Monday, June 16, 2014

A Civilized Island Adventure

Oh, there you are!  I think I was lost in a time warp because it's been two Mondays.  Sorry about that.  All is well.

Let's get right to Mackinac Island.

Here's a view of the Mighty Mac Bridge from the ferry.

Mackinac Bridge from the Lake Huron side

And here is my hotel from the ferry.  I know, I stayed in the Grand.  But when my professional trips are heavily subsidized, I get to do those kinds of things!

The world-renowned Grand Hotel

Not going to lie.  It was a little too grand for me.  I prefer to live simply, and don't need a harp playing when I walk down red carpeted stairs or perfumerie shops or $20 glasses of wine.  I did enjoy the breakfast and the view, though!

The Grand dining set for breakfast

Quite exquisite.  And another unknown bucket list item to cross off.

My main goals on the island were to circumnavigate the outer road on my bike, go for a guided nature hike, do some research and simply take it all in.  I loved it way more than I expected.  Actually, I wasn't ready to leave my last day.  But alas, I had to.  Here are some of the highlights.

Mackinac Island traffic -- horses and bikes

A peaceful setting by the beach

Arch Rock!

Hellooooooo Lady's Slipper

You know me.  I cherish wildflowers.  The scene on that island blew my mind.  I found trilliums with heads the size of my fist, fields of fragrant lily of the valley and poison ivy -- just to name a few uncommon sightings for me.  I would love to stay all summer and watch what blooms next.  I wonder what is out there now....

Okay, so I drove home, took an impromptu trip to WI, came back and planted the garden.  This is the first time I have been able to plant a garden since I lived in the fertile soils of Wisconsin.  Clyde and Lloyd Wescoat have generously donated a plot of their black soil for a Community Garden.  If you are up this summer, check it out right behind the main trailhead by the Welcome Center.  I am grateful for that, and excited to tend this summer.

What else is happening in the park?  Major construction.  I guess it was time to make it look like a real, civilized park.  Here is what it looks like mid-operation.

CH Park under construction

Just a few key items here.  Note the brick terrace.  Behind it, on the right, you'll see the pavilion.  Lots of equipment and dirt, otherwise.  They will be planting grass once the machines are done.  We'll see how it looks then!

I must give a shout to the weather today.  It is warm again.  The last few days have been chilly, windy and rainy.  The power even went out yesterday from the strong gusts.  Life in da Keweenaw, I tell ya!  So, nice to see you Mr. Sunshine!

But, of course, sunshine brings the bugs.  They are hungry.  I look a little like I have the chicken pox myself, but it's just blackfly bites.  They can go away anytime now.

Back to our flowers, I get to sniff lilacs and roses -- two of my favorite smells.  Lots of others are blooming now, too but I won't go through them all again.  I'm sure you have them memorized by now. And if you don't, come on up and take one of my wildflower tours!

Now there is one more event that I need to speak of.  Okay, two.  The Fundraiser for the Fireworks sunset cruise on the Isle Royale Queen IV is this Wednesday.  The boat leaves at 7:00pm sharp from the dock.  I believe the price is $15 per adult with all proceeds going to the fireworks fund.  This is usually a great time.  Come if you can.

The other even just happened on Friday the 13th.  It was the Annual CHVFD Fundraiser Spaghetti Dinner.  This event packed the Mariner North.  People came to eat spaghetti, buy local baked goods, bid at the silent auction and enter the 50/50 raffle.  Somehow (sober and tired) I managed to stay the whole time and talk to lots of friends.  It was a lovely gathering.  This is a great place to meet and mingle with locals.  A special thanks goes out to everyone who volunteered time, effort, money, goods and services for this great cause: our fire department.

Well, let me leave you with a picture I took when I was trying to figure out how to use my new camera.  I am fond of this shot.  

Lake Fanny Hooe and East Bluff

Happy Solstice!  I have a hard time going to bed before it's dark these days.  Oh, I love it!

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