Afternoon Stroll – 8/11/2022

Header: The backyard of the Michigan Governor’s Summer Residence.

Tuesday afternoon I set out to visit Fort Mackinac for the first time this summer. In my mind I was thinking I’d maybe connect with a state park interpreter and set up a possible blog post interview for sometime soon. But . . . .

. . . . a Carriage Tour group was just disembarking at the gate, and I knew there’d be a line for the next few minutes. So I changed my mind and continued on.

Hmmmmm. East Bluff or one of the bike trails? Easy decision. I’d already been to the East Bluff area several times – and I hadn’t been to Arch Rock.

I chose the Arch Rock Bicycle Trail for two reasons – 1) it’s level, and 2) it’s also the Mackinac Island Botanical Trail, which features seven turn-outs with benches (for resting and just generally sitting quietly and enjoying nature) and informational signs.

This trail is shady and peaceful, and although it is labeled a “bike” trail, of the few people I encountered that afternoon about half were walkers like me, Did you know the philospher and environmentalist Henry David Thoreau visited Mackinac Island and included notes in his journal about his findings?

One of the first things I learned in my early blogging days was to not always concentrate only on what’s in front of you. Always turns around and see what you just passed – and always, always look up!

Because the trail is marked, I learned that the bright green tree on the right is a Quaking Aspen.

It’s about a half-mile walk from the fort to Arch Rock. A typical summer day crowd was there also . . .
. . . but I popped out on the scenic bridge and got this partial shot through the Arch . . .
. . . and this view of Lake Huron. Such a gorgeous day.

As I came off the bridge and was deciding which way I was going to return, I caught sight of this through the trees . . .

. . . a private vessel that looked to be anchored alone just off shore.

I returned the way I came – along the Arch Rock Bicycle Trail. As I approached the beginning of the trail, looking up the path toward the back of the Scout Barracks, I was struck by the huge difference between how the trail looks in the summer, compared to winter. When I got back to the condo, I pulled up my winter visit photos and found the photo I’d taken from basically the same spot in February, 2020.

Top pic is from Tuesday. The winter scene was from the February Fort Mackinac Turtle Trek event, held each month January through March. The trail is illuminated by lanterns suspended from trees and is a beautiful cross country skiing and snowshoeing event. We walked it that winter with no problem – with Yaktrax on our boots.. And, by the way, there’s a bonfire and hot chocolate for a warm-up afterwards!

My walk from condo to Arch Rock and back was about 2 1/2 miles, so I got in a lot of my “steps” that afternoon. The weather has been terrific (hasn’t hit 80 yet) and we’ve had some occasional rain, but not enough to stop us from doing whatever we have planned each day. It’s almost mid-August, and summer is in full swing here on the island!

Requisite Bodie Shot

“I’m pretty sure we could be friends if I just had the nerve to go under the fence.”