Monday, August 2, 2010

Giddyup!



It's a rainy day today on the Lake and Anna and I are taking the time to catch up with everyone.  We have just had one of the best visits to Mackinac Island anyone could ever hope for.  For those of you who have not heard of this place, it is a small island located about 10 miles from the Mighty Mackinac Bridge which spans the straits separating Lake Michigan from Lake Huron.  One of the most endearing things about Mackinac Island is that they have banned cars, and have continued to use horses as their primary form of transportation.  Since the Island is only 8 miles around, one can get around very easily on a bicycle.  It is just amazing to ride around the Island and witness all the goods and services being delivered by horse and carriage.  It is no wonder how Mackinac Island has gained a reputation as being one of the most romantic and beautiful places in the state of Michigan.  Like all great places it does have its quirks though.  The Ferries that bring people to and from the island are piloted by reincarnated Kamikaze Pilots, they seem to aim right at you as you make your way across the bay.  Anna and I got the scare of out lives as we were passed by one of the high speed rockets about 50 feet off our stern.  Thankfully we had just enough time to turn Blue into a hard turn and take the wake on our bow.  It scares me to think what would have happened if we had taken the wave on the stern quarter, it was just huge.  The other unfortunate thing about the island is that horse poop does stink and man do those animals like to poop.  Anna and I were very amused watching a group of workers ride around town on three wheel bikes with a bucket and shovel attacked picking up all the manure.  Man was it a full time job.  At night they wash main street with a fire hose and pull a wagon with a large pooper scooper attachment around the island cleaning the roads.  It made for some quick maneuvering on the bikes as we dodged the piles left and right.  I can't imagine how bad the streets of New York and Boston must have smelled back in the old days.  Leaving Mackinac Island was sad for us, it is a wonderful little Island which reminded us of our home on Nantucket.  We are heading south now traveling down the east coast of lake Michigan.  Our next major stop will be Traverse City.  I have heard wonderful things about this place and can't wait to check it out.  It will take a good week to get there, Lake Michigan is not the place to get caught in rough weather, we have seen that there is a harbor of refuge every 20 to thirty miles on the lake and we intend on taking full advantage of them.  As we found in our first few days here the lake can produce some huge seas and if you ever listened to Gordan Lightfoots song the Edmond Fitzgerald,  we have no desire to get caught if the winds of November come early.
Anna and I made this video using our IPhone.  It's not the best quality and it was hard to shoot it and dodge the horse poop, but it will give you a little taste of the Island.

The Mighty Mack!  Check out the Tanker going under the bridge.  This Bridge is Huge!
Finally we can put our Code Brown problems behind us.  This was a Crappy Job! 
Sorry I couldn't resist.
&^%**&^^*^%$^&*())*&^&!
Blue Yonder, Blue Chip, Blue Heaven.  OK the Dockmaster has a sense of Humor. 
The Grand Hotel.  Made famous in the Movie "Somewhere In Time"
All Islands have to have really expensive houses on a cliff road, it's a law I think.
Every house had the most amazing flowers.
They say the horse is King on Mackinac Island.  It was just amazing to see them all at work.
This man awaits his guests for the Grand Hotel.
It was so nice to take a stroll down mainstreet before the crowds arrived.  You can tell they have just finished washing the street. 
What a cool town.
Anyone have a match, that's the guy who waked us.
BONSAI!