I had been looking forward to this day since 1998 – and it turned out to be a perfect day. I can hardly write about it because it was so special.
We left the campground on our bikes at 8:30 a.m. to ride to the ferry. Dan had ridden down the day before to buy the tickets, so we knew where to go. It wasn’t the same company as 1998 because we wanted to go under the Mighty Mac – Mackinac Bridge.
So glad we did. Indescribable. We sat on the deck up top. The wind kept the mosquitos off and the view was breathtaking. Blue water. Green islands. Perfect little lighthouse. With the sun on my face, I could have ridden all day.
Mackinac was everything I remember and more. We were there early in the morning, so deliveries were still being made by horse drawn carriages to the local businesses. The smell of the all the flowers to be planted was intoxicating.
We road around the island counter clockwise, which I read later was the hard way. Well, of course. We went up the hill from British Landing to Fort McHenry. If I went too slow, the mosquitos were all over me. We passed several groups of Amish families and noted how hot they looked in their layers. The ride down was perfect – the recumbent really sails downhill and makes every uphill worth it. Nate and I waited at the bottom in a swarm of mosquitos for Dan and Eliza.
We parked our bikes near the fort, and had a picnic on the grass. Perfect picnic. Perfect family. Perfect life. You know, one of those moments.
We left our bikes and hiked by the Governor’s summer mansion and around the back to the Grand Hotel. Dan was once again too cheap to spend the $10 to sit on the “world’s longest front porch”. For which he will dearly pay for when he gets to bring me back for my birthday someday…I’ll look forward to that now!
We checked out the only church I’ve ever seen with Native Americans depicted in the stained glass windows. They originally lived on the island and helped build the church out of local stone. Small, humble and thoroughly peaceful.
Then we had to buy fudge. When Dan and I were here in 1998, we didn’t buy any because I hadn’t discovered how utterly enchanting it is as an artery-clogger. We bought a 1/4 pound of the Turtle from Ruby’s and laughed when it was presented to us in their famous pink box – the exact box that checks used to come in.
We did a little shopping on the main road for Eliza’s friends who had birthday’s coming up. The streets were packed, and the stores even more so. I didn’t see anyone without a shopping bag. Nate found the best gifts, and Eliza found a hand
drawn black and white word map of the USA that we are going to get framed for our next home. Alison Hardcastle spent over 6 months researching words and clichés to describe each state and then drew them inside each state. Priceless.
We had planned to spend a few more hours, read a few more plaques, visit a few more places, but we were tired. We knew we’d have the uphill ride back to the campground, too. I was ready to go because I knew the day couldn’t get any better!