Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mackinac Island

Once Tom Hunter of Belmont, mentioned this Island where cars are not allowed. I wasn't sure we would ever see it.

Today we are still touristing. A day trip to Mackinac Island. On this Island we lost a couple battles to the British out of Canada. There is a fort there. The Island had been under the Crown a couple times and under teh stars and stripes a couple times. A unique place in the Motor state, motor vehicles were outlawed in 1898, and are still not allowed on the island.
We took the Sheplers line for out transporation, $21 per person if ordered on line. Being very cheap tourists, we almost did not go. the boat took us under the Mackinac bridge that connects the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the rest of the lower state. (The host hinted that Mr. Hoffa may be in one of those stanchions) Have you ever noticed he is in every road and dam built the year he disappeared? Now he probably is on one of them.
Some of the ferries to the Island are unique that they have a rooster tail when they are underway, they are sure easy to spot.

This is one of the many hotels on the island. The Lilac tree.
Transportation is either horse drawn or bicycle drawn, no motor vehicles on the road.

An example of hauling luggage from some of the boats to the hotels.

Beautiful colorful homes are scattered on the southern tip of the Island.

There are many churches on the island, this is St. Ann's Catholic Church. Beautiful architecture.

There are so many beautiful flowers, I took many, but only have room for some.

Sherry standing in front of the (I forgot). The complex has belonged to many different groups. From churches to colleges, Even Rex Humbard bought it for a college and later sold it to the state forest service.

I lost the horses, I did this once in Italy. fortunately we did not have far to walk.

This young lady was towing a kid and talking on the cell phone.
Bicycles are ever where, even have flowers planted in them. HA!

Here we have been walking for about an hour and have reached the Arched rock.

A nice young lady took our picture under the arch. Legend had it that a beautiful Indian Princess was tied up above the rock. She cried for her lover and her tears washed the arch in the rock, she never got her lover. Shame!

Fort Mackinac is high above the town below where we landed. We have now been walking about an hour and a half. (We need a horse).

The Governor has a summer house here, this is the view from his front yard.

Every time I see an Episcopal Church I think Father Tim pastors there. Father Tim is the center character of the Medford series written in the Boone/Blowing Rock setting by Jan Karon. A super series if you have not read it. This church was built in 1637. 300 years before Sherry!

The top hat on this driver signifies this cover and enclosed carriage is from the Grand Hotel, the classest place on the Island. I was told today by a Volunteer that we should go up and sit ont he porch, it only costs $10 to sit there and relax to enjoy the view. He said we could also enjoy the best buffet on the Island for $40 a head (they would deduct the $10 for porch sitting). We opted out. Rooms start at $850.00 a night! Is that possible??? MY kind of people!!!!
The last sign we read before getting on the ferry to come back that there were NO vacancies on the Island for tonight. I know there are many places cheaper than $850!!!

Moving Cargo on the Island via flat bed wagons and tag along carts.

And Lastly, they must bring the hay in from the mainland for the horses, no farming here.
Oh, one other thing. I missed it because I did not have the camera ready. They have a guy that rides around on a three wheel bike with a big container on the back. He has a shovel, he shovels sh-- All day. They do not force these horses to face the indignities of wearing diapers as they do in New Orleans and Ft. Lauderdale.
We returned to the mainland satisfied that the day was worth the expense. We probably will never go back, but I would suggest the trip if you are ever up here. the boat ride is great. The whole time out on the Island we both had the feeling of the North East, Martha's Vinyard, etc. It is a quaint little (wealthy) place.
Thanks for going with us to Mackinac Island. A Volunteer told us that Mackinac is pronounced Mackinaw. I wans to end it like Cadilac.
Nite Shipslog
Sherry’s advice to young ladies:
The children of Israel wandered around the desert for 40 years. Even in Biblical times, men wouldn't ask for directions.
If he asks what sort of books you're interested in, tell him check books.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Soo Locks, Sault St. Marie, Michigan

We decided to go to Sault St. Marie on a day trip and visit the Soo Locks. leaving our of town we passed Table Rock.

It is a straight drive up to the Locks. Beautiful farm country with hundreds of acres of hay that had been baled.

We stopped at a country inn and I ordered a veggie omelet. The thing covered my plate along with home-made wheat toast. We have half of in the refer now. Back on I-75 N we came to Sault St. Marie.

Funny how life's little quirks change things. I came close to getting orders to Sault St. Marie while in the USAF, but instead got orders to Kirksville, Mo. where we met life long friends. Those Missouri Farmers are great folk, Sault is nice but I wouldn't trade the Conrad's friendships for the Locks.

Anyway here we went directly to the dock for the Lock tours. Looking across St. Mary's river you see the Canadian City of Sault St. Marie.

We boarded and headed up river and here we are entering the Lock. Behind us is a tug. A Lock is like a giant concrete bathtub.

The gates are closed and time to rise. The Locks connect lake Huron and lake Superior. Superior is 21 feet higher than Huron, thus the locks were installed where rapids were at one time. These are huge locks. So we start to rise the 21 feet.

As we come up to the level of Superior you can see the international bridge that connects the USA and Canada. The traffic was stopped or a a crawl the time we watched. That is not the crossing I would choose to go to Canada.

The Tug is now going to pass us. We are a pleasure boat, they are going to work.

I got the next line out of sequence. This is the line dropped down to the boat as I said we are 21 ft. down from that ledge.

Pulling back into the locks after making a circle and listening to the history of the area.

My girl looking out as we head back to the dock.

I'm so good looking I insist that she take my picture. I love being around ships, amazing this is fresh water, but the bodies of water are so big you would think they are salt water.

Note this big gal, she is 730 feet long and headed for the locks. YOu will see her in again.

Our skipper is a lady and did a great job.

Looking at the shore line (USA side) there is an RV park if we had known about thsi ploace we could have made this home for a few days.

Okay we have now walked over to the locks and
the gates are closed. This is out of sequence

They were closing. so the water could come to the level of the photo above. (OUT of sequence)

The Superior end opened and the tugs came in bringing someone's floating house that is built on a small barge. A two story house. Note how high they sit.

Now with the water drained from the tank into the Lake Huron side they are barely visable.

There they go leaving the dock. They have came from Lake Superior which is 21 feet higher than they are now. The Lock was drained into Huron in less than 12 minutes and they are on their way. Pretty house huh?

Now take a look at the next photo. It is the ship I referred to a few pictures above that was headed for the locks. It is 730 feet long. She is there you just can make her out.

Now about 18 minutes later there she sits, 21 feet higher and you can't miss her now. She is headed out into St. Mary's river and headed for Superior.

This was an amazing trip for us, we have seen smaller locks but this was a great day trip. The locks pass More than 11,000 vessels a year.
Locks are complicated and simple. It is a simple process. With both gates closed and the water at the lower level. you open the upper gates and the water enters the locks and brings the water to the level of the upper lake. Once the water is in a ship can come in. The upper gates are closed. Then it is like a bath tub, someone pulls the plug and the water goes out and the ship is lowered to the level of the lower lake. Now a ship can go in the lower gate. Shut the gate. and pull the plug holding the upper lake water out and the tub fills again raising the ship to the upper level.
Okay Physics lesson over it was neat to watch. Afterward we headed home. to St. Ignace.
Thanks for going nearly to Canada with us.
Nite Shipslog
Sherry’s advice to young ladies:
Best way to get a man to do something is to suggest he is too old for it.
Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

From Detroit to the Upper Peninsula, St. Ignace,MI

Well we said good bye to Johnny and his daughter Candace.
Had to take a pic of this sign, Frankenmuth. The last time we were there was with Sonny and Colette. The time before was with Elmer and Lennie. A Bavarian village known for Bonner's Christmas Store.

The land turned Farming after we left the Detroit area. Beautiful HUGE corn fields adn some soy fields.

Beautiful arming country.

A harvested field.
A farm just 'hayed'.

Sherry just caught this old barn thru the screen door.

My chaffeur, she does good! (at a lot of things)

We passed a sign saying easy off and easy on, Washed Black cherries. I swunf off the highway then told Sherry it didn't say BIG rigs easy off and on. But it was. They are delicious.

Looking over into Lake Huron one of the Great Lakes.

Approaching the famous Mackinac Bridge. (they were working on it, our Stimulus money at work).

This is the second stantchion on the Mackinac Bridge. It seems to have Lake Heron on the East side and lake Michigan on the west.
Just over the bridge, on the Lake Heron side is a pretty shore line.
WE and the other folk here have arrived at the toll booth $12.50 (for our rig) on the other side is our home for awhile.
We checked in at the TIKI RV office here in St. Ignace
So this is home for a few days. We want to see what the Upper Peninsula is all about.
Thanks for riding with us. The land turns farm land as you saw, but near the upper peninsula it gets hilly. We saw a few cows but Ginger was not among them. Oh I forgot she is back in Texas, safe and sound, I can quit looking for her and her partner.
Hey we are in a place we have never been before. We had left overs for supper. Pintos, salmon patties slaw and squash.
We will take a couple days and try to see that place Dar suggested on up near Superior I think. I have to check with the comments from yesterday.
Nite Shipslog
Sherry’s advice to young ladies:
Go for the younger man. You might as well, they never mature anyway.
Men are all the same - they just have different faces, so we can tell them apart.