It had rained nearly the whole day Tuesday, but it was capped off with a gorgeous sky at sunset. It was gone before I could switch to a wide angle. (photo from our balcony)
Sunset gone, I went back to packing bags for Wednesday. This has worked out well for us a couple times this summer. For zoos, Greenfield Village....Mackinac Island....everyone carries their own lunch/snacks/water. I'm loving this stage of the game. The only 'food' we bought on the island was fudge.
We caught the 9am ferry - about the same time as last year. (It's exactly a one hour drive from Boyne Falls) This year they guaranteed that everyone on top would get row, except for the rows that we just by chance had sat in - the front right three.
I didn't want to overload our island experience (I didn't want to come out exhausted at the end of the day), but we all agreed that one thing we wanted to do this year was rent some bikes and bike around the island. We did that straight out of the gate. Off the ferry and to the bike rental and off we went.
We had stopped at the park across from Mission Point first, just to get our bearings and switch the boys bikes. They had both gotten the same size, but shaped a little differently - Mark felt more comfortable on the bike Brian had gotten. Switched up and with Mark having a moment to catch his breath, our next stop was The Arch.
There are some fun walking trails up there. We've already decided that next time we'll do more hiking and inner exploring.
But on this day - bikes.
sidenote: They rebuilt the stairs up to Arch Rock. This trip was a stair climbing trip. We did this set, but we had also done the Cut River stairs on our way up north. They didn't have a count on this set, but I'm guessing it's more than Cut River. (Cut River = 231 and Arch Rock = ? I'm finding a few different numbers, but all are a few less than Cut River. I was wrong)
My original thought was that we'd get one tandem bike so that we could switch out with the boys if either of them got tired from biking the loop around the island, and to keep them from crashing into anyone if it got real congested - but after reading a few reviews and watching a few people struggle with the tandems, we went with five individual bikes.
I'm so glad we did. Nobody had a problem with the eight mile loop except that Mark will freely tell you that his butt got sore.
We loved the rock stacks around the entire permimeter of the island. This is another one that I couldn't find any clear answers on how they came to be/who started them. There are some pretty impressive stacks, and a few of them are ten feet out into the water. I could have taken pictures of them all day, but my family would have disowned me. I didn't want them to do that. I love them.
Our eight mile loop complete, we turned our bikes in and reserved a spot on the carriage ride. Last year we took the carriage ride straight off the ferry and got right on. This year we bought our tickets after our bike ride and it was a two and a half hour wait. We used that time to do some shopping, buy a coffee, relax on the lawn in front of the fort, read a book and eat our snacks.
We boarded the carriage ride at 2;30 - our reserved time slot.
We had done the carriage tour last year, and I wanted to do it again for a couple reasons.
- We really, really enjoyed it
- Greg wasn't with us last year and when we had shared last year's adventure it was the bits from this tour that I kept trying to remember and that I had most wished he was with us for
- The reason I had wished he was with us for this part last year was that there is so much history shared, and he absorbs the history like a sponge. I love hearing it, I'm fascinated by it - but I struggle more to retain it. He's my retainer.
The Carriage Tour is a two part tour. The first part we are pulled by two horses, and then we switch carriages and are pulled by three for the rest of the route. These were the three that pulled us for the second half. The one in the back (Chelsea, if I retained correctly) was actually normally a town horse and this was her first day/second tour on the inner island. She got a better grade on our tour than she did on the previous tour, so she was learning quickly.
The Governor's Mansion. This is where they stay when they come to the island. Nice digs. I guess if we'd come by here in the morning we could have toured it. Next trip.
random story: Off the carriage ride and walking down the hill back to town the gal on the right with the ginger hair/pony tail was sharing a story with her friends as they walked by me. It went something like this.....
Did you hear that one boy tell me that I have glitter on my lip? Has he seriously never seen a lip piercing before?
Ha. That was my kid. Nope - you were the first.
This week was a good mental break for both of us. He's back on seven days a week again now that we're back home.
We left the island not exhausted, which was just what I wanted.
We stopped at the grocery store on the way back to our digs, picked up some supper and had a relaxing dinner in our space.
And then Wendy and I took another ride up the ski lift to watch the sunset. A perfect end to our day: