We made it. I am writing this post from my grandmother’s library where I will be staying for about the next three weeks. After eleven long days of waking up at five in the morning and going to bed at about eleven at night and over 4700 miles later, we are in our home away from home in Bootjack, Michigan.
We spent the entire first half of our day having an amazing time on Mackinac Island. We took the ferry boat across Lake Huron over to the small island where we toured around for several hours. Since we did one of the earlier tours we got to actually go on the ferry underneath the Mackinac Bridge, the largest suspension bridge in the USA. The wind was biting and the spray from the waves was really cold as it splashed all over me and my camera but the view was spectacular. The water was almost more amazing than the bridge itself. One of my favorite things about Michigan are the lakes. Lake Superior is my all time favorite, but Huron was beautiful. The deep greens and blues that cast a gradient of color for all to see was stupendous to behold.
When we reached the island we decided to walk instead of rent bikes because no vehicles are allowed on the island. Only horse drawn carriages and bikes are allowed on the island making for an antiquated but lovely atmosphere for the entire island.
However, since everything was so expensive we were indeed limited in what we could do including not being able to go into Fort Mackinac. However, we recieved an awesome tip from a woman who told us to go behind the art museum where there was a children’s park and a very well disguised set of stairs. The very long set of stairs wove into the forests and high up the hills until we came out on top which supplied an amazing overlook of the island right next to the fort which we could see right into.
We even got to see the canon demonstration, where they loaded and fired a canon from the fort. It was very cool, but loud.
Behind the Fort we found amazing wide open fields that we had some fun with as we made our way across the island.
We continued on the wooded pathway all over the island eventually ending up at the famous Grand Hotel, which is so highclass that you are not even allowed to walk around it without a ten dollar fee. Also, no shoulders showing, and no pants for women. It was really quite odd. It did have a nice porch though with lines of rocking chairs overlooking the lake.
Since lunch was too expensive at the Grand we headed back to main where we had lunch at an excellent burger joint called Chuckwagons. It was a tiny little alleyway of a room jammed with chairs and people. We sat at the bar looking right at the grill which supplied all the food for the entire place, which in itself was amazing. The chef and I am assuming owner was working it and he was a constant blurr of action. It seemed like he never stopped, a fine tuned burger making machine. I got the rodeo burger which was sublime but messy. Served on a pretzel bun, these burgers where home made and cooked right in front of our eyes. It was entertaining and delicious. Highly recommended, especially with the price compared to the Grand, which I am sure was not nearly as good as this place.
We also had to stop and buy the famous Mackinac Island Fudge, this little island is known for its rich fudge and there are literally dozens of shops all over the island claiming to be the best. With a lot of contestation about which is best, we naturally had to try several.. which meant a lot of fugde sampling and a very high sugar overload when we were done. After sampling a couple of places I decided that Joann’s Fudge is definitely the best. Their sea salt caramel fudge is amazing and rich with that nice salty bit to counteract the powerful sweetness. Not only was the fudge good but the place was cute, the servers friendly and in my opinion most importantly good at giving samples. They were extremely generous in their samples and made sure you really had a taste for which ever fudge you were thinking about tasting. It was quite the adventure and we really enjoyed ourselves on this beauitful, sunny day in Michigan on the Great Lakes.
We did have to move on and take the ferry back sadly but we kept getting waylaid by more beautiful and interesting things before we even left town. We found a beautiufl beach spot to play around in the sandy beaches and clear waters as well as a magnificent lighthouse right at the foot of the bridge.
But after the crossing of the bridge it was a straight shot to our final destination. We had our eyes on the prize and except for a brief pasty stop, which is always worth it, we headed to our home away from home.
It is so nice to be here again, I quite literally wait all year until I can come back here. I am staying in my grandfather’s home right on the lake where I will be doing my writing and hopefully some good research from my grandmother’s old collection of amazing books. So now starts a new (more relaxed) adventure in Michigan.