2016-10: Michigan Trip

Our trip began with a long drive through Maryland, Pennsylvania, and all of Ohio, including miles on little roads through flat farmland after the turnpike had been blocked by an accident. We reached John and Alma’s house near Detroit, Michigan, well into the evening.  Next day they showed us Detroit’s wonderful Belle Island Park, and its view looking south to Windsor, Ontario.The markers say left, 804 miles to Thunder Bay (northwest, clear across both Lakes Huron and Superior) and right, 54 miles to Toledo (south down the Detroit River and across the western end of Lake Erie).Here’s the Detroit Princess:
Then several hours’ drive north to their cabin deep in the woods of Michigan’s Lower Peninsular, right on their own lazy river. This was four or five miles from the nearest paved road.We left John and Alma to the work of getting their cabin ready for the winter, and headed for the ferry from Mackinac City to Mackinac Island.  (The bridge doesn’t go to the island.)Built in 1957, the five-mile Mackinac Bridge is said to be “the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere”.We did not stay here at the Saginaw Hotel, and certainly not at the Grand Hotel (although we did have tea at the Grand later).The view from our room in the Harbor View Hotel includes sight of the two harbor lights.A Great Lakes cruise ship docked on Main Street, Mackinaw. Our ferry was much smaller.Mackinac Island doesn’t allow motor vehicles. Hotel luggage is carried by bicycle or hand cart. Taxis and trash wagons are all horse-drawn, although the police have a modern SUV.Fort Mackinac overlooks the town. It was put here by the British in 1780, passed to the Americans in 1796, then taken back by the British in the first land engagement of the War of 1812.So does Père Jacques Marquette SJ, founder of Sealt Sainte Marie, mapper of the upper Mississippi, and the first European in Chicago.The fort included school for officers’ children. See the arithmetic!There’s one eight-mile ring road around the island. Here it approaches the beginning of the town.The Mission Church:Sainte Anne Church:A block from our hotel is the Mackinac Butterfly House: It’s hard not to take pictures of the butterflies. I put some of mine here.We booked our fancy German dinner at the Woods Restaurant, a 45-minute horse cab ride (shared with about eight others) through the woods into the interior. It was very dark and quiet coming back afterwards.Time to leave Mackinac Island on a rainy and misty morning, past the Round Island Light:Alma and John were waiting to meet us when we got off the ferry, and we drove north again to see the Soo Locks, connecting Lakes Superior and Huron at Seault Saint Marie on  the US/Canada border. Shown beyond the lock is the road bridge from the US to Canada. We saw three small harbor tour boats go through the locks (all at once) but unfortunately no big ships were able to meet our schedule.John had a favorite place in mind for lunch.