Monday, June 14, 2010

Northern Michigan, Day 4: Mackinac Island

Thursday morning we said goodbye to the house at Lake Ann and drove up the shore of Grand Traverse Bay, through beautiful Charlevoix and Petoskey, to Mackinaw City. There we boarded a ferry and crossed the Mackinac Straits between Lakes Michigan and Huron to spend our last night of vacation on Mackinac Island--though *not* at the uber-expensive Grand Hotel:

No cars are allowed on Mackinac Island--the preferred modes of transportation are bicycles (seen parked everywhere--no one even bothers to lock them up during the day)...

...and horse-drawn carriages:

Our first order of business was to rent a bicycle--and Steve decided we needed a tandem. We had actually ridden one before a couple of summers ago, so it didn't take too long to remember how and work pretty well together. But we did discover, after trying it just once, that it absolutely did NOT work for me to be in front and Steve to be in back. We couldn't even go ten feet that way!

We enjoyed a late lunch at the Seabiscuit Cafe and then decided to go ahead and bike around the island--all eight miles. Oh yes. Perhaps now would be the appropriate time to mention that not once did we pass even one other tandem bicycle. Is that because we are crazy, or brave, or...?
Well, the one thing we were was SORE. And I probably can't blame that on the tandem. Y'all, I cannot even explain to you how much pain my poor rear end was in after that bike ride. Words fail me. Sitting down on a bed hurt. Attempting to mount the bicycle the next morning nearly made me cry.

But alas, it was fun while it lasted.

The most noteworthy scenery of the trip around the island was Arch Rock. We admired it from the road:

...then noticed a giant, sometimes-rickety staircase we could climb to the top for a better view. Exhausting, but a welcome respite to use different muscles than the sitting-on-a-bike-and-pedaling ones. I think I counted somewhere around 170 steps?

And the view from the top--with another picture of us together, thanks to the Gorillapod:

After all that biking, I declared that I had *definitely* earned another ice cream cone. With two scoops :)

Tomorrow: Last day on Mackinac, then headed home


Zoanna said...

Not to mention, you rode those 8 miles PREGNANT and in flip-flops. Wow.

Love the shot of you two on the bike. Beautiful coloring and expression.

Zoanna said...

Okay, and so I did happen to notice the sign that reads "Visitor's Center." I guess they aren't expecting but one visitor per day?

Amy said...

haha, leave it to you to notice that, Zo :) I'll cut a little more slack for things like "visitor's center" for some reason...same with "farmer's market" - maybe because *I* have to stop and think twice about the latter. I'm sure it should be "visitors' center" and "farmers' market" but for some reason those seem a lot less glaring and obnoxious to me than most apostrophe errors :)

I guess I think of it as that literary device, what's it called? synecdoche...or there's another one, I always got them mixed up. anyway it means to let a part represent the whole. it's the center for Everyman Visitor --"The Visitor" :)

Danielle said...

Oooo, I'd love to visit Mackinac Island! I just read an article about that place. Aren't they famous for their lilacs?

Amy said...

yep, Danielle, and when we got there they were really in bloom. I got a few pics, nothing spectacular, but those are coming later today. there are tons of different shades of lilacs on the greenspace in front of Fort Mackinac--really pretty.

zz said...

It is the center where a visitor goes for info, I suppose,in its truest sense. It just cracks me up, though .I picture a lonely employee getting so little foot traffic in a day that she decides one day to go out and move the apostrophe left by one letter. :)

Marianne said...

Seriously? Could you be any more lovely, Amy?

Amy said...

aww, you're too sweet, Marianne! thank you!

Robin said...

This looks like a fantastic trip, Amy! Thanks so much for all the detailed posts (I know I'm getting to them kind of late).

I went to northern Michigan for a weekend with some friends the summer before I started at IWU, and we spent a day on Mackinac Island. When discussing what we should do, someone mentioned the 8-mile path around the island, which was quickly shot down for being too long. So we tried to cut across the island on the interior paths, got lost for hours, and ended up walking 8 miles anyway. I have great memories from that day though, so I especially enjoyed this post!