“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
We haven’t gotten to “stick season” yet, but would you believe that the weather report called for possible SLEET this past weekend! It didn’t happen, but could it be . . . . could it possibly be . . . that we might see SNOW before we leave? You know how I am about that white stuff . . . I’ll keep you posted!
Ted and I were going to Mackinaw City on Friday to say goodbye to Chris Ann and Burton (they leave on Monday or Tuesday for Florida – by way of lower Michigan visits to family and friends). But the weather was so bad (rain, cold) that Chris Ann called and said, “Please don’t get out in this. We’ll see you later in the year – maybe in Georgia!” We were already geared up for rain when she called, so we decided to go ahead and walk downtown for breakfast/brunch/lunch – whichever we were hungry for when our tummies said , “It’s time to eat!”
It’s hard to explain how important rain gear is to someone who doesn’t live on Mackinac. In the “real world”, we throw up the umbrella for the two-step walk to the car from our front doors, park in garages attached to shopping malls, and scarcely give a thought to getting wet, even on a really rainy day.
Here, it’s a little different.
On Mackinac Island, rain gear is a necessity, and buying the good stuff is well worth the dollars and cents!
Take the Carriage Tour drivers. One of the first things they are told when they are hired is, “Bring good rain gear!” Cold-weather gear is provided, but not rain gear.
The first-time college-kid drivers tend to scoff at this advice. They may even show up at the beginning of the season with NO rain gear. But the first time they’re in the middle of a shift and the skies open up, leaving them stuck for the rest of the day on a carriage – soaking wet and miserable – they use the first opportunity they have to: 1) go on-line and order the best rain gear available; or 2) phone home and ask mom to send same. It’s a wet lesson, learned the hard way, but from that point on, at even the hint of anything other than sunny skies, the rain gear goes out the door with them to work.
I bought my men’s size small rain pants just before we came back for our second summer on the Island, and Julie and her family gave me a great rain coat with hood and some rain boots for Christmas that year. This was after realizing that walking back from town in a windy downpour, with only an umbrella, gets you nothing but soaked.
So – enclosed in rain gear – Ted and I set off for town during a little break in the weather.
Before we’d even reached Main Street, the skies darkened once more, and we made a run for it past Marquette Park . . .
. . . and into the Richard & Jane Manoogian Art Museum – which we had not visited all summer. The new exhibit upstairs is dedicated to the 125th anniversary of the Grand Hotel, and it is amazing. From an upstairs window we watched the rain clouds move from Mackinaw City to the Island.
Shooting through the rain-drenched window gave downtown the blur of a watercolor painting . . .
. . . and seemed to accent the emptiness of the marina.
When the rain let up a little, we walked over to see Anne at Ella & Ivy and found Ella modeling an adorable doggie raincoat. Everything in Anne’s store is 50% off – except the artwork.
We also stopped in at Little Luxuries (Ted went to Island Bookstore while I explored). Nicole has so many Fall items out now . . .
. . . including Halloween fun things!
Today begins Mackinac Island Restaurant Week (September 23-29), and Island restaurants are trying to outdo each other with special menus at fantastic prices. To see what some of your favorites have to offer this week, click here: http://mackinacislandrestaurantweek.org/.
I met back up with Ted at the bookstore, and then we popped into Jesse’s Chuckwagon for one of their fabulous hamburgers (Rodeo Burger for me and Bleu Cheese Burger for Ted).
The Chuckwagon is traditionally a locals favorite, and Ted and I enjoyed eating breakfast there many, many times when we’d vacation on the island years ago (we don’t get downtown for breakfast much since we moved “up the hill”). This may have been our very first time there for lunch, and the hamburgers were great!
The Chuckwagon is a tiny restaurant, but if things go as planned, they may be increasing in size in the next year or so. Then more folks will be able to enjoy this special place where you can sit at the counter and watch the food be prepared.
We splurged on a taxi ride home (hardly ever do that in the daytime), but we used the rain as an excuse :)!
Someone is already picking pumpkins out of the patch at the horse barns!
Saturday was another gray and rainy day – the wind and cold didn’t help either. We had plans to go to friends for dinner, and when the forecast for sleet came on at the Weather Channel, I started adding another layer to my planned outfit. But – not only didn’t it sleet – it stopped raining! And . . .
. . . Shepler’s Ferry in Mac City captured this dazzling double rainbow late in the afternoon . . .
. . . and Patrick Conlon captured the sunrise this beautiful Sunday morning.
After church and lunch, we took the pups out for a long walk. They’ve been cooped up most of the week – with short potty breaks being their only outside time. They were ready to run!
Colors are showing above the Carriage Museum. Loving that blue sky!
Glimpses of yellow through the trees . . .
. . . and the first red leaf I’ve seen this year!
It felt great to be outside in the woods!
Lots of new smells to sniff out after a rain . . .
Bear runs ahead, then waits till we catch up . . .
. . . and today he ran and ran just for the sheer joy of it!
Even Maddie was allowed off her leash to chase a squirrel up a tree!
It’s after dinner now as I sit finishing this post. Ted leaves on the 9 a.m. ferry Monday morning with Island buddies to drive to Traverse City. From there they are flying to Chicago, and on Tuesday they’ll be attending a practice round of the Ryder Cup Golf Tournament. They’ll be back Wednesday. He is excited!
I’ll be at the Stuart House Monday from 10-2, and if you read Bree’s Blog and you’re visiting on the Island, I’d love for you to stop by so we can meet.
Have a great week, and I’ll see you back here Tuesday night or Wednesday morning! God bless.