Before the traffic jam incident I wrote of yesterday, I took a wonderful two-hour bike ride around Mackinac Island. Starting out, my only thought was to photograph anything that caught my eye, but it soon became more of an adventure into the wildness of this 8.2 mile-around rock. The part of the island where we spend most of our time is very civilized. Like most small towns in America, we have a grocery store, a city hall, churches, homes, a medical center, and a fire department. We don’t have an auto repair shop, a gas station, a car dealership, or a car wash because – well, we don’t have any cars! To me that makes the Island more civilized, not less. But – that’s just me.
The only place I stopped that is on the “must see” list of attractions for island visitors is Arch Rock. I loved the way the sun was shining through the arch as I rode by.
Soon the city of Mackinac Island was a mile behind me, and now there was nothing to see on Lake Huron except Bois Blanc Island (pronounced Bob-Lo by the locals) and even further east the faint outline of Les Cheneaux Islands. Not a single freighter was in sight. It was a dazzling day – warm enough that I was riding in a sleeveless top, but with enough breeze to keep me cool, even when there were no trees to block the sun. The only clouds were those little white, wispy puffs of cotton, and the sky and water were almost a perfectly matched blue.
There are very few houses on the beachside of the island and not that many more across the street from the beach. When you ride the four miles to British Landing, all you see to your right are trees, wildflowers, rocks and water. On your left are woods and a couple of marshes. You really feel as though you could be the only person riding on the whole island at any particular moment. After Labor Day, that perception will intensify. It’s a feeling of freedom and joy that never fails to touch my heart.
I had a conversation early Saturday morning with a friend in Charlotte, NC who reads Bree’s Blog and encourages me on every level to continue writing. He is from Michigan, has spent many glorious days on Mackinac Island, and on Saturday was lamenting the hot weather in the South. His exact words were, “I wish I was on the Island so I could sit on a rock on the shore of Lake Huron and put my feet into that clear, cool water”. I had been thinking about that all morning, and as I rode I began to look for a spot with an open bit of beach and some rocks close to the water.
I left the beach and continued my ride, passing British Landing and the Cannonball Restaurant without stopping. In the 4-mile stretch back into town, there are more homes than on the “back side”, but still long sections of road with no buildings of any sort.
I continued on into town, my date with a traffic jam just a few minutes away. . . . .
On Tuesday, I’m spending the day in Charlovoix with Frankie, a friend from the Island. She wants to show me the sights of this little city that sits on an isthmus between Lake Michigan and Round Lake, spreading out onto the shores of Lake Charlovoix. It promises to be a wonderful day of sightseeing and (maybe) shopping. Because I have no idea what time we’ll be back, I’m going to go ahead and say there won’t be a blog post on Wednesday, but I promise to show you all the sights of Charlovoix on Thursday morning. See you then!