The Perfect Day 7/15/2011

WE HAVE A WINNER ON THE MYSTERY SPOT!    She is Cathy Cislak from Indianapolis, Indiana.  See the end of this post for the answer.

Tuesday was a perfect day on Mackinac Island.  I know, I know – if you listen to me on a regular basis, you’d think they’re all pretty much perfect, but some are more perfect than others, and Tuesday was one of those.

When we left the condo around 10:30 that morning, we had no idea we’d be gone over six hours, but by the time we returned in the middle of the afternoon, we had enough tan marks and tired muscles to prove we’d been on quite the outing!

What made the day even more perfect was having Charlie go with us everywhere.  Even though Mackinac Island banned motorized vehicles many years ago, the island allows persons with disabilities that hinder physical exertion the use of motorized scooters.  Without that allowance, many people would never get to experience the island the way it should be experienced – out on the roads and trails where the beauty of this magical spot can be enjoyed to its fullest.  We are so thankful the city has granted this exemption to the motorized ban, and we also understand they have to be diligent so no one takes advantage of this special allowance.

The airport was our first stop. Charlie retired from Delta Airlines after 32 years as a pilot.

The little airplane that was landing as we watched was quite a bit smaller than the 767's he was flying when he retired!

We always love talking with Assistant Airport Manager Dennis Bradley.

We left the airport and took Annex Road around to British Landing Road, where we turned left. This took us to the far eastern end of the runway.

Happy yellow flowers cover the island right now. The woods are still full of yellow Hawkweed, but these looked more like some form of daisy. (I'm sure one of my readers will know what they are.)

We stopped at the new community stable where we petted a few horses, peeked into the entrance of Wawashkamo Golf Club just as a Freisian-driven buggy pulled in to pick up some golfers, and then continued out British Landing Road for another mile-and-a-half to the Cannonball Restaurant, which was doing a booming lunch business. We parked, found a table, and ordered hotdogs and hamburgers.

I love that the livery stables now have a worker stationed at Cannonball. When one of the drive-it-yourself buggies arrives (after traveling half-way around the island), both drivers and horses need a rest. This way, the visitors can get off the buggy, leave their horse in the capable hands of a livery employee, and enjoy lunch or a snack. The horse gets to rest, get water, and munch on some grass. Very cool. Oh! Don't forget that the Cannonball is offering the wonderful evening hayrides again. Take a hayride out to the Cannonball, have a fantastic meal outside (barbeque chicken and ribs and all the trimmings) then back into town on the haywagon at sunset. Awesome!

We left the Cannonball at British Landing and headed for town . . .

. . . passing the beautiful homes along the southwest side of the island.

The road around the island is 8.2 miles.

We stopped to walk to the beach . . .

. . . where Cathy and I walked down to the water.

A mama duck and her newly hatched brood were riding the ferry waves near the shore . . .

and Ted tried his hand at stone-skipping.

We had stopped where three huge power lines come onto the island. These lines run from St. Ignace under Lake Huron and provide electricity for homes and businesses. It's certainly not one of the loveliest sights on the island, but it's a real necessity to those of us who live here.

By the time we reached Devil's Kitchen, we had traveled 2 1/2 miles from British Landing.

After stopping to take photos at the Somewhere in Time marker, Ted and Charlie continued on into town. Cathy and I pushed our bikes up the steep hill that brought us out behind the Grand Hotel pool.

We returned to the condo physically tired out, but so pumped full of healthy air and sunshine that we could hardly sit still.  We ate a huge dinner (fudge for dessert), and we were all asleep before the skies had fully turned dark.  It was a glorius day!

On Monday I’ll take you on a flower tour of the gardens around the pool and shade garden of the Grand.  I’m going to post a few pics this weekend also, so please tune in on Saturday and Sunday.

We did not have two perfect days in a row.  On Wednesday, Cathy took a header off her bike downtown and had to be transported to the Medical Center by ambulance.  Besides a big bump – and a pretty deep laceration – on her head (and a sore tush), she’s just fine.  Did I take photos?  Of course I did!  I’ll share that little drama with you next week, after I hopefully get permission from the EMT service to put it online.

Also next week, more photos of  events happening on the island – like the Chicago to Mackinac Race (which begins Saturday, July 16th) and  this year’s Festival of the Horse, which begins on the 21st.  Summer is in full gear now, and running out of events to write about and photos to take is not an option.  This place is booming!  But why take my word for it?  Come on up and experience the magic in person!

Another "teaser" for Monday's post about the gardens at the Grand Hotel!

The Mystery Spot this week is pretty easy to spot – IF you happen to be in the right place!   The object is to be the first to identify where the object is located. When you think you have the answer, email me at I’ll check my email several times a day, and as soon as we have a winner, I’ll post the winner’s name at the top of this blog so you can stop guessing, AND I’ll post the full photo of the mystery spot at the bottom of the blog with the answer. Is there a prize for the winner – yes there is; but the prize is secret, and the only ones who will know what it is are the winners. To be fair, I’m asking residents of Mackinac Island to please NOT guess. This is just for readers who don’t live here . . . but would like to! And the Mystery Spot is . . . .

Where is it?

 Again, please email your answers to me at



The beautiful eagle sitting atop the world globe stands watch over one of the West Bluff cottages at the east end of Pontiac's Trail (you can see the turnstile to the trail at the bottom of this photo).


16 thoughts on “The Perfect Day 7/15/2011

  1. Oh shoot! I hope Cathy is feeling better.

    I believe the yellow flowers are Rudbeckia or better known as Black Eyed Susan but I sure don’t know where that Eagle is located ; )

  2. Sorry to hear about your friends spill. Great medical help on the island, however. Ended up there one time after getting stung by a bee (allergic). Will be on the island next week for the Festival of the Horse. I know what you mean about keeping up with events. I know I will not be able to do everything on my list!

  3. Yes, black eyed susans. They are blooming early there!! The foliage is not much like the perennial varieties I have, they look more like the TRUE black eyed susan, Rudbeckia hirta, a biennial. Only oliage first year, flowers second, dies back after that (but not before planting its own seeds for the next cycle).

    Can’t wait to see the gardens!!!

  4. What fun that Charlie got to tour the airport!
    Sounds like a familiar day on the Island! I love your ‘beach’ shots – just captures what it’s like (although I never hung out so much on the southwest side!)

  5. The black-eyed Susan flowers are so pretty. I’m so glad Cathy is okay and hopefully not to bruised up. It’s so nice that Charlie got to travel around the island seeing and it looks like you had such great weather.Happy Friday!!

  6. Oh my, I sure hope Cathy is feeling better by now. Why didn’t she have one of those turtle helmets on! Hopefully, the EMT service will let you post those pics.,, sorry Cathy, you know how we are, we love pictures. 😉 Can’t wait to see more of the Grand gardens. Have a great weekend!

    • Hilde, you are right. I’ve been asking myself why I didn’t have a helmet on. This whole episode could have been avoided had I just done that. I have learned my lesson…..all of you learn from my mistake.

      • Cathie, don’t tell anyone, but I do the same thing, I have a helmet and never wear it. Thank goodness the 2 times I’ve ever fallen on my bike, it wasn’t on my head. Guess we all could learn a lesson.

  7. Hope Cathy is feeling better today. I bet Charlie feels like a kid in a candy store now that he has “wheels”. It has to better than flying, as he can now see what in on and near the ground!! Glad you are all having so much fun and hope the weather holds out for you. So enjoy the photos and looking forward to more!

  8. For your blog friends: Take the time to walk the Pontiac Trail. It is fairly short and it gives you a beautiful view of the West Bluff homes that you don’t normally get to see.

  9. Wow-that was a perfect day! So happy for Charlie now that he can motor about. Lovely photos as always-I so enjoy starting my day with views of Mackinac…Only 7.5 more weeks till we’re there…

  10. Good point about the helmet. I may be purchasing a helmet for our trip coming up in a few weeks. We are all excited about coming. May bring our 10 year old nephew up with us. It would be his first visit. Sounds like your company is enjoying their stay! I would think the black-eyed Susans are the “wild” variety. Mine aren’t even blooming yet.

  11. I spent about an hour last night trying to figure out where that Eagle statue was…. the scout barracks? The Find & Seek Garden on French Lane? The Veteran’s Memorial? The Governor’s summer cottage? I finally gave up and went to bed. Tonight when I got home from work and checked the answer I said well, there is no way I could have possibly known that it was in the yard of a cottage on the West Bluff. Every Friday night my boys and I watch old videos. Tonight we were watching one that had some video from a day trip we took to the Island 6 years ago. At one point the camera turns to take a shot of my husband and there, right behind him, clear as day, is the Eagle on the Globe!!!! I almost fell out of my chair! If only I had been watching videos last night! That’s me- always a day late and a dollar short! Thanks so much for the much needed laugh Bree!!

    • Oh my gosh, Fran! That is too funny! So glad you got a good laugh from the Mystery Spot tonight. Keep trying to figure them out, and come on back to the island soon!

  12. P.S.- Bree, it is hot & muggy here in Tallahassee- wish we were on the Island! Thanks for your blog, especially all the photos. Thanks so much for taking time out of your day to share the beauty of Mackinac with the rest of us who can’t be there.

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