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The two RV Gypsies
in Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island
June 18, 2013

map of Mackinac IslandMap showing location of Mackinaw Island

Mackinac Island is an island and resort area, about 8 miles in circumference and 3.8 square miles in land area, in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located in Lake Huron, at the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinac, between the state's Upper and Lower Peninsulas. It has 3,776 square miles. It is Michigan's first State Park.

Mackinaw City water tower
the Gatewaay to Mackinac Island
sign: Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry

View while waiting for the Mackinac Island Ferry to arrive and take passengers to Mackinac Island

View while waiting for the Mackinac Island Ferry to arrive

The ferry coming in to take the two RV Gypsies and other passengers to Mackinac Island

Sheplers Mackinac Island Ferry
Sheplers Mackinac Island Ferry

And away they go...... towards Mackinac Island

panormana of the port

Below: Close up of the museum and jetty shown in the above panorama. The USCG Cutter Mackinaw WAGB 83 was specifically built to keep the Great Lakes shipping lanes open under the harshest winter conditions during WWII. The Mackinaw made it possible for iron ore and copper from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to be transported to the wartime factories in the lower Great Lakes.

After the war, the Mackinaw was regarded as the foremost icebreaker in the world. For 62 years it performed ice breaking feats keeping important shipping lanes in the Great Lakes open to commercial traffic, and earning the reputation "We move ships when no one else can!"

a museum
a jetty

Below: A jet boat with a big rooster tail speeding past the slow moving ferry that the two RV Gypsies were on.

a jet boat with a big rooster tail
a jet boat with a big rooster tail

Karen took pictures of the waves splashing against the side of the ferry - filmed through a window

waves spashing against the side of the ferry
waves spashing against the side of the ferry

Below: The Round Island Light, also known as the Old Round Island Point Lighthouse, a lighthouse located on the west shore of Round Island in the shipping lanes of the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Height 56 feet. It opened and was first lit in 1985. It is made of brick and concrete. Round Island is an uninhabited island of only 378 acres of mostly wilderness.

The Round Island Light
The Round Island Light

A buoy


The two RV Gypsies got their first view of Mackinac Island.

Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island
The governor's mansion on Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island

Lots and lots of Bicycles and lilac trees everywhere (Karen loves the smell of lilacs on the trees).

Lots and lots of Bicycles
lilac tree

The Horse is King on Mackinac Island

Motorized vehicles have been prohibited on the island since 1898, with the exception of snowmobiles during winter, emergency vehicles, and service vehicles. Travel on the island is either by foot, bicycle, or horse-drawn carriage. Roller skates and roller blades are also allowed, except in the downtown area. Bicycles, roller skates/roller blades, carriages, and saddle horses are available for rent. An 8-mile road follows the island's perimeter. Numerous roads, trails and paths cover the interior of the island. The road encircling the island and closely hugging the shoreline is M-185, the United States' only state highway without motorized vehicles.

horse-drawn carriage
horse-drawn carriage and driver

The two RV Gypsies took a horse-drawn carriage tour of Mackinac Island. Note of interest: Fudge shops were everywhere in downtown Mackinac.

the tour of Mackinac Island begins

The Grand Hotel is a historic hotel and coastal resort constructed in the late 19th century. The facility advertises itself as having the world's largest porch, 660 feet in length, and it overlooks a vast Tea Garden and resort-scale swimming pool.. The Grand Hotel is well known for a number of notable visitors, including five U.S. Presidents. The hotel has drawn some criticism for charging a $10 fee for non-guests to enter the building and enjoy the view from the famous porch.

The Grand Hotel

Over 100 years old, the Michigan Governor’s Summer Residence has functioned as a summer home for nine Michigan Governors and their families dating to 1943. Visitors can enjoy a rare look inside the 1902 cottage on a free tour overlooking Mackinac Island’s harbor. There is no admission and tours run from 9:30am to 11:30am. The two RV Gypsies got here too late to take the tour. No food, drink or cameras allowed.

the Michigan Governor?Н╗┐ Summer Residence
a painted turtle
horse stable

The horse-drawn carriage tour let everyone off at the Surrey Hills Museum (free admission) to see historical carriages and of course, browse gift shops.

old carriages
Lee Duquette and a party bear

After browsing the Surrey Hills Museum, the two RV Gypsies changed to a bigger carriage with three horses to finish the tour.

horse-drawn carriage
location sign

Skull Cave is a small and shallow cave carved during the Algonquin post-glacial period by the waters of Lake Algonquin, a swollen meltwater ancestor of today's Lake Huron. Skull Cave is primarily of interest for its historical associations. It is believed to have been used as an inhumation site by Native Americans of the Straits of Mackinac area in the 18th century.

While in active use as a site for human remains, the cave was also used as a refuge in 1763 by fur trader Alexander Henry, a survivor of the capture of Fort Michilimackinac by Native Americans allied with Chief Pontiac.

Skull Cave
Skull Cave

The Arch Rock is a geologic formation, a natural limestone arch formed during the Nipissing post-glacial period, a period of high Lake Huron levels following the end of the Wisconsin glaciation. To this day Arch Rock stands on the Lake Huron shoreline 146 feet above the water.

Limestone breccia is not an ideal material for natural bridges, and this type of formation is quite rare in the North American Great Lakes region. The Native Americans saw Arch Rock as a place of numinous power, and told many stories and legends about it.

Euro-Americans did not share many of the taboos of their Native predecessors, and treated Arch Rock as a curiosity to be admired. Its presence was a major element in the decisions to create Mackinac National Park in 1875 and its successor, Mackinac Island State Park in 1895. Arch Rock has been a part of the State Park ever since. Today Arch Rock is a focus of Mackinac Island tourism, and is seen by many visitors to the Island. Several trails and paved roads, including the aptly named Arch Rock Road and Arch Rock Bicycle Trail, lead to the formation.

Karen Duquette at The Arch Rock
The Arch Rock
The Arch Rock

looking down from beside the Arch Rock

Lee Duquette and the horse-drawn carriage

looking down from beside the Artch Rock
Lee Duquette

A large Golden Head Monument

A white Lilac tree

A large Golden Head Monument
A white Lilac tree

The island served a strategic position amidst the commerce of the Great Lakes fur trade. This led to the establishment of Fort Mackinac by the British during the American Revolutionary War. It was the scene of two strategic battles during the War of 1812. An extra fee of $11 is charged to go inside the fort.

Historic Fort Mackinac sign
Historic Fort Mackinac

a house for VIP guests

a house for VIP guests

At the end of the horse-drawn carriage tour, everyone had to walk down a steep hill to get back into town.

steep hill leading back into town
view going down the steep hill
Lee Duquette on Mackinac Island
view from the steep hill
view from the steep hill

View from the bottom of the steep hill

Missionary Bark Chapel

looking up the hill
Missionary Baark Chapel

The two RV Gypsies stopped to photograph the sign for leaving Mackinac Island State Park. On the other side of the sign, they photographed the Welcome to Mackinac Island State Park. The two RV Gypsies toured from the other end of the island so they didn't see this sign until the end of their tour.

leaving Mackinac Island State Park
welcome to Mackinac Island State Park sign

The two RV Gypsies had lunch and a nice view.

Two horses that pull the Grand Hotel Coach.

lunch view for the two RV Gypsies
Two horses that pull the Grand Hotel coach

Back in Mackinaw City, the two RV Gypsies noticed a bear and cub on top of a souvenir store.

bear and cub on top of a store
bear and cub on top of a store
sign about Mackinaw City

Most of the above information is From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You may visit these three (3) sites in any order you choose.
The page you are on is grayed out and cannot be chosen.

Michilmackinac State Park, Mackinac Bridge
and Old Mackinac Lighthouse

Mackinac Island

McGulpin Point Lighthouse

look below
visit the Tunnel of TreesAFTER you have seen all three (3) sections above,
please continue on to The Tunnel of Trees and more