The Bucket List III

   8-2-14-1 - Copy [Hey, CCLers, on the early morning road from Marquette to Mackinac . . . a roadside rest area powered by solar panels!  🙂  ]

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[Before proceeding, a forgotten note from the previous day.  This is a canned photo of Munising, Michigan, on South Bay, Lake Superior, about 37 miles from Marquette.  Just wanted to give it a call out as the coolest little town we traversed.]

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[I believe these are shot from the right side of the car – that would be me in the passenger seat.  Thus, while we were hugging Lake Superior from Marquette to the aforementioned Munising, that lake was on our left.  At Munising we headed south until we hit Lake Michigan, then we headed east again.  Thus, through the powers of deductive reasoning, these above would be of Lake Michigan.  😉  ]

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[Despite being a major reason for visiting the UP, we somehow managed to never have a pastie dinner?  The horrors!]

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[Cruising the Lake Michigan shoreline reminded me of driving the Outer Banks of North Carolina.]

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[Nope, didn’t stop here either.  El Holm will never give me a homemade one ever again!]

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[Bottomed out of the UP at the nifty little port town of St. Ignace, which coincidentally is about the same size as Munising, where we boarded a Star Line Ferry for the trip to Mackinac Island.  While ferries run every half hour from both St. Ignace (on the north) and Mackinaw City (on the south), there are only a couple times each morning and evening when the ferry detours out to go around the Mackinac Bridge – we were lucky to arrive just in time for such that trip.  🙂  ]

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[The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island – I believe we determined it to be spendy and exclusive but nice to look at.]

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[I don’t know why I particularly stopped for a caption here?  But I do find this goes much faster if I don’t caption every picture.  This, of course, is still on the passage from St. Ignace to the island, less than a half hour trip.  It was a quite lovely day.]

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[Sailing, sailing, over the bounding main . . .]

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[We’ve landed.  We come in peace and pledge to do nothing to adversely affect the local populace . . . well, maybe a little fracking.]

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[OK, it’s not the entire island.  Our map was bigger than our scanner and I didn’t feel like futzing with it any longer.]

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[Little did we know the importance of this piece of scenery until a little later in the afternoon (see lunch).]

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[And they just keep coming . . . and going!!]

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[Downtown Mackinac Island, abuzz with all manner of tourists and touristas.]

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[From the above four photos you should get the idea that the only forms of transportation on the island are walking, bicycling, and horsepower (not the kind in an internal combustion engine).  So when you say, “That’s horseshit” around here, you really mean it!  Oh, the super and I opted for walking . . . so we really had to watch our step!]

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[A rock with a plaque stuck on it.  OK, it says Mackinac Island, Michigan’s Most Historic Spot (as chosen by the Michigan DAR).]

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[This is Father Marquette, who is also famed in Minnesota song and story.  Minneapolis named an avenue after him and Carlos Creek Winery named a wine (a good wine!) after him.  The following three photos were taken by a young lady who offered to do so, and she captured a potential award-winning shot of the gull that was on top of Marquette’s head dropping through for a fly-by, and then captured him/her landed on the steps.]

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[More fun with Father Marquette.]

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[The view from Father Marquette . . . the one “up the hill” is of Mackinac Fort.  We opted not to go up there though several folks subsequently asked if we did.]

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[Rather than visiting the fort, this is the walk we opted for . . . up and around the Grand Hotel.  It was an uphill hike and got our juices flowing as it was getting a tad warm and sticky.  Though they do it all the time, felt for the horses, who though quite large, appeared to be laboring pulling those “trailers” full of people up those steep hills.]

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[Coming back down, a little outdoor café on the Grand Hotel golf course.]

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[The views from and around the Grand Hotel.  Where the super is standing is about as far as you can go in front of the hotel without paying a $5.00 sightseeing fee.  We opted not to.  😉  ]

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[As I recall, the governor’s summer residence?]

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[Al Capone and a “moll”?]

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[We walked out to the edge of town where there was a little park that offered food and drink for sale.  We were getting hungry for lunch but . . .]

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[Kept on hiking out into the residential area.]

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[Much to her delight, the supervisor found the home of a fellow Hoosier!  🙂  ]

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[OK, far enough – let’s start looking for a restaurant and trying to figure out how they do it when boatloads of people are arriving every half hour?]

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[OK, a long stretch between captions.  On the above sign you’ll see where we ended up for lunch.  Why we decided to go in here, I’m not sure.  It’s a hotel, and you can’t really see the restaurant from the street, but it was the first place we hit upon coming back into town.  And then we discovered this is right next to where we disembarked from the ferry.  We had a lovely champagne lunch at the restaurant voted to have the best outdoor dining view, as reported by our server who thought I was quite the crazy old man.]

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[You can’t swing a dead cat (or critter of your own choosing) on this island without hitting a fudge shop.  So, this is where the super chose for dessert.  I wondered how much sugar they must have to ferry out to the island to support all these shops – the super reported she did see large bags of sugar stacked somewhere along our route.]

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[Past the pirate ship, the harbor, and the Grand Hotel, it was time to go back to the mainland.]

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[What, another “selfie”?]

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[Well, at least get the size right!  And this is where we noted on Facebook that although we live on beautiful Lake Darling, on a lovely chain of lakes, we had yet to be on the water all year . . . and here, in a period of two days, we boated on three of the five great lakes.  In this instance, Lake Michigan is on the west side of the bridge and Lake Huron (and Mackinac Island) is on the east side.]

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[Back at St. Ignace.]

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[And then we drove over the bridge – from St. Ignace to Mackinaw City – for our overnight lodging.]

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[The view of the bridge from our lodging.]

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[On the way to dinner, I had to try out the motel’s hammock – then I had to try out their chiropractor.  We ambled down the street for a block or two and found a family style restaurant where I had a lovely whitefish (the number one commercial fish of the Great Lakes) almondine.  To my indistinct memory, my first whitefish dinner . . . when in Rome . . .]

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[After dinner, we returned to the motel and then crossed the street for a literal “walk in the park.”    ]

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[Just so you (and I) remember where we were.]

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[Just some photos in the park – nice lighting for these.  Like this latter one of girls skipping stones.]

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[There’s not much more one can add to that.  But for a bit of history, the bridge spans the Straits of Mackinac, connecting Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas.  The Strait connects Lakes Michigan and Huron.  The bridge is the 5th longest suspension bridge in the world and was opened on November 1, 1957 (I seem to remember that as a kid).  Of serious note, the bridge’s central span is designed to move 35 feet (east-west in high winds) – the most it has moved is 22 feet, which would be a pants wetter.  As someone who has crossed the much higher Chesapeake Bay Bridge many times, this wasn’t a bad crossing . . . but then it wasn’t moving either!]

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[People were gathering and frolicking in anticipation of the coming sunset.  After I shot the above photo of the super holding the sun, the camera battery crapped out.  Uffda!  Well, it was a good sunset, not a great sunset.]

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[Went back to the motel, popped in a recharged camera battery, and took these bridge photos from our balcony.  Next stop – camp!]

I would rather lie on a sofa than sweep beneath it.  ~  Shirley Conran

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