Thursday August 22nd we headed to Mackinac Island. There are no cars on the island only horse drawn buggies and wagons and bicycles. We planned to ride our own bikes so we needed to take them on the ferry over to the island. The bikes were still in the truck and I needed to check the air pressure before we left. As I thought, both bikes needed air in the tires. I carry a small air compressor for the bikes and for the RV and truck tires. Really need a larger one but that's not on the agenda for now.
After getting the bike tires aired up we were ready to head to the ferry dock. There are 3 ferry companies in town that take you the 5 or so miles to the island. We picked Sheplers Ferry Service as we got a $3 dollar off coupon at the RV Park for them. The ferry dock was only about half a mile away so we could have just ridden our bikes there. However, we were not sure if we would be back after dark so we drove the truck with the bikes to the dock. The ferry had free parking with plenty of space so it was not any problem to park.
We were at the dock at 11:15am for the 11:30am ferry. The ferries leave every half hour from 9am to 9pm during the week. With the $3 discount and the $8 for each bike the total round trip cost of the ferry was $62. The ride over was about 25 minutes including the slow docking on the island side.
|At the dock ready to ride to the ferry.|
|View from the ferry. That is one of the faster ferrys in the background.|
|Mackinac Bridge from the ferry.|
|The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.|
|Lighthouse on the mainland in St Ignace.|
|A modern lighthouse near the port entrance to Mackinac Island.|
|The water is so clear!|
|Mackinac Island. Note all of the bicycles!|
|We found this funny. The UPS truck is brought over by boat.|
|UPS is not allowed to drive the truck on the island. The contents of the truck are unloaded on a horse drawn wagon.|
|Pictures of downtown on the island|
Since the last ferry at night is at 9pm you really need to stay on the island over night to get the whole experience. We opted to just see the sights, have a bottle of wine and people watch, and ride our bikes around the island and not in that order!
The bike ride was one of the best we have done ever. There is a little uphill riding but not much as we are mostly riding along the coastline of Lake Huron. The ride is 8 miles and we took about 2.5 hours to finish the ride. It can be done in less than an hour but there is so much to see that speeding would be missing the point of the ride. In fact there are many signs along the bike road that say to not speed.
|Our bikes waiting for us after they were unloaded from the ferry.|
|People make these balanced rock formations everywhere. I do not have the patience for that!|
|You can take a horse drawn tour of the island. You can also rent your own horse and buggy to do your own tour.|
After finishing the bike ride and parking our bikes, we strolled the main street of town. We tasted some fudge and bought a peanut covered caramel apple and had a bottle of expensive wine. As we were walking a very nice and good looking woman asked us if we would like to sit and have some wine.
Well sure we do! She told us about 2 wines one of which had a $21 price tag on it. The other did not. Guess which one we bought, the one without a price tag. When we got the bill the wine was $43 and with a $6 tip it was $49! We think she has done this sell routine before. She really was good though as I didn't feel bad about it. In fact, that sentiment I believe sums up the Island, you are being ripped off but it doesn’t feel bad. It’s sort of like Disney World in that sense.
|My expression after getting the bill for the wine.|
We took the 4:30 pm ferry back to St Ignace. After arriving back on the mainland we went to a hardware store and picked up a 75W soldering gun. That should be enough heat to get the TV fixed this time. We also stopped and picked up root beer. We seem to be hooked on diet A&W root beer ever since we were in South Florida last winter.
|New 75W soldering gun to fix the TV.|
We also stopped at Bessie’s café to get some local homemade Pasties. Pasties are similar to a pierogie in shape but made like a pot pie. They have a pie crust that is filled with either chicken or beef and have carrots, potatoes, onions, and seasonings inside. We were told that pasties were brought here from England by British miners. Anyway, that is what we had for dinner. We are not big fans of the Pastie. It is a dry handheld pot pie. So there you have it from us on the Pastie!
|A pasty with slaw and gravy.|
|A Yooper is a person born in the U.P.. We were told that people from south of the Mackinac Bridge are called trolls and that tourists on the Island are called fudgies.|
After dinner we headed into town for the free Blues band entertainment at 7pm. The band was really good but we were surprised that there wasn't more people out. That was OK as it made more room for us.
|Entrance to the St Ignace marina.|
|The blues band at the St Ignace marina.|
And this concludes our adventure to the Island of Mackinac and our first full day in the U.P.
Tomorrow the plan is to fix the TV and to walk to down town where there are some Indian exhibits.