Bits of This, Pieces of That 9/23/2011

We have a Mystery Spot winner! She is Megan Hendrick (more info coming).  Please see end of blog for answer.

Each glance outside this week seemed to show a different color palette.  The trees have obviously tapped into God’s color wheel, and within two or three days, they spin from green to yellow to red.  If I were to wager, I would say by the weekend of September 30, we are going to have us one great big Technicolor island!

It’s been a fairly busy week here on the hill.  Ted’s little dinner party for some of his guy friends went very well.  Ted grilled steaks, and I made an asparagus/artichoke salad (for the healthy-eating ones in the bunch) and a mashed potato casserole (real Southern comfort food) for those who just wanted to eat.  Funny thing was – they all ate everything!  Steaks, casserole, salad, garlic bread – all gone.  Then I twisted their arms and forced them to finish off ice cream over hot brownies with chocolate sauce.  Those were some happy, stuffed fellows going down the hill that night!

That was Tuesday evening, and on Wednesday it rained nearly all day.  I decided to clean out the guest bedroom closet so Jason and Blair would have a place for their clothes when they come next week.  The barrels Jamaican workers use to pack up for their long trip home at the end of the season have been coming up the hill on drays this week, and I know the Jamaican ladies who live behind us would love to take home what we no longer need.  I just can’t believe it’s almost time for us to start the packing process also.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the rain stopped, and Ted and I took Maddie and Bear for a long walk.  We had no specific path in mind – we just ambled, and I took the photos below.

It was almost closing time at the Carriage Museum, and there were only a few carriages waiting to carry folks down to the Grand Hotel and town. As you can see from this driver's clothing, there was a pretty brisk wind blowing, and the temps were falling.

As we walked down the hill, we saw Kim going out to let one of the carriages know they wouldn't be needed and could head to the barn.

After walking a few wooded paths, we came out at the maintenance barns of the State Park. I've had a couple of photos of this area on the blog before, but it's not really something you would normally see on a "tour" of the island. As we walked through though, I started trying to find objects to photograph, and I'll share those with you - just for something different.


. . . . new barrels which, next season, will be state park trash containers . . .

. . . a child's once much-loved wooden horse . . .

. . . and an old, blue wagon wheel.

We continued our walk through the maintenance area, turned right and started back home.

A bicycling couple passed us, after stopping to pet Bear and Maddie. They turned right at the Governor's Summer Residence . . .

. . . but we turned left, going through the open gate at the top of Fort Hill to look at the white caps on the Straits.

Back at Surrey Hill, I photographed the one tree there that has dressed itself fully for fall. Literally overnight - green to bright yellow.


I ran into Lisa Brock last Sunday out in the woods.  She and her husband were driving their beautiful Friesian/Paint cross, Ringo.  As they went by Lisa yelled, “When do you want to go for that buggy ride (something we’d talked about several times, but never made definite plans for)?”

“I’m free next week,” I yelled.

“I’ll pick you up at 11 Thursday morning!” she yelled over her shoulder, as they rode out of sight.

Such is the way things are planned on Mackinac.

Is Ringo an awesome horse or what! A Friesian/Paint cross, Lisa traveled to Iowa to purchase him. He's only six and is already trained for driving and riding. He's big, he's bold, he's beautiful. I was EXCITED!

We spent over an hour in the woods - chatting, looking for fall color, enjoying the beauty and quiet of the trails, and stopping for the occasional tourist who just "had to have a photograph of that unbelievable horse"!

Ringo - at his most curious. We were on a road he was unfamiliar with, and he's just spotted a strange contraption on the hill to his left. Ringo has a little aversion to "squares", and the object was the offending shape. Lisa handled the reins like a pro, and she safely guided Ringo past his "enemy".

After dropping me off at the condo, Lisa heads back home through the Village. Thanks, Lisa, for a wonderful morning!

This weekend and next week will be so busy I’m having to make lists of my lists!  A good friend from Georgia, who is bringing a tour group to the Grand on Sunday, will be here for a couple of days.  I’ve got a great surprise in store for her and two other Georgia friends who are coming with her.  I can’t tell you what it is because she reads the blog too, but I’ll be writing about it for next Tuesday’s blog.  Then Jason and Blair arrive on Thursday for a long weekend!

I’m going to spend the weekend looking for more fall colors and getting ready for company, so I’ll see you back here on Monday.  Have a great weekend, and God bless.

The object of the Mystery Spot  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 . .

What is it?

Don’t forget to email your answer to me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.comPlease do not answer in the comment section.


The Mystery Spot this week is the bell tower of beautiful Trinity Episcopal Church (shown here while the lilacs were blooming this June).



18 thoughts on “Bits of This, Pieces of That 9/23/2011

  1. It’s the first day of Fall and it certainly feels like it here. I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the season already on the island. Can’t wait to hear about the surprise for your Georgia friends and I know your looking forward to Jason and Blair’s visit. Glad you got to go on the carriage ride. Ringo is absolutely beautiful!!
    Brenda, I haven’t seen Lowell in a while. Hope all is well?

    • I need to check on Lowell again, Hilde. I emailed him after he didn’t comment on the Soo Locks story, and he shared that his mother-in-law had passed away. But I still haven’t seen him on line since then. Will do that today.

  2. Thank you for another wonderful summer and I’m glad you are staying a little later this year so that we can get a taste of fall on the island. I thoroughly enjoy visiting Mackinac Island through your stories and pictures.

  3. Ringo is such a beautiful horse! Thanks for the pictures and I too am looking forward to the fall color pictures! Wish we could come up and enjoy it with you!

  4. Love the pics of the horses ! I’ve been coming to Island for 60 years (lived there for three)! Also ran the 8-Mile race over the years with my ‘kids” and with 13 from our PA running club. We came scross the Bridge this week enroute home to PA from Minnesota. It was painful not to be able to go to the Island. Thank goodness, I was there twice last year!!! Thanks so much for “keeping me close” with this wonderful blog! Peg

  5. My wife and I were on the Island this week for vacation from Weds through Friday. I looked for you but didn’t see you. I spent a lot of time combing through the woods and trying to find all these spots you talk about that I’ve never seen. I put in almost 50 miles on my bike in those 3 days. IMO that’s the best part of visiting the Island, getting away from town and spending time in the woods. My wife and I spent time on the West Bluffs and absolutely fell in love with that area. We did see Ted at the visitor center but he was busy helping folks out and didn’t want to bother him. Didn’t get over to Bois Blanc like I wanted, but there’s always next year.

    • Sorry I missed you and your wife, Tom, but it sure sounds like you had a great time! Hope you found some of those spots you were looking for!

      • I finally found Ann’s Tablet, the Friendships Alter rock, and Eagle Point and Scott’s Cave. Although it was too slippery to climb down to see it for my tastes. And Robinson’s Folly as well, found it but was too chicken to climb up to it. And I got stuck on Tranquil Bluff trail, which I hope to never revisit again. I never thought that would end! My wife and I had never been up to either Bluffs and we just loved the West Bluff. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was up there. Especially Friday with the gorgeous weather. I can’t believe how tall some of those hedges are, especially the ones made out of actual trees! I was worried about the weather coming up on Weds but it turned out nice all 3 days. I put almost 50 miles on my bike in the 3 days.

        My wife wanted to do that Haunted Mackinac tour, but was too chicken. Have you ever done that? We ended up running in to it Thursday evening walking back from dinner and it seemed pretty tame.

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