This is another one of those places in our country that if you have never been there, you should make a point to go. I won't bore you with a bunch of dates and statistics, but this area has a very long history dating back the the 1700s between the French, English, Native Americans, and New Americans.
Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City are separated by the straits of Mackinac, about a 15 mile stretch of water that joins Lakes Michigan and Huron. Although the spelling is different (nac) and (naw), they are both pronounced (naw). Only Mackinaw City uses the phonetic spelling.
The Mackinac Bridge which joins the Michigan Upper and Lower Peninsula's is over 5 miles long and is about 650' high. It is huge and the pictures don't do it justice. They are currently sand blasting and painting it, which takes 7 years. Then they can start all over.
Mackinac Island is famous for it's non-motorized policy. This policy was put into place around 1900 because the cars scared the horses. Although there are no cars or trucks on the island, there are a few motorized work vehicles to take care of tasks that simply are not possible by using horses. There is so much history on the island that I am not going to try to explain it all. Just rest assured that you will want to visit the island.
We started out on a 20 minute shuttle boat and then boarded our horse drawn carriage for a 2 hour tour of the island. One of the highlights was the Grand Hotel. Built about 90 years ago, the hotel has 390 guest rooms. NO TWO ARE DECORATED ALIKE. The hotel took 93 days to build. It's hard to imagine that anything this huge could be built in such a short time. Certainly couldn't happen today.
The majority of horses on the Island are Belgian Draft Horses. They have had a few Clydesdales, but Belgians can pull three times their own weight and Clydesdales can only pull about 1 1/2 times their weight. This is why on the Budweiser commercials there are usually 8 horses. They need that many to pull the wagon.
A quick stop at the arch and the fort and then back to town. The town has 17 fudge and ice cream shops. I'm sure you have heard of the famous Mackinac Island Fudge Ice Cream.
Joey had a great day too. His usual is to bark at bicycles and dogs. He gave them a rest today but he sure gave the horses hell. This is probably his biggest outing ever. He is now fast asleep dreaming about his day.
We take off into Canada tomorrow so I probably won't be posting anything for a few days. For our Florida friends, it was beastly hot today, 82 with a breeze off the lake. :)
Rich and Cindy