Well, the weatherman hit it right smack on the head. He said rain today. Rain came today.
But it was only a few sprinkles until around two o’clock, so Ted and I hiked over to Fort Mackinac to take advantage of the 30% off sale for Mackinac Associates. That membership has surely been worth the small cost for us this year, and if you are planning an extended visit to the island (anything over 3 weeks, I’d say), consider becoming an Associate of the state park. Membership gets you into any state park historic site, both on the island and in the Mackinaw City area, free of charge – as many times as you want to go. And since you have to pay the fort admission to eat lunch at the Tea Room, on that high hill looking out over the harbor and the Straits, having a “get in the fort free” ticket helps a lot.
Back to the sale. We bundled up in cold weather clothes and wet weather clothes and detoured through the Carriage Museum. Now here’s an amazing thing. The fall colors on the back side of the museum are much brighter than on the front side. What’s up with that!
There were a great many groups on the island today doing tours. The empty 3-horse hitch carriages were lined up, waiting for the visitors who had come up the hill on the 2-horse hitches to go through the museum, buy some souvenirs, and maybe sample some fudge.
Before we cut through the woods to avoid the puddles, our walk along Carriage Road revealed another beautiful tree. We have found that walking along trails in the woods is much dryer than staying on the pavement, because the canopy of trees overhead protects the pathway.
As we entered the fort from the back side, through the Avenue of the Flags, a gorgeous tree in full fall foliage could be seen through the gate. Sometimes I take a shot that really speaks to me, and this is one of them. When I downloaded it onto the computer, and it came up on the screen, I thought “Wow, I might have to enter this one in the calendar contest!”
Even in the light drizzle, visitors were still going through the fort, lead by fort interpreters. This group was lined up listening to a soldier talk about life in the fort during the 1800’s.
Ted and I did some serious Christmas shopping at Sutler’s Store. We bought some gifts for our children and grandchildren, and I purchased a couple of things for the condo that I have been wishing for all summer – hoping that they would still be there when the sale started. I love it when that happens!
We walked back through the woods, only this time Ted was loaded down with bags full of goodies.
When we came to an intersection on Carriage Road, I heard horses coming. Just as the horses’ heads emerged from the trees, I got the next picture, and then took another as the whole carriage crossed the intersection.
Turning back to come up the hill to the museum, a carriage had just finished loading and was about to pull away, pass under a beautiful tree, and go out into the woods for the second part of their tour.
Ted and I stopped to talk to Kim before going home. I talk a lot more about Denise at the Carriage Museum than Kim, but that is because Denise works at the front, and Kim works at the back. But Kim is there everyday too, loading the visitors onto the 3-horse hitch carriages to ride through the woods, then unloading them when they return. She is a sweet, sweet lady. After next week, when the Carriage Museum closes, she will be returning to her family in Indiana.
Around 4 p.m., the heavy rains and winds we had been told to expect moved in, and we have hunkered down for a night of stormy weather. Forecasts are still calling for a wintry mix as far south as Chicago over the weekend, but all the islanders I have spoken with say “no way”, or “if it snows, it won’t stick”.
I have to confess that I’m hoping the weather forecasters are right! Just a little snow – not much – just a little – I’m not greedy. Stay tuned!