Monday, September 10, 2007

Mackinaw City, Michigan

Somewhere in the short span from St. Ignace, Michigan to Mackinaw City, Michigan, the weather changed from overcast and cool back to sunny, clear and warm. At least for a little while.

Mackinaw City is the most "touristy" of the ports we've been in so far. We think that's because it is more the "jumping off" point to Mackinac Island than a specific destination. But it does have some fun things to do, which is good because there's barely any internet service.

Oh, by the way, we're skipping Mackinac Island on this trip. They closed the Mackinac Island Marina the day after Labor Day (except for a few boats that had prior reservations) to start a $5 million renovation project that is expected to be completed by next May. They aren't adding any slips but they are supposed to be re-doing the marina buildings, services, grounds, and switching to floating docks.

Fudge is available from almost every store here (as are T-Shirts and Bridge souvenirs). Ice cream is available at some of the places (we liked the ice cream at Joann's). But Mackinaw City has the one of best old-fashioned bakeries that we've encountered. The Mackinaw Bakery and Coffee Shop has fresh baked goodies every day. Our favorites were the Buttermilk Sticks, Peanut Caramel Swirls, and the Blueberry Pie Sticks. YUMMM! There is also a very accommodating bookstore - Island Bookstore. When we were here for the Bridge Walk (and no one here really believes there were only 57,000 people either), we had cinnamon rolls from Audie's Chippewa Room, so we went back there for dinner one evening.

Mackinaw City also has a good marine service place and ship store. Shepler's also runs the ferry service to Mackinac Island. They were having an "end-of-season" sale that we took advantage up. In particular, we bought the Richardson Guide, Port of Call and Navigational Charts for Lake Huron. This will let us work on next year's trip over the loonnnnngggggg winter. Phil stocked up on some spare parts for Meridian as well. Sheplers also does marine storage and they were doing quite the busy business while we were there. People up here seem to put their boats away right after Labor Day. We're not sure if they do boat sales but we did find our next cruiser in the marina area. It's even decked out with the appropriate flag. We just haven't figured out where we'll put the bicycles.

We hadn't initially planned to stay over on Friday, September 7. But a weather front moved through on Friday. This created some cool clouds and some pretty gusty winds and rain. The waves were over ten feet high out in the middle of the straits. On the plus side, though, it gave us a reason to stay over and attend the Mackinaw City Hopps of Fun Fest. The Hopps Fest (Bernie kept calling it Hoops Fest even though it had nothing to do with basketball) featured beer and wine tastings from Michigan (and vicinity) Breweries and Wineries. Although the rain and wind (notice how this table cloth is blowing around inside the tent) caused all of Mackinaw City - including the marina - to lose electricity, the Hopps Fest went on. It's nice to see a town with its priorities in order.

No comments: