Sunday, July 19, 2015


We drove up to Mackinac in misty rain getting the vehicles all dirty.  But it doesn't matter much at the KOA we are in.  It is mostly sand, a little gravel and minimal grass that is mostly brown.  But it is conveniently located and was easy in and hopefully out.  We have cable and wifi so we will deal with the aesthetics such as they are.  It is just a huge change from the Thunder Bay Resort that we just left!

We had lunch, then took a ride through town to get our bearings.  Our first stop was at the Trolley Tours but we were a half hour late for the last tour so we booked for 10 am on Saturday.  

We stopped at the McGulpin Lighthouse, built in the 1800s, and took a self guided tour.  Its history is very interesting and the fact that it was a private residence for 100 years probably is the reason for its fine condition.  We walked the circular stairs to the top but it was so foggy the view wasn't great.  Of interest in my musings was the keeper was married for 21 years to a woman that bore him 10 children.  She and that 10th baby died.  In his death notice there was no mention of her at all!

We determined it was built in 1866. 

We continued on driving in a circular direction and suddenly found ourselves back at the KOA.  We decided to rest, have dinner then go into town for the concert in the park.  I took a nap again and Ted woke me for dinner.  He was grilling pork chops and we had mac and cheese, stuffing, mixed vegetables, salad, cole slaw and applesauce as we tried to accommodate everyone's druthers and use up any leftovers.

We donned our new windbreakers, loaded up the chairs, brought the bug spray and headed to a lovely park on the water.  Right next to us was the Coast Guard Icebreaker The Mackinaw that is a museum.  

The Genesee Valley Concert Band was performing.  It was a gorgeous night, just the right temperature with no wind or bugs.  The band was fantastic and we really enjoyed their performance.

Afterwards we drove to a small beach where the bridge was finally visible.  We explained to Tom and Eileen that the bridge connects the Upper and Lower peninsulas of Michigan and Mackinac Island sits to the east of the south end of the Upper Peninsula in the Straits of Mackinac that connects Lake Huron on the east to Lake Michigan on the west.  Tom was thinking the bridge would take us to the island and couldn't figure out the part about no cars.

We continued on to Central Avenue where there is a fudge shop in every other storefront.  Lots of people were out and about.  We found the Museum of the Bridge located upstairs of an Italian restaurant and the Catholic Church but never did find Heritage Village.

Saturday we took the Trolley Tour and learned some more history of the area.  We stopped at the larger lighthouse, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse.  

It also had a fog horn station that could be heard for fifty miles and long before the light could be seen.  

The entire complex cost $8,000 to build in 1892 to replace the McGulpin lighthouse.  In 1957 it was decommissioned and opened for tours.  The added bathrooms needed for the public cost $2.5 million!  

This house caught my eye and I asked the driver to stop to get a photo.  He said when they were excavating to build, it appeared to be what they thought was an Indian burial ground.  Carbon testing the bones indicated an age of about 1000 years.   None of the Indian tribes claimed them due to the age so they were reburied in a special site but he didn't say where.

It was lunchtime so we went to Scalawag's for some Great Lakes whitefish.  It was very good and lived up to its reputation.  We walked around a shopping area and took in the museum movie about the building of the bridge.  That feat is to this day mind boggling.

We returned to the campground and took some down time before leaving for church.  Mass was very enjoyable, small and personable.  There is a nun who runs the church in the absence of a resident pastor.  The priest comes from Cheboygen to say Mass on the weekends.  

Ted grilled Italian sausages and peppers plus brats for our dinner.  I was still full from lunch so only ate a brat.  We sat at the picnic table to right before dark which is about 10 pm here, and then I headed in before the bugs started in on me.

Tomorrow, the Soo Locks and dinner with some old Detroit News friends from our 16 years in Michigan.

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