Monday, September 1, 2008

Mackinaw City, Michigan

August 29-30, 2008

Don't you hate it when dense fog rolls in and turns a routine trip into a slow, "blow your horn every two minutes" trek? We left Cheboygan in the sun. But 4 miles away from Mackinaw City, this dense pea soup rolled in, not on little cat's feet, but on big tiger paws. Really, this is the view from the helm. Not good. Thankfully, the pea soup cleared up before we got anywhere near the ferry boat routes.

But it was slow going for awhile.

We've visited Mackinaw City before, so we won't retell any of the previous stories. Except to mention two of our favorite places.

Mackinaw Bakery and Coffee Shop Cinnamon rolls, raspberry sticks, buttermilk sticks, donuts, cream and jelly filled delights. Enough said.

JoAnn's Fudge Fudge and Ice Cream. Enough said.

We also like Sheplers because they always have an "End of Season" sale going on long before the end of OUR boating season. And the staff of the Island Bookstore is always helpful and knowledgeable.

Last year, we biked down to the Wilderness State Park. So we had to take a different bike trip this year. Last fall (2007), a new route was completed called the Gaylord to Mackinaw Rail Trail. Apparently the funding came from an MDOT grant and local contributions. We took the trail from Mackinaw to Cheboygan (which is only 32 miles round trip -- but we're still converting from kayaking to biking so aren't quite ready for the 50+ mile trips. Yet.) It is a wonderful trail. Pretty flat, great crushed limestone, and scenic. Along the way we found a very large turtle that apparently was passing his day by watching riders, runners, and walkers go by. Being so much more camera-friendly than any loon we found in the North Channel, Bernie spent several minutes snapping pictures. He seemed to be posing (Actually, Phil thought he was preparing to launch at Bernie, like the rabbit in Monty Python.). Bernie thought he needed a manicure though. Can you see those nails?

That evening, Mackinaw City had a huge fireworks display celebrating Labor Day and the 51/50 Bridge Walk. Last year was the 50th Bridge Walk, true. This year is the 51st Bridge Walk, but it is the 50th LABOR DAY Bridge Walk. We suspect that next year might be 52/51/50. The 52nd Bridge Walk. The 51st Labor Day Bridge Walk. The 50th Bridge Walk that started after 7:00am. The possibilities are endless.

The next morning, quite early, Phil roused Bernie from a deep, pleasant-dream-filled, relaxing sleep and dragged her to the bakery to load up on sweet treats for the very long trip to Lake Charlevoix, Michigan. "Not a moment to lose", he harangued, "Could be some weather moving in! Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Let's get moving, sleepy girl! Andale! Andale! Arrr!"

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