Sunday, July 15, 2012

UP, Great Lakes and Mackinac Island

We moved across Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan, staying at a couple of casinos, doing some exploring and even got the bikes out for a couple rides.  The land changed from the rolling plains to tree lined roads of the North Woods and many, many lakes; even some Great ones.
I don't write much about RV parks other than in the review on the maps.  This is our site at the Ojibwa Casino near Marquette. There is no water or sewer but they offer sites with 50 amp electricity. The sites were not only free but each day we stayed they gave each of us $5.00 cash, a free drink, and one matching coupon for table games.  We have never stayed at a place where we got paid to stay.  Nanc went one better when she won $150 the first night on their $5.00.  If you are passing through Marquette, this is a must stop.
We took advantage of the bike path that runs by the casino and rode into Marquette.  These are a couple of big ore carriers in the harbor. 
Much of the harbor today is more about pleasure boats then big freighters. 
A couple of Marquette's lighthouses and the beach.  This is Lake Superior so the water is really cold.
We headed across the UP to St. Ignace.  The last several miles were right along Lake Michigan.
We are on Lake Huron with Mighty Mac the bridge connecting the UP with the Mitt.  It is the third longest suspension bridge in the world.  We passed through here last summer heading to the Soo and did not stop.  This time we took the ferry and did a bicycle tour of Mackinac Island.
The two lighthouses in the strait between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.  The lights guide the big freighters that we saw going through the locks at the Soo.
We had vacationed here years ago and stayed at the Island Inn, the islands oldest operating hotel.  With the beautiful homes and other buildings it is like stepping back in time.
No automobiles are allowed on the island so it is either walk, ride a bike or use a horse drawn wagon.  The bikes are everywhere.
Top left is the 1817 Stuart House, center is Arch Rock, bottom left is Fort Mackinac that housed soldiers from 1780 to 1895 and right is the 1839 Michilimackinac County Courthouse.
All the buildings are from the Victorian period and today are inns, shops, restaurants and fudge stores.  This is truly a vacation destination.
Check out the bikes lining the street.  We rode about 15 miles and there is much less traffic on the other side and in the middle of the island.
Horses are used to transport people and ALL goods on the island.  We saw wagons loaded with lumber, food, hay and anything else people and animals need.  Of course with all those horses there is tons of horse s##t and many human pooper scoopers.  I will not eat the fudge because the first time we were here they told us they use it to make the candy:)
We were there the day the Grand Hotel was celebrating its 125th anniversary with a big cake, but this was as close as we got because the lady (guard) in the red hat informed us we needed to pay just to walk the grounds.  NOT!!
The hotel, even from afar, is grand with its 660 foot front porch.  We had a nice day and enjoyed the island and is very well worth a visit if you have never been there.

3 comments:

Bobbie and Salvatore said...

Never been in that area, but always wanted to go. Looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing!!

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

We loved the bike ride around the island.

RiverCat said...

What a deal...free site and big winnings! Did you notice if the casino had a poker room?