Thursday was one of those perfect Mackinac days (ok, ok, I KNOW I say that a lot) - the sun was warm, the breeze was cool, the sky was blue, the waves were dancing, and M-185, the highway around the island, was all but deserted. In my bike basket I stuffed my camera (both lens), sweatshirt (in case it got too breezy on one side of the island – which it nearly always does), water bottle, purse (might need something at the Cannonball) and iPhone. I turned on my “MapMyRide” app and coasted as fast as the law allows (20 mph) down Cadotte, turned right on Mahoney, then right on M-185. I was on my way!
I always ride around the island “clock-wise” – mainly because 90% of everyone else rides counterclockwise – and I like riding on the side of the road with the fewest people. After Labor Day is doesn’t really matter, but I headed west as usual.
I started out early in the afternoon ,when the sun was turning the blue water into a glittering canvas.
It was so quiet on the highway I could hear all the sounds created by nature – birds calling back and forth, waves splashing against the shore rocks, and the wind singing through the trees. Ahead of me, around almost every turn, I could glimpse the blue water of Lake Huron . . .
. . . . and above me was the Michigan blue sky, mottled only slightly by wispy clouds.
I stopped for pics only a few times in the first 3 1/2 miles, but when I got to the Cannonball, I became obsessed with photographing the seagulls. Because there were no crowds handing out food (or accidently dropping it) the bored seagulls mostly ignored me and hardly moved until I was practically on top of them.
Click on each seagull to enlarge.
Between the birds and trying to get a perfect photo of a wave hitting a rock, I spent probably 20 minutes at the Cannonball. I never did get that perfect wave.
You just can’t leave British Landing without one photo of the cannon.
Ok. I hope someone could help me with this mystery. About 1/2 mile before I reached Arch Rock I saw – way out on the horizon – a sailboat. To the left was what looked like trees along a shoreline.. The mystery is: what are the images out in the water around the sailboat? I don’t think it’s trees on land, and I don’t think it could be other boats. This photo was using my long lens zoomed as far out as it would go . . . .
. . . . and here I’ve cropped it as close as possible. Optical illusion of some sort?
If you’re one of those visitors who doesn’t think your trip to Mackinac is complete unless you’ve climbed the steps from M-185 to Arch Rock (or vice-versa), you probably know those steps were partially destroyed by a late snow and ice storm in the spring of 2012. It’s taken almost a year-and-a-half to repair them (they are redoing ALL the steps, not just those wiped out by trees in the storm).
The men working on this project have toiled on steep inclines in rocky and wooded terrain. The gentleman shown here was digging rocky soil with a shovel and then switched to a drill to get through the rock. The steps should be completed and open to traffic with the opening of the 2014 season. Awesome job, guys!
Another Mackinac Island icon that can’t be passed without a photo. Unlike the cannon at British Landing, this one changes throughout the day as the sun passes by.
My last stop was Mission Point Resort. As I turned into the bike parking lot near the gazebo, workers turned on the sprinklers, and I thought, “Oh, darn! There goes THIS photo shoot!” Boy, was I wrong!
Each year the gazebo’s flowers get more beautiful.
Masses of Black-Eyed Susans provide a riot of color in the flowerbeds surrounding the gazebo.
Ahhhhhh . . . . .
My favorite shot . . . twin rainbows arching toward the gazebo. Right place at the right time!
Next week will be a busy one with a great story coming toward the end of the week about the return of Mackinac’s own Statue of Liberty back to the island in time for Patriots Day on September 11. I’ve gotten permission to be on board the boat bringing it back to the island, and I’m so excited to be able to tell this story.
Wishing you all a fantastic weekend. God bless.