Hello, hello, hello!
Since I wrote here last week, there’s been a lot of winter weather on the Island (not so much snow, but lots of COLD). Cold on Mackinac means ice, and ice means no more ferry service. Arnold Transit ran its last ferry on Saturday, January 28. The day before that the Huron, Arnold’s 90-foot freight ferry (which also carries passengers in the wintertime) became stuck in the ice on its last trip of the day. Loaded down with islanders and the Grand Marais basketball team (on the way to the Island for a game that night), the ferry was aided by the Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay and made it safely to the Island and back to St. Ignace.
From this point on, until the ice bridge forms (IF the ice bridge forms), the only way on and off the island will be by plane from Great Lakes Air.
News items from the St. Ignace News:
- The Mackinac Island Winter Festival will be Feb. 4-5. Island residents and visitors will gather at Great Turtle Park on Saturday (the 4th) from noon to 3 p.m. for snow bowling, snow golf, sledding and children’s games. On Sunday there will be a brunch at the Mackinac Island Public School from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., and from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. there will be a raffle, a silent auction, archery, bingo, a children’s carnival, and snow volleyball. Proceeds from the festival go to the Mackinac Island Recreational Development (MIRD) and are used to purchase playground equipment, cross country skis, and snow grooming equipment.
- The 18th annual Chili Cook-off will be Feb. 11 from noon to 5 p.m. at Cawthorne’s Village Inn.
- The shipping season ended at midnight on Jan. 19 at the Soo Locks when the Saginaw, a 639-foot long carrier cleared the locks. This was three days past the traditional closing date of the navigation season. During 2011, 4,040 cargo vessels passed through the Soo Locks, carrying almost 75 million tons of iron ore, coal, grain, and other commodities. In addition to cargo vessels, 3,175 tour boats, private boats, and other recreational vessels used the locks in 2011. (If you missed the blog post about our visit behind-the-scenes at the Soo Locks last September, you can read about it here: https://bree1972.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/the-soo-locks-marvelous-to-behold-962011/)
Some interesting on-line articles about our favorite Island:
- National Geographic Daily News reports on “America’s ‘Lost’ National Parks”: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/travelnews/2012/01/pictures/120120-travel-national-parks/
- This article was written in 2007, but it’s a super piece on Mackinac Island dock porters – and the bikes they ride. It’s posted on Out Your Backdoor and is entitled “The Dock Porter Bikes of Mackinac Island”: http://www.outyourbackdoor.com/article.php?id=813
- Love this! At “Where Next?”, the travel blog at Away.com, Mackinac Island is named 2012’s BEST family vacation destination: http://blogs.away.com/travel/2012/01/2012s-best-family-vacation-destinations-1.html
That’s all I have today, but here are a couple of Heather May photos! Thanks, Heather, for always being willing to share!
Ted and I have a friend on the island who makes pottery. Jay Barch owns Spinning Turtle Pottery, and I have one of his vases on our mantle in the condo. Look for a blog story about Jay and his business this summer!
See you back here next Wednesday! God bless.