I’ve always been awed by someone’s ability to build a house from the ground up – no contractors, no outside help except family and friends. How do you take a bare piece of ground – in this case, solid rock – and construct a family home – this one replacing one lost to a fire. And how do you do that – not in the city where logistics are relatively simply – but in a remote area of Canadian wilderness reachable only by boat. The mind is boggled.
But that’s exactly what happened in the spring of 1977, when Brad’s dad and other family members – when available – set to work constructing Twin Pine Lodge II.
One of the many amazing stories Brad told was about the installation of the septic tank. Five tons of rock were delivered to the dock at Willisville and divided into three piles based on the size of the rock. Brad and his dad loaded the rock into as many 5-gallon buckets as the boat would hold without sinking, and they’d motor to the cabin dock. Then they would manually haul those buckets up the hill to the site of the septic system . . . . FIVE TONS of rock.
There IS a TV set in the cabin, but no cable or satellite. They use the tv to watch movies, and there are drawers and drawers full of VHS tapes and DVDs. Besides movies, there were many other choices for after-dinner (or any other time) entertainment.
On Monday we took the pontoon boat out, and Brad and Donna gave us a tour of the lakes and camps in this part of the La Cloche Mountain range.
On Tuesday we left Maddie and Bear at the cabin and rode over to Little Current, which is on Manitoulin Island. To access the island requires timing your trip off or on with the swinging bridge that connects the island to the mainland. Now when Brad and Donna started talking about “swinging” bridge, I thought about a rope bridge, but this was a little more technical than that!
Our three days and nights with the Prudens was beyond words in serenity and comfort. Even though we live on an island and can walk into the woods for solitude, the fact that Mackinac is a resort community means a trip downtown will mean mingling – at least during the day – with thousands of visitors. This summer has been busier on the Island than any of the other four we’ve spent here, and that is a wonderful thing for the merchants. For those of us who like our quiet times though, all those people can be a little overwhelming at times. We returned to our Island relaxed, renewed, and rejuvenated. Donna and Brad have asked us to return anytime, and I’m sure we will.
Living on Mackinac Island is surely a step back in time to a simpler lifestyle, but visiting that remote area of Canada almost made Mackinac look like New York City. The stillness at night was complete. We were amazed there seemed to be no wildlife playing the usual “woods” symphonies. There were no frogs or crickets playing harmonies outside – just this amazing . . . quiet. Sitting on the porch at night in a rocking chair and seeing a sliver of moon reflected over the still water caused my muscles to relax into mush, and my heartbeat to lower into almost-sleep mode.
Joyful simplicity. We went, we enjoyed – we’ll take more of that please!
Random Photographs from Canada
Personal note: So much to tell you about this week! This past Saturday night, I was one of the speakers at the annual Shepler’s Tweet-Up (a gathering of social media folks – Facebook, Tweeters, Pinterest, Bloggers, etc.), and this year it was held on a ferry cruising around the Straits and under the Mackinac Bridge! That story is coming up on Wednesday.
And . . . . drum roll please! The Harlem Globetrotters (yes, the real ones) will be playing two exhibition games on the Island on Tuesday at the school. On Monday (tomorrow), the Tourism Bureau invited me to go along for Media Day with the Globetrotters as they tour the Island for the first time. They will be doing all kinds of fun things like visiting Murdick’s Fudge, the Grand Hotel, the new stable, and the fort. First thing in the morning, they will be playing basketball on the deck of Shepler’s Sacre Blue freight ferry as it brings them from St. Ignace to the Island. And I’m going to be right there in the middle of all of it with my trusty (oh please, let it be trusty!) camera. They’ve asked me to blog about Media Day, and I said YES, YES, YES! I’m so excited, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. That will be coming up on Friday!
And . . . . . . Blake arrives Friday for a 10-day stay on the Island!
It’s going to be a great week here, and the best part will be getting to share it with all of you!
See you on Wednesday! God bless.