsies @ Heart

Living Our Dream

a very well written blog with great pics inside the fort:
Michigan Exposures

 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Beautiful Travel Day from Traverse City to St Ignace Michigan

 

The aqua hot repair went smoothly at

Just Trucks just out of Traverse City MI, . . .

they told Dave on the phone

that they cater to folks who are on the road. . .

and sure enough, they pulled us right in when we

arrived about 1P. . .got right on the repair. . .

had the parts in stock, and had us ready and rolling by 5P. . .


We decided to spend the night at an RV park

right around the corner from their shop. . .

after five hours on the road to get there,

and four hours waiting around. . .we were beat.


With the Aqua Hot repair we had done at the Escapade,

(I’ll write more about it later) and this repair to the pump,

we feel we basically have a new water heater. . .

works for us. . .

Scenic Drive along the Lake Michigan Shoreline

this morning, with only a two hour trip to St Ignace (pronounced Ig-nus)

we  decided to take the scenic route

along the Lake Michigan Shoreline. . .what a lovely drive. . .

 

Apple Orchards

apple orchards. . .

pretty Michigan Farms

lovely farms. . .

pretty Michigan Harbor

beautiful harbors. . .

 

panaramic view of our purty little lunch spot on Lake Michigan- Big Rock Point

and a wonderful road side park to stop and have

a pimiento cheese sandwich and enjoy the view. . .

it just happened to be a Historical Indian Gathering Grounds

called Big Rock Point. . .it’s a rather interesting story

if you care to take the time to read it.

more images of Big Rock Point including Nuclear Plant pics

 

Mackinac Bridge

next. . .the famed Mackinac Bridge which spans the

channel between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan,

and which allows access to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. . .

or the UP (YEW PEA). . .as it is called. . .

 

Lovely, lovely, lovely day. . .

see you tomorrow in Mackinac Island. . .

‘til then,

Janice and Dave

 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Henry Ford Museum –Dearborn Michigan

 

Listed as one of the Top 10 Michigan attractions,

and having been told by friends that it was worth the visit,

and only being an hour’s drive away. . .

Henry Ford Museum - Dearborn MI - Michigan

we didn’t dare miss the Henry Ford Museum. . .

Henry Ford MuseumGreenfield Village

the museum is massive. . .and overwhelming in the sheer number of items. . .

we were there on Friday, before the Memorial Day Weekend began. . .

the docent who checked us in said that the day before,

she had checked in 9000 (yes. . .thousand) visitors into the museum

due to end of the year field trips. . .can you imagine?
Presidential Limousines Collage - Henry Ford Museum

Presidential Limousines. . .the thing I enjoyed most!

Dymaxion Modular Home Prototype - Henry Ford Museum

I also really enjoyed the Dymaxion Home Prototype. . .
I think RV’ers could appreciate this concept. . .

although it never made it to mass market as intended,

the idea was a good one. . .

the Ford Thunderbird

probably my favorite car of all time. . .

when I was in second grade, my teacher drove one. . .

I just thought that was the coolest thing ever. . .

 

Not really being a museum buff,

after about two hours I was really on sensory overload,

so Dave did a lot more exploring on his own. . .

but he didn’t want to take the camera and take pics,

so I give you this link to check out

more fabulous images in the Henry Ford Museum

and then a few more of our favorite things. . .

 

see you next time at the Greenfield Village. . .

‘til then,

Janice and Dave

 

Blog posts other RV’ers have written about the Henry Ford Museum:

 

 

 

 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Lake Huron and the Blue Water Region of Michigan

One week ago, we moved over to the

Blue Water Area of Michigan to the

St Clair Thousand Trails Campground

located about 15 minutes from Lake Huron

Saint Clair Campground Thousand Trails

it’s fairly big rig friendly. . .but Dave and I have a very special talent.
We usually unhook the jeep, and drive around the park

to find what we think is the most easily accessible, most level

50 amp FHU spot available. . .so that’s what we did. . .

and this was it. . .easy in. . .lovely. . .but of course

there’s a problem with the 50 amp. . .’cause that’s what we excel at. . .

if there’s one breaker that needs to be changed in any park. . .

that is the spot we WILL choose. . .so what’cha gonna do. . .

no biggie. . .plug in to the 30 amp. . .and maintenance will come

in the morning to change the breaker. . .and they did. . .

johnny on the spot. . .next morning. . .taken care of! 

That’s good customer service for sure. . .
Scarlet Tanager - page 356

we’ve been thrilled to add a handful of birds to our life list. . .

this is a Scarlet Tanager. . .

European Starling

a European Starling. . .which evidently is a bully from what folks

on Facebook have told me when I was trying to identify it. . .

Baltimore Oriole

our very, very fave has been the Baltimore Oriole.

Baltimore Oriole is loving the grape jelly

I put out some grape jelly, since Judy (Travels With Emma) said they love it. . .

Male and Female Baltimore Oriole

they’ve been visiting regularly. . .so I think she knows a thing or two about it. . .

Great Lakes - Lake Huron - Fort Gratiot Lighthouse - Canada right across the St Clair River

we made our way to Port Huron to see the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse

right at the mouth of the Saint Clair River. . .

Blue Water Bridge to Canada

observed the Bridge to Canada but decided not to go over at this point. . .

will go over to Canada later when we reach Sault Ste Marie.
Lake Huron

Lake Huron is the second largest Great Lake by surface area

and the fifth largest freshwater lake in the world. . .


We have thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Blue Water Region this week. . .

see you later at the Henry Ford Museum. . .Dearborn Michigan. . .

‘til then,

Janice and Dave

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