C R A Z Y ! ! !
Strong winds and rain greeted me when the alarm clock buzzed this morning at 5:45, and gale warnings were up until late Thursday afternoon. I dressed with more layers than I’ve worn on the Island since I returned one February for Winter Festival. TWO sets of Cuddl Duds (top and bottom), a turtle neck sweater, another pullover and over all that – rain gear (jacket with hood and rain pants). The only things not protected from the rain were my feet and hands, which was a big mistake. I wore heavy socks and leather boots, and by the time I’d been working an hour, my socks were squishy wet, and my toes were frozen. Reminder to self: Add plain black rubber boots to my Christmas list (I just couldn’t bring myself to don my black and white polka dot rain boots to go work – not a very professional look. Silly me. After an hour of being splashed by the river running through the entrance gate and then stepping down into that river to talk to hundreds of ladies going to the island, I would have given anything for dry, warm toes. But everyone survived, and Shepler’s did a fantastic job. Those were some tired employees at the end of the day, and they didn’t get off at 1 p.m. like I did to go home and nap for three hours.
Jill lives downtown and is an EARLY riser, so she's met me at Martha's Sweet Shop the last two mornings. This is how dark it still was at 7:20 today as I was getting off the taxi.
Inside with owner Loretta Spata, it was bright and warm and filled with the yummy aromas of fresh-baked pastries and hot coffee. This made three mornings of delicious pumpkin and walnut muffins that I couldn't get enough of. By the way, that's just ONE cinnamon roll on Jill's plate - they are huge!
The ride over this morning to Mackinaw City. Visibility was zero through the spray on the windows. The wind was out of the NNE which, according to Captain Billy, was a very good thing. Those who were on duty this past weekend said it was twice as bad Saturday because the wind was from a different direction.
The final group of 1,000 Winsome Women crossed to the Island this morning. As soon as they could be parked, ladies moved into that big blue and white building which houses the ticket office. This building is also dry and heated and has a coffee bar. Talk about a booming business!
Crossing back to the island at 12:30, the wind had shifted to straight out of the north - a bumpier ride.
By 2:00 I was home, sitting with my feet up in my recliner (toes all dry and cozy in wool socks) and covered in a blanket. Three minutes later I was sound asleep and didn’t wake up until almost five. No matter how wet and wild these three days have been, it’s always fun to volunteer at Shepler’s.
Having worked three days, and with the weather like it’s been, there have been few chances to get out for pics. So tonight, I’m going to post some photos from Ted and from friends who have given me permission to use their work. On Monday, while I was working and before the weather got so bad, Ted took Maddie and Bear on a two-hour walk. I’m so sorry I missed going with them, but Ted got some really nice shots! Enjoy!
Looking up the hill in front of the fort to the area where Anne's Tablet is located.
Downtown on a lazy October day.
All the annuals have been pulled up from the Grand Hotel flower beds, and these gardeners were busy planting the tulip bulbs for next Spring. I always try to guess the pattern and the colors - but it's always a secret.
Hmmmm . . . now there's a mountain of dirt behind the Carriage Museum. Wonder what that's for???
Fall colors at Turtle Park.
The road beside the cemetery leading up to Lookout Point. As you can see, the winds of the last week have really taken a toll on our leaves.
Bear - checking out a pile of leaves for anything worth wolfing down.
Sugar Loaf from Lookout Point.
Lookout Point. Looks lonely up there now.
Approaching the embankment that surrounds the site of Ft. Holmes.
Inside the earthen walls of Ft. Holmes.
The bridge from the top of the Island.
Taken from the top of the Ft. Holmes embankment.
Looking straight down Rifle Range Trail from Fort Holmes, with Fort Mackinac in the distance.
Walking back home on one of numerous gravel trails . . . .
. . . and this one came out on Garrison Road, where they turned and walked toward the Post Cemetery. The flag there could be seen from the bottom of the hill - permanently flown at half-staff.
After a week of wind and rain, we always look for God’s promised rainbow.
Paul Retherford is a wonderful photographer and is on the island often for weddings. On this particular trip, he captured a rainbow over the harbor.
Friend Chris Ann Nelson's photograph from her beach in Mackinaw City - a rainbow over the bridge.
Patrick Conlon, the dock master at Shepler's, took this amazing shot of the first boat out on Monday morning, before the bad weather moved in that afternoon.
Next week will begin the countdown – less than a week to go. The days are piling up on top of each other now, and the reality has set in. I’m going to try and get a lot of packing done this weekend so I can at least get a few posts written next week before we go.
See you Monday, have a great weekend, and God bless.