September 1 – 5
Left Presque Isle heading North, passed Cheboygan, and on to St. Ignace. We had decided to bypass Mackinac (pronounced Mackinaw) Island since we had been there so many times before by driving to Mackinaw City and taking a ferry across to the island, and we had heard good things about the new marina here in St. Ignace. It is beautiful here, spanking clean, and with the most incredible clear water. We decided on this trip that we had not appreciated these magnificent Great Lakes nearly as much as we should have when we lived here. And since the zebra mussels arrived a few years ago, the water in the Great Lakes is even clearer than before. You have only to see some of the other water we’ve been in to realize the beauty here, fresh and clear. While here we made a call to Linda & Mike Cohut, friends who we met in the Florida Keys where they now live, but who are from Michigan and spend summers up here on their Grand Banks, Blue Chip. They were in Cheboygan, heading to Macinkac Island tomorrow. We changed our plans, deciding to meet them at the island, since we had tentatively planned to try to get together up here. The Grand Hotel on the island boasts having Presidents as guests and is still very formal, requiring jackets and ties at dinner and charging a fee to visitors who wish to walk on their huge porch and view the beautiful gardens below. Luckily, when we walked on it years ago, there was no charge. The Fort of Mackinac, still a main attraction, conducts tours for visitors. If you look closely you can catch a glimpse of some of the local transportation, horse & buggy. There are no cars on the streets of the island, just bikes and many horses. There are also fudge shops on every block, making for a curious mixture of smells as you walk through town. The golf pro at our course in Port Huron, Fritz George, is now the pro at Wawashkomo, a Scottish Links course here, so we took a bike ride out for an enjoyable visit. Next stop was Mackinaw City, where we would again dock next to Blue Chip. It was a windy day and we encountered rough water during this short trip. We spent two days here waiting for a good weather window, heeding Mike’s warning about the danger of Gray’s Pass in rough weather. When it was time to go, we said goodbye to our friends and vowed to meet back in the Keys.