Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Trip Report #2 - Northern Michigan

Northern Michigan - I wanted to see how wild northern Michigan was, and what sort of forests it had. I also wanted to see at least a little bit of the UP, the Upper Peninsula. There were some outstanding houses as we went further north. These were people who had money, I decided. Mackinaw City was pretty much a tourist town and a jumping off place for Mackinac Island. Both names are pronounced the same, one being the English spelling and the other apparently the French. Lots of shops and we had a delightful supper and conversation with the waitress and hostess.

Mackinac Island, Michigan - There are three boat services to the island. We chose Arnold, which runs a fleet high speed catamarans. For a bonus I got to watch a young long-haired blonde who was a most efficient deckhand. She tied up and cast off the boat as well as any man I’ve seen at this task. The run to the island was smooth; the return was not quite. The wind was blowing pretty good and the water was choppy.

Mackinac Island is an island without cars. (Not exactly. No private car but there are about six emergency vehicles, fire trucks, a police jeep, ambulance). Transportation is by horse-drawn carriages or on foot. We determined to walk. The street closest to the shore is nothing but stores, clothing, restaurants, t-shirts, knick-knacks and do-dads. Touristy! Mackinac Island fudge is purported to be the island’s biggest industry. One street away were some wonderful historic homes, some of them now bed-and-breakfasts. One of the first buildings that we saw had been the headquarters of the John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company. It was formed in 1817. Over $3M in furs were traded at this post. We walked on and uphill toward The Grand Hotel. We were told that this hotel is, indeed, grand. Excellent service and excellent dining for which one pays excellent prices. A fellow passenger suggested that everyone should spend a night there. We were able to approach close enough to take photos of the long facade, but to get closer one would have to pay a fee. This hotel was the setting for the novel, Somewhere in Time, as well as the movie, although part of it was shot at a resort on the island. Walking back toward the harbor, we stopped for lunch at the at The French Outpost.

St. Ignace, Michigan. This is truly the U.P., the Upper Peninsula. You travel there via a five-mile suspension bridge, quite a marvel in itself. I would like to have explored the U.P. further but time didn’t allow. We visited the Huron Museum and saw the place where Father DeSmet, the famous Jesuit missionary to the Indians, is buried.


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