Oh. My. Gosh! What beautiful weather we’re having on Mackinac this week! All the humidity is gone, the temps are in the high 60’s during the day and low 50’s at night, and we’re beginning to see a red leaf here and there. I can feel Fall standing just behind the curtains – waiting backstage for just the right moment to appear in all her glory!
With that thought in mind, I set out with my camera on a walk a couple of days ago. I didn’t capture too much in the way of fall colors, but I sure had fun looking! My photo idea for the walk was to focus on Mackinac fences, and I did that some, but it really just turned into one of my “happy walks”!
Just past the new condos is this tall wooden fence. There is one on both sides of the road here, and they hide some of Grand Hotel”s maintenance equipment. The gates are seldom open, but if you happen by at the right (or wrong) time, you might spot someone leaving on a riding lawnmower!
This open fencing borders the back side of the first nine holes of Grand Hotel’s Jewel Golf Course. Since we’ve moved right across the street from the course, Ted has been “climbing the fence” after the flags are removed in the afternoon and trying to improve his golf game (yes, it’s ok to do that – I promise he won’t get in trouble).
This beautiful team of horses came by while I was at the golf course fence. Pretty sure they are Percherons.
Looking across the golf course to Little Stone Church.
This serpentine white picket fence surrounds the Michigan Governor’s Summer Residence. Wonder where that bench on the dray was going?
The Governor’s residence is to the right of this photo. I’m standing at the summit of Fort Hill, looking out over the harbor – a fantastic vista!
I turned left, walked up a small hill, and spotted a team of dray horses through the trees.
Sometimes a fence can be a living thing – like this hedge at the back of Fort Mackinac.
The North Sally Port entrance to the fort. On July 17, 1812, American troops marched through this gate to surrender to the British. This is not a public entrance but is used by State Park and Tea Room employees, tour groups with a State Park escort, and service vehicles. And it’s handicap friendly.
I cut through the open area beside the fort and passed several private residences on my way to. . . .
. . . the Somewhere in Time gazebo, scene of dozens of island weddings each summer.
The view from inside the gazebo.
From the gazebo, it’s just a short walk over shaded dirt paths to Anne’s Tablet, where you can stand at that split rail fence and see . . .
. . . the entire marina, the bay, Round and Bois Blanc Islands, and both lighthouses.
There are many short trails that meander near Anne’s Tablet. One takes you to . . .
. . . the edge of a cliff that drops straight down. Careful on that one!
Another leads to a fence-bordered set of very steep stairs leading down to the back of Marquette Park in town, and one leads to . . .
. . . . the East Bluff, where Victorian cottages reign over . . . .
. . . what could possibly be the best of all views of town and the Straits of Mackinac.
I retraced my steps to the back side of the fort, then took a shortcut through the State Park Maintenance buildings area. Love this old building that has probably known many uses over the years . . .
. . . but right now seems to be mostly used for storage.
Beyond the maintenance area I come to this well-known fork in the road.
Picking the road on the left and walking just a few steps, I come to the Cupid’s pathway sign (on the right). Directly across from that sign is the shortcut path we would take through the woods going home to Surrey Hill.
I’ve found myself avoiding this path all summer because it was one of the most frequently walked paths for Bear and I. We’d choose it as the shortcut to one of our adventures and as the shortest way home from those adventures. I knew what was going to happen, but I turned down the path anyway. Just a few steps, and tears filled my eyes and rolled down my cheeks.
That tree up ahead (the one on the left and closest to the path) is the one I’d slip behind and hide while Ted, Maddie and Bear walked on ahead. As soon as Bear would look back and not see me, he’d fly down the path to find his lost mom. And then he’d dance happily all around, and sometimes . . . .
. . . that would be followed by one of his famous “Bear zooms” through the woods at full speed.
My heart has been heavy this summer without my sweet boy. I love this photo of us taken several years ago on a beautiful Fall day. I’m praying for many years ahead on Mackinac, sharing this beautiful island, with Bear’s blessing, with Bodie. Just the thought of Bodie makes me smile
That special path takes another fork toward the end. One way leads to the back of the carriage museum at Surrey Hill and the other, which I took, comes out behind the building which houses one of the island’s fire trucks.
Behind the fire truck building, it’s a short walk across the area which houses the offices of the electricity company, then out into the open in front of Grand Hotel Stable. And I’m back to the condo!
Can’t tell you how excited we are to have dinner planned on Monday evening with a dozen or so blog readers. Right now my reservations list includes Lowell & Faye, Kem & Ed, Yvonne & Tony, Hilde & Bud, Joleen & Bruce, Pam & Mike Day, and Jill. If you’re a blog reader and going to be on the island Monday, Sept. 19, and want to join us at the Chippewa at 6:00 p.m., please email me at email@example.com so I can add you to the list!