Chats and Tweets and Blogs on a Ferry

This week – starting last Saturday night – has been outrageous!  First was the Saturday Tweet-Up.  On Monday, the Harlem Globetrotters arrived on the Island, and today the Globetrotters presented three preview shows at the Island school.  I’ve almost filled up an empty 2GM camera card, and you don’t even want to know how many photos that means I’ve snapped in 4 days!  Well, maybe you do want to know – it’s over a thousand!  Blake arrives on Friday . . . . yeahhhh!!

Ok – one day at a time.

The Shepler Ferry Tweet-Up

This year the Tweet-Up, a fairly new but now annual event, was held aboard a ferry as it cruised the Straits of Mackinac.  Excellent idea!  More people than ever attended, and the speakers had a captive audience!

The top deck was packed as we departed the Mackinaw City Shepler Ferry dock.  I see friend Chris Ann Nelson and her hubby Burton standing in the back!

Jill, taking a photo with her IPad of Jane Winston and her friend Nancy, who had just arrived from Florida. Seriously, Nancy went directly from the airport in Pellston to the ferry dock to the Tweet-Up boat. If there had been a prize for the one who traveled the farthest to attend the Tweet-Up, Nancy would have won!

It’s hard to get complacent about something as majestic as the Mackinac Bridge. But I have to confess we see it so often that sometimes it gets a little “ho-hum”. Until you get up close  . . .

. . . and it instantly turns majestic once more.

With no support columns showing, you get a true feeling of “suspension” bridge.  Captain Chris Shepler shared with us that the bridge is undergoing a process that will remove all of the lead paint from its surface.  Among other things, this will lessen the weight of the bridge.

A barely visible moon glows through the suspension cables.

Right underneath.  We learned that night two of the bridge’s four lanes are grated to allow rain and snow to flow through, rather than pooling on the bridge.

Shepler’s Misty Martincheck shared with us how social media – specifically Facebook and Twitter – has positively impacted their business . . .

. . . as did Kelli Lawrence from the Grand Hotel.

Yours truly talked about blogging in general and Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog in particular . . .

. . . and Lori Libka from Bronner’s Christmas Store in Frankenmuth, MI spent time on one of the newest social media ideas – Pinterest!

The keynote speaker was Kelsey Schnell, Public Relations & Marketing Officer for Mackinac State Historic Parks. This is not Kelsey speaking – this is Kelsey driving the ferry – and he did both very well! The Mackinac Parks system uses many forms of social media, and Kelsey shared they are soon adding a blog. Can’t wait for that!

Big Foot . . . . Feet.  This is not a zoomed shot –  we were this close.

Waaayyyy off in the distance we spotted this freighter . . .

. . . . and Captain Chris decided we should sail along beside them for a while.

So we did.

The Alpena was riding high in the water because she had just been unloaded.

Jane – getting in some time in the pilot house of the ferry.

As we sailed back to Mackinaw City, the sun began it’s slow slide into the lake . . .

. . . and by the time we boarded our ferry back to the Island, it had disappeared entirely, leaving the west end of the Island bathed in warm pinks and blues.

The Tweet-Up was such a success I believe Shepler’s will continue to hold them aboard ferries – might have to get larger ones though – in the future.  It certainly was a fun evening, filled with good information and the magic on being on Lake Huron in the early evening.  Hope you’ll join us next year if you’re up this way – probably the last Saturday in July (watch for announcements next summer on the Shepler Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/sheplersferry!

See you on Friday with all the story and pics from my day hanging out with the Harlem Globetrotters.  What a blast!  Here’s a little preview . . .

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31 thoughts on “Chats and Tweets and Blogs on a Ferry

  1. The Tweetup looks like a fun time. Not to mention the great views of the Big Mac and the freighter. Now I just have figure how I can get to trips to Mackinac next summer. Well, I have some time to work on Jim.

  2. The pictures of the sunset are absolutely georgous!! WOW! Your pictures just reminded me how breathtaking those sunsets are! I can’t wait for our cruise (well yes I can because that would mean, the next day we would be leaving)..nevermind….Hey, do you think Shepler’s would let me pilot that ferry? 😉
    Can’t wait to hear all about the Globetrotters…from the pictures I’ve seen, it looks like it was a blast!!

    • Hilde – looking forward to our Lighthouse Cruise also! I think that “pilot” thing depends on the captain . . .

      • I was only “half” kidding anyway 🙂 and YES…looking forward to the cruise also!

  3. My family and I are coming to visit the island on Friday. We were going to visit Bois Blanc Island, were my wife grew up, but we really want to experience Mackinaw again! We know your son is coming in, but would really like to meet you sometime Friday.

    • Oh wow, Greg. That’s a tough one! I’m probably not going to set foot outside the house until it’s time to go to the airport in Pellston. Lots of “getting ready” to do. Is there anything specific I might could help you and your family with that I could answer online?

      • No, not really. We enjoy reading your blog and thought it would be cool to meet you! Thank you for offering to answer any questions.

      • Greg – so hoping you and your family enjoy Bois Blanc – somewhere I haven’t visited yet! If I ever get over there, I’ll have to contact YOU for ideas! Safe travels.

  4. Love all the pics from the Tweet Up. Sounds like a lot of fun. Especially liked the bridge pictures and those of the sunset. What I’m really anxious to hear about, are how the Globetrotters got to be on the island. Have seen them play a couple times, and they put on a great show. True ambassadors of good will everywhere.

  5. Love all the photos! I wondered about the open grating on the bridge – now I know why it’s like that. And I’m very excited to hear all about the Harlem Globetrotters visit. Happy Wednesday!!

  6. Wow, girl!!! Your life just keeps getting more interesting each day! What experiences you are having. Sharing them with us is such a gift to all of us. Enjoy your family time – you don’t get that chance very often!!!

  7. Brenda,

    I think your life would kill me deader than a door nail. You are so busy. Those few days of relaxation in Ontario must have been a real treat.

    The whole Tweet Up idea sounds fantastic to me and doing it on the ferry is really the way to do it. Thank you so much for taking me along. As usual, your writing and pictures about it prove once again that your blog is the best one on the internet.

    However, concerning the grating in the deck of the Bridge: when it was first built, it was said that the grating was installed so the strong wind that sometimes blows through the straits, especially in September, could blow up through the deck of the Bridge rather than lift it up, as happened to that bridge in Seattle that collapsed for that very reason. Because the Bridge slopes downward to the north and south from the center, I don’t think pooling water would be a problem. Of course, I was wrong once and I suppose this could be a second time. I hate to think that, but it could be true.

    About the Globe Trotters: when I was a teenager living in Cheboygan, they made an appearance there and I remember being so disappointed that they didn’t play “real” basketball. I wish I could see them in person again now that I know that’s not what they do. They put on a show and,from what I’ve seen on TV, it’s a good one.

    OK, that’ll be enough rambling for now.

    • Lowell – that makes PERFECT sense about the bridge. Chris didn’t mention that aspect of it, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t part of the plan on the grating. Going to research that (or ask Ted to).

      • Lowell and Kathy – you two obviously know me well enough to realize it would probably be next week – or month – or year – before I did that research! Thanks for going ahead and handling it for me! And thanks for the information!

      • I just noticed that Cathie McMichael had posted the same site. Way to go, Cathie. Surely, you and I must have great minds. Well, at least we thought alike on that one.

  8. I love the Tweet-Up photos. It sounds like a very nice event and it was interesting to see who spoke. I love Bronner’s so I thought it was neat that they were there. I’m looking forward to the Parks blog.

    Also, I love the photo of you and the Globetrotters! Such a fun picture! 🙂

  9. Looks like the Tweet-up was great fun!

    I am looking forward to riding Shepler’s on Friday and spending the day on my very favorite island!

  10. The mighty mac bridge makes me so nerveous! I am notorious for being a speed demon (and have many speed tickets to prove it) but when I drive across the bridge, I drive like an old granny!

    Have Ted research the bridge grate in his spare time! LOL! I have always wondered why one lane is paved and the other is grated.

    Have a great week!

  11. As difficult as it is to follow all things Bree, I certainly learn quite a bit. Lowell was right again about the grating being designed to prevent “Magic Mac” from taking the disastrous dive that the winds caused to “Galloping Gertie” in Washington State. A very interesting site about our bridge is http://www.historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=other/mackinac/ Have a ball. Looking forward to pictures of Blake and the furry ones.

  12. I have a quick question for you. Do you know what kind of flowers spring up all around Anne’s Tablet? I have many pictures of them, but none are close ups. I am getting a tattoo based on my love of Nature and the spiritual value of Mackinac Island. I’m getting lilac blossoms and I wanted to incorporate the little yellow flowers found near Anne’s Tablet (mine and my mother’s favorite place on the island; she worked at May’s fudge in the late 60’s). Any idea what kind of flowers these are? I was hoping to look up a more detailed picture to give to the tattoo artist since I neglected to take any close ups the last time I was on the island. Thanks!

    • Wow, Laurel, I’d really someone who KNOWS for sure answer this one. Island readers, can you help Laurel out with this?

  13. Wow. You are always on the go on that island. I did see you on your busy day as you were following the Globetrotters–we were both watching them make fudge. I was trying to keep an eye on my children but I was also quite pleased that I got to meet you–briefly in all the Globetrotting hoopla! I live in Ontario but I am originally from Michigan. My family vacations every year at the Inn on Mackinac so in preparation I let them know all of the happenings year round as I follow your blog ( I think I quote you too much because they jokingly thought I was making Bree the blogger up, because how could someone know so much about the island?) This year we brought more friends to the island and I had to reference your story on the horses and where they spend their winters. Thank you for all you do and it was a thrill to briefly meet you.

    • Lisa! I’m so glad you wrote! I got a great photo of you, which I’ll be using on the blog one day soon (if that’s ok). So glad you said hello – I needed that little break!

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