Front row: Richard Waltman, me and Linda West
Back row: Bonnie Waltman, Walter West and John
Going to Mackinac Island was pretty exciting as it has a quaint, charming, historic and pre-automobile ambiance dating all the way back to 1898. You need to travel either by foot power, either walking or peddling or you can choose to use horse-drawn carriages.
The Waltmans and we opted to take our bicycles on the ferry and once docked right on Haldimand Bay, adjoined to Main Street. Main Street is a bustling business district filled with hotels, restaurants, souvenir stores and tons of fudge shops. We rode our bikes to the Arch Rock and thought we could not make it, as the roads are pretty steep. Once there, we were amazed at how pretty the views were. Through the rock formation you may view the incredibly blue waters of the Straits of Mackinac.
We opted to ride the road around the island which is Highway M-185, the only state highway where cars are banned. This road is eight miles in circumference and takes you past the Arch Rock and provides fabulous views of the Strait.
While driving around the island, one of the most striking visuals is how clean and clear the water was, albeit very cold. Since we had not been in any body of water for a long time, so we opted to at least dip our toes on this one.
Along the shoreline, we saw many cairns of various sizes.
When we completed our ride around the island, Bonnie and I visited the Grand Hotel.
We had much fun here and it was time to leave and since there were many things left undone, we will return.
Bonnie and Rich and Linda and Walter joined us in our journey to Sault Saint Marie, (pronounced Soo St. Marie) so we could see huge vessels pass through the Soo locks. This was an experience that cannot be seen anywhere else in the US. I believe they are in the process of building yet another set of locks to accommodate even larger ships than they do now.
This particular vessel has only inches on either side to pass through the lock.
When we got our fill of watching the locks and umpteen number of vessels, we continued on to Taquamenon Falls.
While at Tahquamenon Falls we hiked to the lower falls and then took a tour on the Toonerville Trolley, which is a train ride that took you to the Taq River where you would board a large double decker boat for a several hour trip up the river, viewing occasional wildlife, if lucky, to view the upper falls. Unfortunately, when we arrived, the viewing platform was not functional and thus we were only able to see the falls from behind. This was rather disappointing and had we been told, we certainly would have opted for a different adventure. Oh well, lesson learned.
We also drove to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Whitefish Point. We learned about the many ships that have sunk in the Great Lakes but especially about the mysterious shipwreck of SS Fitzgerald back in 1975. Her 200 lb. brass bell was recovered and sits in the museum.
Back at the campsite however, each evening the mosquitoes anxiously awaited our return from our activities so they could have their dinner. I have never seen more vicious creatures. If they could organize, they could literally take us for a flight!
We continued our journey to Munising, home of Pictured Rocks. We took the sunset tour on Lake Superior to see these rock formations and it totally gave us the wow factor.
While in Munising, we decided to visit Marquette. The Marquette downtown area is very artsy.
Beautiful tree – real or fake?
St. Peter’s Cathedral
We visited Miner’s Falls