Thursday, June 22, 2006

Of Forts, Fudge, and Ferries

Photo of the Day: That's me and Midge. Midge is the horse. Midge had a mind of her own. I'm wondering what I'm getting myself into. We went horseback riding on Mackinac Island at the insistence of my daughter. Next time I'm renting a bicycle.

We spent Wednesday on the island, enjoying a carriage tour and Fort Mackinac and the ferry ride over from the mainland, and we've even had a little bit of fudge. There are at least four fudgiers (is that a word?) who claim to have the state's best fudge. Fact is, you mix that much sugar with that much chocolate and it's hard to tell the difference.

I put a whole bunch of other vacation pictures up at my website. Have a look if you'd like.

There are only four vehicles with large combustion engines on Mackinac Island: one ambulance, one police car, and two fire trucks. Everyone else gets around by horse or bicycle. During the winter, it's either a horse or a snowmobile.

And we found the reason Mackinaw/Mackinac are pronounced the same. The Ojibwa Indians called the area "mishilimakinak" ... which means either "great turtle" or "many turtles" depending on your interpetration. The island was given the name Mackinac by the French fur traders and when the English settled the city in the 1880's, they gave it the more phonetic pronunciation for a name.

We spent Thursday in the city proper, having a good look around, playing some miniature golf (Bonnie won), and then we slipped across the big bridge into the Upper Peninsula and journeyed over to "Mystery Spot" in St. Ignace, which was founded as a tourist attraction in 1955. It's claim to fame is that gravity seems to work backward in this little 150 square feet tract of land. My wife claimed she grew lightheaded upon entering the "spot" so maybe there's something to it.

Tomorrow we're off for a tour of a lighthouse and the colonial land-bound fort here in the city, before taking in a Beatles look-alike show in the evening. Should be fun.

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