Personal Note: Loved looking back at this October stroll through the Annex on Mackinac Island. Seeing Bear in several of these photos brought back so many special memories of that sweet boy.
First published October 23, 2012
She calls it “stick season,” this slow disrobing of summer, leaf by leaf, till the bores of tall trees rattle and scrape in the wind. – Eric Pinder
Tonight I’m inviting you to come along with Bear and me as we walked for almost two hours on Sunday afternoon. It was a beautiful day to be on Mackinac, and it seemed strange not to go to church that morning (Little Stone Church closed for the season last Sunday). Ted took Maddie and walked her to town to pick up a newspaper, and Bear and I struck out in another direction.
I hadn’t been to the Annex in over a month, so I was anxious to see how the trees were looking in that area of the Island. Bear and I walked down Cadotte toward the Grand, then turned right on Algonquin just past the “caution” sign. Algonquin runs behind the West Bluff cottages.
As we crested the first hill, I glanced at the path we sometimes take from Four Corners through the woods to Algonquin. It was literally covered in leaves now.
Walking down the back side of that hill brought us to the corrals where Teddie and McGuyver spend their summers . . .
. . . but both of them left the Island last week, and the corrals were empty. Either I’m going nuts or that is a new building (the yellow one) since the last time I was in this neck of the woods. Maybe they renovated an old shed that was there. Gotta ask Mary about that!
The “stick season” may be upon us, but even with some of the leaves already fallen . . .
. . . it seems the ones still clinging for life to the trees are putting their hearts and souls into making their last moments as beautiful as possible.
Bear, his nose always to the ground, seems to be finding it difficult to understand why there is less horse poop to taste test these days. I tell him it’s because there are fewer horses on the island now. He just keeps on looking though.
All of these are private corrals, and they’re all empty. Remove the horses, and you remove that earthy smell that lets you know it’s Mackinac. I miss the horses . . . and the smell.
At the end of Algonquin, we turned toward the lake. I stopped to frame a photo of the lighthouse between these two trees in one of the West Bluff cottage yards . . .
. . . then we went through the turn stile onto Pontiac Trail. Bear seemed to sense something different and came running back to me after he’d walked ahead. The bluff below Pontiac has been clear cut, something that is done every several years. It did take some getting used to, but just like the trees along Cadotte, before we know it the trees will be tall again.
The tree cutting (which opened up views of the stairs down to the water) does allow for exceptional views of the Grand now from along the trail.
At the end of Pontiac Trail, we made a sharp right, then a left onto Lake View Blvd.
We usually stay on Lake View until we reach Hubbard’s Annex, but on a whim we took a less traveled trail . . .
. . . and I found myself on a path I had never been on. Bear and I had a wonderful time wandering around back there – seeing a couple of houses, barns and stables we’d never seen before. It was amazing to find a spot on the island that was new to us!
It was later than I thought it was (we stopped to chat with some ladies who were staying at the Grand and needed directions), so we headed back home.
Every time I walk up this hill now I try to memorize this view of the condo so, during the winter, I can close my eyes and visualize it.
For the last week these trees down at the horse corral below the condo have been becoming brighter and brighter. I knew when I walked back Sunday afternoon, I wanted to photograph them and that splash of red the gate added. What I didn’t know was that a few horses had been turned into the corral a little before we arrived . . .
What a beautiful frame for these taxi horses . . .
. . . and the big Belgians who pull the drays.
Hope you enjoyed our little walk . . . it sure was nice having you along!
Made me tear up remembering your furbaby in all his glory. The beautiful background makes me remember what a wonderful life he had. Cor ad cor loquitur. Latin for heart speaks to heart. xxoo
Love that, Cathie.
Yes Cathie it was nice (although a little sad) to see Bear. Brings back such sweet memories.
The trees sure where purdy that year and I know where that trail is in the Annex. Never took it but now I will have too! 🙂
Loved rereading this blog. I know how much you miss Bear but through these blogs his memory is always with you.
Speaking of Mackinac I am watching on our PBS station right now a show called “Inside the Grand Hotel”. A wonderful look at that beautiful hotel and island.
I certainly enjoyed my walk with you on your blog. Michigan is truly a beautiful state. So is New Mexico, but it is entirely different.
Glad you could come along, Uncle Ken!
Sweet Bear. Thanks for taking us on your beautiful hike again.
Since I will never be able to walk those trails, I’m thanking you for taking me along on your walk. I had a wonderful time. It also brought back so many memories of walking, and even running, other trails on the Island so many years ago. It was so nice to see Bear again. Such a smart, beautiful dog.
He was one of a kind, Lowell.
Hope to have the stamina up enough to do that kind of walking in September next year. Working on it! I do love autumn on the island. It’s when I first got to know it all those years ago.
We have visited in the fall, but have never seen much color on the island. Usually we head out of MN the end of September, and see awesome color all across WI. I cannot take my eyes out of the front window of the car as the color is so beautiful!! It’s also fun to try to capture pics of old cabins/motels that have gone out of business on Hwy 2 in upper MI. My husband slows down but never actually stops for me to take the pic!
Sweet Bear. How wonderful that you have the memories.
How different the Island looks away from Main St.
As Brenda and Jill pointed out on Facebook, the one hour tour of the Grand Hotel is available on YouTube. I (sometimes) love technology.