There are soo many islands in the North Channel that I fear they were getting a bit desperate to find names for them.
There are Islands named after trees: Cedar, Fir, Pine, and Birch. Food: Beef, Grape, Bacon, Strawberry, and Gooseberry. Animals: Eagle, Boars, Sow, Pig, Hog, Partridge, Whaleback, Gull, Fox, Rabbit. People: Emily, Squaw, St. John, Benjamin, O’Donnell, Henry, Jim, Lily, and Gertrude. Things: Bow, Picnic, Salt, Sulpher, Gunboat, Quartz, Hook, and Burnt.
There are several Indian Reservations in Ontario along the border so there are many names that I have no idea how to pronounce: Sheguiandah, Manitowaning, Wikwemikong, Sagamok, and Meshkodeyang.
Of course, there are the French names: La Cloche, Frechette, Rous, Baie Fine and Piles Pieux. Then there are the Scottish and Irish: McGregor, Killarney, Frazer, Badgeley, Barrie, Aird, Cockburn, Drummond, and Campbell. And there is the Spanish River. What?
There are knobs, points, notches, channels, coves, hills, dams, harbors, bays, portages, passes, creeks, rivers, and narrows.
Is your head spinning yet? You could read the charts like a book and see who all visited the area and what they were thinking of at the time. I think there were areas where people were hungrier than others!
Good thing we are heading towards an Island I know how to pronounce: Michilimackinac….. Mackinac…..or Mackinaw….Well, whatever. That is where we went next.
Mackinac was first inhabited by Native Americans. It was a great defensive point and there were a lot of fur traders using the island as well. And as our history goes, we fought a few battles in 1812 where we won the island and then we lost it again in 1814. More on that later. It has been declared a National Historical Landmark and 80% of the island is preserved as a Michigan Island State Park. 8 miles to bike around the whole island and it has a reeeally big hotel.
We were very lucky and got a slip at the marina so we could see everything that was going on. We were next to the ferries (loud and create waves), in front of the Pink Pony Restaurant (I took pictures of people taking pictures from the outdoor patio), and facing the Fort up on the hill. It was sooooo loud! For an island that does not allow cars, I was truly amazed at the level of sound that was created. Where did it come from? Horseshoes on the pavement, children having fun, people riding their bikes down the road as families, enjoying a late lunch on the outdoor patios, ferries coming and going. Just amazing. It was only when I found out that the ferries can bring in 15,000 people a day did I truly understand the noise. That is a lot of people in a 4 block space! Around 8:00 at night everything calmed down as most people had returned to the mainland on the ferries. It is a whole different world at night and early morning. Peaceful, calm, and quiet so walking around town during those times was a must.
The main town area was very nice and we walked it our first night there. We bought our fudge at Joanne’s (fudge is an island MUST HAVE) and enjoyed reading the menus posted to help you decide where to eat. When we returned to the boat, the ferries were done and the sun was setting and….my sunglass go flying into the water. Now, the bottom is about 12 feet down and I can see them in the waning light. I MUST get them back. I like them. Shawn looks at me like I am nuts and is trying to convince me to leave them. I CAN SEE THEM RIGHT THERE! The boat pole is not long enough and I am wracking my brain trying to think of a way to hook them and bring them up. They are sitting on white sand, so close…..I realized that we had the fathom measuring line that has a weight on the bottom of it so now I have to find a hook to attach to the end. No wire hangers (they rust) so had to get creative. I did find a plastic coat hanger that had a metal hook. Bingo!!! After about 20 tries and a slight adjustment to the hook, I snagged them. Yay! Enough excitement for today. Tomorrow is a busy one as we only have one full day on the island!
One thought on “Island Time: Mackinac Island Arrival”
And the fun begins…I look forward to following along on your journey. We visited the island a number of years ago over Memorial weekend and stayed at Mission Point (I think that was the name of the resort). Wonderful memories.
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