We left Cadillac and continued to be in awe of the Michigan beauty as we arrived at St Ignace, Michigan for a 5 night stay at the Tiki RV Park. As we passed from the lower peninsula into the upper peninsula of Michigan, we crossed the beautiful Mackinac Bridge. We were told that the Upper and Lower peninsulas were like two separate worlds. The people in the Upper Peninsula call themselves “Yoopers”. We were also told that in the last 30 years the Upper peninsula felt so different from the Lower peninsula that they wanted to become their own state.
We had heard so much about Mackinac (pronounced Mackinaw) Island we were eager to visit so that was first on our list. We had to take a ferry over to the island which is located on Lake Huron. We took our bikes since we heard we could bike around the island. After a 30 minute ferry ride we arrived at the island and it seemed we went back in time. No vehicles have been allowed on the island since 1898 so the only transportation is on foot, by bike, or horse drawn carriage. The day we visited the main street was busy with throngs of people on foot or on bike. It was strange to see people’s luggage being taken off the ferry and loaded onto bikes or horse drawn carriage to be taken to the hotel. The main hotel and parts of the island were used in the filming of the movie “Somewhere in Time”. We visited the information center for a map of the island and quickly left the center of town for a quieter part of the island. We had to walk the bikes up a very steep hill to get to the fort which was the site of 2 battles during the War of 1812.. Once there we rode around the upper part of the island and saw a scout barracks with a statue of Gerald Ford. These barracks are used by boy scouts and girl scouts on alternate weeks. They have served as Mackinac Island Honor Guards since 1929 and Gerald Ford was once an Honor Guard scout.
We also saw Arch Rock , a natural limestone arch that stands 146 feet above the shoreline. We viewed it from the top of the island and then later from the lakeshore while bike riding.
We were hungry after all that hilly biking so we rode back down into the town and had lunch at a local bed and breakfast. They cooked lunch for us outside on a grill and then we sat on their veranda and ate our lunch and watched the people walk and bike by. We spent the afternoon biking around the island lakeshore where it was level and much easier to bike. We also spent time doing quite a few geocaches on the island as well.
I will say we did see one ambulance on the island and I imagine they also have a fire engine or two for such emergencies. One downside to the island was the effects on the roadways from having all those horses pulling wagons and buggies and carriages…..need I saw more?
We enjoyed our day on the island and took the ferry back to the campground with many happy memories of our time on the island.
The next day we decided to make a quick visit to Castle Rock which was located fairly close to the campground. We climbed many very steep steps to get to the top and were rewarded with a great view. Not to mention meeting Paul Bunyan and his blue ox!
On another day we drove to Sault Ste Marie, the oldest city in Michigan and the third oldest in the country. It was our first glimpse of Lake Superior, the largest lake in the world by area and the third largest in volume. Our main reason for going there was to see the Soo Locks. We lucked out and arrived in time to see a ship enter the locks. Very interesting!