Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday, July 6

#1 On the ferry to Mackinac Island
#2 At Arch Rock at the beginning of the bicycle trip
#3 On our "bicycle built for two"
#4 THE dress code for the Grand Hotel - did I mention that they did not let us in?
#5 One of the Grand Hotel carriages
#6 THE GRAND HOTEL!!! La de da!
It was a stow and go morning….walked around the campground a bit taking a few pictures of the lake and campsite, had breakfast and then started packing back up again…..sigh…not a particularly fun process…..headed up to St. Ignace and was set up by about 2 p.m. and had a quick sandwich. No water at this campground so we filled our holding tank and used that.

Deciding to catch the Mackinac Island ferry to go there today, we were just in time to catch the 3 p.m. ferry and it was one with big rooster tails so it was a fairly quick ride…maybe 20 minutes. There are no cars or motorized vehicles allowed on the island…transport is by foot, bike, horse or carriage. There were bicycles everywhere and horse drawn carriages everywhere. You could even rent a buggy that you drove yourself, but we did not see that one in time. We decided to rent a bicycle built for two and ride at least as far as Arch Rock (about a mile or so out of town). The entire circle island route is 8 miles and although we had been told to allow at least 4-5 hours for that, the folks at the bike shop said it could be done in a shorter amount of time.

The day was overcast and threatening, but we set out making our way through town and out onto the road. Arrived at Arch Rock and climbed the stairs to get to it…it was a great view. Back on the bike we kept on going, planning to re evaluate the situation after a couple more miles….when we reached the 4 mile mark we knew we were halfway. We had to push up one hill (did I mention that our bike was old style w/ no gears??) but it wasn’t long or too steep…mostly flat. Stopped at the concession stand halfway round and had a Coke. I was very surprised to see that they featured fried dill pickles there as I had not seen them anywhere outside the south…however, they take a whole pickle and quarter it lengthwise then dredge it in some kind of seasoned crumb coating (not especially batter like) and fry it. The guy offered to fry one for me, but it was late in the day and they had already turned off the fryer. It rained a bit on us, and looked really threatening for a bit, but it wasn’t too bad and we had no choice but to continue. We got back to the bike rental place and from there decided to walk to the Grand Hotel…the one with the longest front porch in the world.

On the way up when we entered the grounds, there was a sign posted that informed us that there would be a $10 fee per person to enter the hotel if we were not registered guests. When we arrived at their driveway and walked to the main entrance, we could not see the porch as it was on level above us…there was a red carpeted stairway/entrance where the buggies unloaded that served as the entrance to the hotel. We were also informed that we did not meet their dress code as it was after 6 p.m. After 6, men are required to wear coat and tie and women cannot wear slacks. So, it may be a landmark hotel, but evidently not for the likes of us.

We walked back down into town and found a place called the Pink Pony where we could eat on the deck and be protected from the rain which had started in earnest….they actually had Guinness stout on tap which Jerry enjoyed and I had a pink pony - rum, peach schnapps, amaretto and pink lemonade….tasty, but one was enough. After a sandwich for Jerry, soup and salad for me we left and I went in search of a book for Ella….found one on the legend of Mackinac Island so I got that and we made the 8 p.m. ferry back to St. Ignace and we watched a movie when we got back. Late to bed….

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