Subtle Changes 9/22/2013

Autumn begins with a subtle change in the light, with skies a deeper blue, and nights that become suddenly clear and chilled. The season comes full with the first frost, the disappearance of migrant birds, and the harvesting of the season’s last crops.  Glenn Wolff and Jerry Dennis

I’ve always loved the Peanuts cartoon characters, and being a dog lover, that little Beagle Snoopy is a favorite of mine.  Snoopy always finds a way to express his most joyous moments in the simplest of terms . . . like jumping into a pile of leaves, with his buddy Woodstock (after all, our experiences are always better if shared with a friend), to show us how much fun Fall is!

fall

Autumn has always been my favorite season.  There’s just something so mellow about a fall day – the crackle of dry leaves under my feet as I walk the roads and trails of Mackinac Island and the rustle of leaves high above me in trees that are being gently rocked by the wind.  At home in Georgia Autumn includes the smell of leaves burning in great piles down by the water or out by the road.  Bright crimson berries appear on the island and in our yard at the lake – making me think of Christmas and where I can use those berries as decorations. Pine cones are everywhere, and the earth smells rich and wet.

After the hurly-burly of Summer, the serenity of Fall is a welcome visitor.

I was thinking all this as Ted and I walked Maddie and Bear up to Ft. Holmes late this afternoon.  The highs here for the last two days have only been in the 50’s, and shorts and t-shirts have been replaced with sweaters, jeans and an occasional scarf.  It was only after I began to experience the Falls up north that I discovered the wonderful warmth offered by yards of soft material wrapped around my neck.  It’s amazing the difference a scarf makes in your body temperature!

We walked two blocks up Cadotte to Fifth Street and turned right.  That block ends with a short trail through a wooded area, and it was there I  caught on film the first color changes the Village.

We walked two blocks up Cadotte to Fifth Street and turned right. That block ends with a short trail through a wooded area, and it was there I caught on film the first color changes in the Village.

Love, love, love yellow flowers.  Are these brown-eyed Susans?  Somebody tell me please!

Love, love, love yellow flowers. Somebody tell me what these are please!

Same flowers - with a bee.

Same flowers – with a bee.  Which led  Ted and I into a “discussion” on the difference between Bumblebees and Honeybees.  I think this is a Bumblebee – a small one.  It was VERY sluggish today, barely moving.  Ours in Georgia – really BIG ones – get that way late in the Fall after the temps dive.  It’s my understanding that all Bumblebees die in the Fall except for the pregnant Queen, but Honeybees live on in their hive all winter, existing on the sweet honey they’ve produced all summer.  Speak up if you know the real story!

Crossing Turtle Park we came across some red

Crossing Turtle Park we came upon some leaves already turning red.

The entrance to the park on the "cemetery" side.

The entrance to the park on the “cemetery” side.

Bear and Maddie kept their noses to the ground practically the entire walk.  So MUCH to smell!

Bear and Maddie kept their noses to the ground practically the entire walk. So MUCH to smell!

Spots of yellow in the cemeteries.

Spots of yellow in the cemeteries . . .

. . . and beautiful red berries.

. . . and those beautiful red berries.

One of my favorite Mackinac Island "roads less taken."

One of my favorite Mackinac Island “roads less traveled” – up past the cemeteries, almost to Lookout Point.

Bear dragged me over to the steps leading down to Sugar Loaf, but I said, "Another day!"

Bear dragged me over to the steps leading down to Sugar Loaf, but I had to disappoint him and say, “Another day!”

Lookout Point

Lookout Point in the low light of late afternoon.  Over the fence . . .

. . . the trees surrounding Sugar Loaf are beginning their slow change.

. . . the trees surrounding Sugar Loaf are beginning their slow change to gold.

Right over the fence at Lookout Point there have been two trees as long as I can remember going up there.  One has been dead for quite a few years, and now it looks like maybe lightning maybe broke it off.

Right over the fence at Lookout Point there have been two trees as long as I can remember going up there. One has been dead for quite a few years, and now it looks like lightning maybe broke it off – or maybe it was cut down.  Either way it reminds me of an alligator coming up out of the water with its head held straight up toward the sky and its mouth open.  See the eye?  Yes, I know it looks like half his snout is chopped off.   What do you see?

Walking toward Ft. Holmes.

Walking toward Ft. Holmes – my FAVORITE “road less traveled” – whatever the season.

The sounds of children playing met us as we arrived at Ft. Holmes.  Several boys and girls were running in and out and along the top of the embackments.

The sounds of children playing met us as we arrived at Ft. Holmes. Several boys and girls were running in and out of the entrance and along the top of the embankments.  They left with their parents soon after we arrived, and we had the whole hilltop to ourselves.

More red . . .

More red berries.

ddd

Bear – taking a little rest.

There's talk that Ft. Holmes may soon be restored so visitors will be able to see what it really looked like in the early 1800's.

There’s talk that Ft. Holmes may soon be restored so visitors will be able to see what it really looked like in the early 1800’s.  I personally love the solitude of how it stands now – one of those places – like Anne’s Tablet – that people either don’t know about – or don’t want to climb up to.  I love it like it is.

It’s been a good weekend – not busy, quiet (except for 1200 Michigan Republicans at their convention).  But they stayed downtown, and I stayed up the hill, so all was good.  Bear’s hotspot has finally turned the corner toward healing.  Lordy!  Those things drive ME crazy trying to give him some relief and drive HIM crazy ’cause I haven’t found the magic solution yet – at least not one that works fast enough for either of us.

Hope you’re all doing well out there and that you have a fantastic week, I’ll be back in a few days with more news, good Lord willing.  Hugs to you all.  God bless.

Just Perfect 7/11/2013

I love Mackinac Island.  It doesn’t matter to me if it’s warm or cold, clear or cloudy, dry or raining – I just love it.  Occasionally though, you get a day so perfect you feel as if God just decided to laugh out loud and declare, “Today on Mackinac Island, the weather will be P E R F E C T.”

And today it was.  No clouds in a sky so beautifully hued if it were a paint color, its name would have to be “Michigan Blue”.  Low 70’s.  A tad of a breeze.  Low, very low humidity.  As I said . . . perfect.

As if that wasn’t good enough, my Georgia cousins on my mom’s side, Angela and Larry, just happened to pick yesterday to arrive on the Island.  They flew from Atlanta to Flint, rented a car and drove up, arriving just in time to hurry into the Grand Hotel (Angela loves the whole Somewhere in Time magic of the Grand and has had it on her bucket list for quite a while), dress for dinner and enjoy a special evening of great food, strolls around the grounds, and rocking chair peacefulness on the Grand porch.

This morning, Angela and Larry awoke to our perfect island day.  They walked up to our condo, and from there we covered seeing quite a few of Mackinac’s treasures.

Our first official stop was Lookout Point overlooking Sugar Loaf.  We walked there after passing the three island cemeteries and turning right up Fort Holmes Road.  We promised them after we reached Fort Holmes, everything else would be downhill.

Our first official stop was Lookout Point overlooking Sugar Loaf. We walked there after passing the three island cemeteries and turning right up Fort Holmes Road. We promised them after we reached Fort Holmes, everything else would be downhill.

As with almost everyone who visits for the first time, they couldn't get over the blueness and clarity of the Lake Huron water.  "It looks like the Caribbean," they said several times.

As with almost everyone who visits for the first time, they couldn’t get over the blueness and clarity of the Lake Huron water. “It looks like the Caribbean,” they said several times.

A couple more hills . . .

A couple more hills . . .

. . . brought us to Fort Holmes, and Ted got to talk all about the history of what happened there.

. . . brought us to Fort Holmes, and Ted got to talk all about the history of this spot.

From the top of the Island we could barely make out the red of a parasail drifting over the Straits.

From the top of the Island we could barely make out the red of a parasail drifting over the Straits.

Since it was on the way, we stopped by Skull Cave . . .

Since it was on the way, we stopped by Skull Cave . . .

. . . then had lunch at Fort Mackinac's Tea Room.

. . . then had lunch at Fort Mackinac’s Tea Room.

We parted company after lunch, leaving Larry and Angela with a chance to explore on their own.  They plan to spend two more nights on the Island at the Chippewa downtown.  We hope you’re enjoying your island adventure as much as we’re enjoying you being here!

THE WEEK IN PHOTOGRAPHS

Loved seeing blog reader Joyce and her husband Al on Monday.  They stopped by the Stuart House to say hello!

Loved seeing blog reader Joyce and her husband Al on Monday. They stopped by the Stuart House to say hello!

While visiting the Fort Cemetery today, we noticed coins had been placed on nearly every stone marker.  Does  anyone know why?  It seems I read about this somewhere, but now I can't remember what I read.  Help!

While visiting the Fort Cemetery today, we noticed coins had been placed on nearly every stone marker. Does anyone know why? It seems I read about this somewhere, but now I can’t remember what I read. Help!

Today we ate up on the deck at the Tea Room that is above the level where the yellow umbrellas are.  Our first time to eat up there - we liked it!

Today we ate on the deck at the Tea Room that is above the level where the yellow umbrellas are. Our first time to eat up there – and we liked it a lot!  You can see we had a Great Lakes cruise ship in the harbor today.

A beautiful sunset shot of two Shepler boats by Shepler Captain Pat Springate.

A beautiful sunset shot of two Shepler boats by Shepler Captain Pat Springate.

The Cottage Inn's Joe Joe Cocker.

The Cottage Inn’s Joe Joe Cocker.

Flowers on the outside patio at Mary's Bistro.

Flowers on the outside patio at Mary’s Bistro.

Breathtaking Windermere Hotel gardens.  I could just stand and look at this all day.

Breathtaking Windermere Hotel gardens. I could just stand and look at this all day.

Did you notice that every balcony

Did you notice that every balcony in the two hotels behind the Grand Hotel omnibus has its own hanging basket?

More Hawkweed.  It's everywhere, it's everywhere!

More Hawkweed. It’s everywhere, it’s everywhere!

In a few days, the Mackinac Island Marina will be alive with sails in rainbow colors.  The

In a few days, the Mackinac Island Marina will be alive with Crayola Crayon-colored sails. The Chicago to Mackinac Yacht Race begins Friday, July 12 for the Cruising Division boats, and the remaining divisions start toward the Island on Saturday, July 13.  By Monday this harbor will be teeming with activity, and the Island hotels, restaurants and bars will be wall-to-wall people.  Let the races begin!

The Trinity Episcopal Church steeple cross, as seen from Fort Mackinac.

The Trinity Episcopal Church steeple cross, as seen from Fort Mackinac.

This crow had a bird's eye view of everything today after he found a perch on the end of the flagpole at the Tea Room.

After he found a perch on the end of the flag pole at the Tea Room, this crow had a bird’s eye view of everything!

Buzz and Patty's sweet Bailey.

Buzz and Patty’s sweet Bailey.

A huge freighter slips past the lighthouses . . .

A huge freighter slips past the lighthouses . . .

. . . and continues west toward the Mackinac Bridge.

. . . and continues west toward the Mackinac Bridge.

Sweet friend Bonnie has been on the Island for a few days, and today we spotted her on a front porch on the boardwalk.  It was good to visit with her for a while!

Sweet friend Bonnie has been on the Island for a few days, and today we spotted her relaxing on a front porch on the boardwalk. It was good to visit with her for a while!

A seagull comes in for a landing on his own shadow.

A seagull comes in for a landing on his own shadow.

On the way home this afternoon, we walked through the Grand Hotel Rose Garden for the first time this summer.  Always beautiful!

On the way home this afternoon, we walked through the Grand Hotel Rose Garden for the first time this summer. Always beautiful!

Just one more thing.  Friends Steve and Orietta Humphrey, who are in Washington DC going through orientation before leaving for their year-long medical mission trip to Tanzania with the Peace Corps, will be blogging about their experiences there.  If any of you would like to subscribe to their blog, you can click the link below and then click on the “follow” button.  They’re posted once already.  I know this is going to be an exciting and very busy year for them, and I look forward to hearing about the work they will be doing:   www.daktari2013.wordpress.com

Steve and Orietta - from a previous trip to Africa

Steve and Orietta – from a previous trip to Africa

A Perfect Greene Day 6/4/2013

It does not get any better than today – it just doesn’t.  In fact, the day was so perfect, as I sit here trying to think of how to tell you about it, I’m still wearing the biggest smile ever.  Let me just say, dear readers, you did good with those prayers!

Lowell and Faye were already waiting in the lobby when I bounced in at 9:30 – a good 30 minutes before “the surprise”.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned that another blog fan – Lora – is on the Island this week, staying at another hotel with her niece, Sarah.  She, Lowell, and Faye have been trying to get together for a few minutes since the Greene’s arrived, but every attempt had failed.  So this morning Lora and Sarah came down to the Chippewa to see everyone off on the Grand Hotel VIP carriage.

I snapped this shot of Lowell and Lora in front of the Chippewa's elevator door.

I snapped this shot of Lowell and Lora in front of the Chippewa’s elevator door.

Soon our reporter from The St. Ignace News/Town Crier arrived - Stephanie Fortino.  She went along with our little "fib" about ordering a taxi to take us to Arch Rock for her interview with Lowell.

Soon our reporter from The St. Ignace News/Town Crier arrived – Stephanie Fortino. She went along with our little “fib” about ordering a taxi to take us to Arch Rock for her interview with Lowell.

Ben told me he would pull the carriage up in front of the Visitor’s Center and wait for a signal to pull down in front of the Chippewa.  When Ted saw him go by, he and Jill walked down and said we were all in the lobby.  As soon as Ben started moving, we told Faye and Lowell their “taxi” was outside.  Oh my gosh, I wish you could have seen their faces!

ggggg

We all climbed on, including Ted, who got to ride up top with Ben.  I honestly think Faye and Lowell were speechless for a few moments.

Off we went through downtown.  Now, when a vintage vi

Off we went through downtown. Now, when a vintage Grand Hotel vis-à-vis carriage, pulled by two majestic Hackney horses (named Jester and Joker) start high-stepping through the streets, it stops traffic, bikers, and pedestrians!

We drove up Cadotte and turned in front of the Grand Hotel.  Faye and Lowell finally just shook their heads in wonder and started laughing.

We drove up Cadotte and turned in front of the Grand Hotel. Faye and Lowell finally just shook their heads in wonder and started laughing.  It was great!

We traveled up the West Bluff in front of the summer cottages, with Lowell talking to Stephanie and Ben occasionally giving some history of what we were seeing.

We traveled up the West Bluff in front of the summer cottages, with Lowell talking to Stephanie and Ben occasionally giving some history on what we were seeing.  Stephanie, bless her heart, had a hard time writing while riding in the carriage, so she finally pulled out her recorder.

As we road through the Annex, which Lowell had never seen, he entertained us with stories from his years on Mackinac Island in the 1950, when he was a teenager.

As we road through the Annex, which Lowell had never seen, he entertained us with stories from his teenage years on Mackinac Island in the 1950’s.

We stopped in a shady spot for photos . . .

We stopped in a shady spot for a photo . . .

. . . then Ted climbed back up in the driver's seat.  They sure did chatter a lot up there, and I tried to listen to Lowell with one ear and their conversation with another.  I think they occasionally veered off the subject of island history.

. . . then Ted climbed back up in the driver’s seat he was sharing with Ben. They sure did chatter a lot up there, and I tried to listen to Lowell with one ear and their conversation with another. (To be honest, I think they occasionally veered off the subject of island history.)

We turned up the hill next to the cemetery and headed for Ft. Holmes.

We turned up the hill next to the cemetery and headed for Ft. Holmes . . .

. . . where we made our first official stop.

. . . where we made our first official stop.  There were several people at Ft. Holmes already, and with the arrival of the Grand carriage, they all immediately stopped looking at the view and wanted photos of Ben and the horses.

They ARE gorgeous - the horses, I mean :).

They are very photogenic.

Lowell said Ft. Holmes had changed quite a bit since he had visited there.  Where grass creates the walls of the fort now, there once were timbers.

Lowell said Ft. Holmes had changed quite a bit since he visited there. Where grass creates the walls surrounding these gates now, there once were timbers.

fff

Lowell and Faye at Ft. Holmes.

The interview really never stopped.  With each new spot, Stephanie would ask more questions, and Lowell told more stories.

The interview really never stopped. With each new spot, Stephanie would ask more questions, and Lowell would tell more stories.

Lowell and Faye at Lookout Point.

Lowell and Faye at Lookout Point.

While Lowell was being interviewed, Ted was entertaining Faye and Ben.

While Lowell was being interviewed, Ted was entertaining Faye.

Our last stop before the end of the tour was Arch Rock, where Lowell worked so many years ago.

Our last stop before the end of the tour was Arch Rock, where Lowell worked so many years ago.  Lora and Sarah rode their bikes out there to meet us.

Lowell showed Stephanie where the Curio Shop was at Arch Rock . . .

Lowell showed Stephanie where the Curio Shop was at Arch Rock . . .

. . . and the reporter gets a photograph of Lowell and Faye.

. . . and the reporter got a photograph of Lowell and Faye.

Jill also met us at Arch Rock and snapped this one or Ted and I.

Jill also met us at Arch Rock and snapped this one of Ted and I with Ben.

From Arch Rock, we headed back to the Grand . . .

From Arch Rock, we headed back to the Grand . . .

From Arch Rock we headed back to the Grand - but we weren't faster than Jill on her bike.  She had time to park the bike and get up on the porch and shoot this photo of us pulling into the Grand driveway. I'm telling you - she is the energizer bunny!

. . . but we weren’t faster than Jill on her bike. She had time to park the bike, get up on the porch, and shoot this photo of us pulling into the Grand driveway. I’m telling you – she is the energizer bunny!

We all thanked Ben for a fabulous tour!

We all thanked Ben for a fabulous tour . . .

. . . then went inside for a wonderful lunch at the Grand.

. . . then went inside for a wonderful lunch at the Grand.

Since Lowell, Faye, and Stephanie had never been to the Grand cupola, we took the elevator to within one floor of the top, then took the stairs the rest of the way.  Lowell said the view was worth every step.

Since Lowell, Faye, and Stephanie had never been to the Grand cupola, we took the elevator to within one floor of the top, then took the stairs the rest of the way. Lowell said the view was worth every step. 

I love this photo.

I love this photo.

dddddd

Our last stop was Sadie’s for ice cream.  By the way, flavor #3 was Triple Peanut Butter Cup, and on a scale from 1 to 10, I give it a 10.  Tasted like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – with chocolate chips.

Again, it was just a perfect day.  Even the weather cooperated – sunny blue skies, no wind, and low 60’s.  We grabbed a taxi downtown and were dropped at the Chippewa, where we collapsed on a sofa in the lobby and talked about Wednesday.  It is so hard to believe their days here have flown by this quickly!

I’ll be meeting them at the Chippewa Wednesday morning in time to get down to Shepler’s for the 11 o’clock ferry.  But that’s a story for tomorrow.

A huge thank you to the Musser Family, Grand Hotel, Jennifer King and Ben Mosley for inviting the Greene’s to experience this special day on the Grand carriage.  Awesome doesn’t even begin to describe it!

Have I mentioned it was a perfect day . . .

The Mellower Season 9/18/2012

We have a Mystery Spot winner!  She is Mariann Arendsen from Zeeland, MI!  Please see end of this post for the correct answer!

Autumn is the mellower season . . . .  Samuel Butler

When the noon siren blew today, I glanced at the thermometer, and it read 48 degrees.  It finally inched its way into the low 50’s this afternoon, and the rest of the week calls for more of the same.  We haven’t seen our first 30-something morning yet, but I have a feeling it could be soon.  So – I have plans to spend one morning or one afternoon this week pulling out sweaters, sweat shirts, rain gear, overcoats, gloves, neck wraps, and earmuffs and packing away sleeveless blouses, flip-flops and shorts.  That’s another thing we’ve learned about the U.P.  When Fall walks in the door, it doesn’t change its mind and walk back out a few days later  It is here to stay – so get prepared!

Ted took the dogs for a good, long walk up to Lookout Point and Ft. Holmes Monday and while he was there, grabbed some photos from as high up on the Island as you can go.

From the Lookout, it’s easy to see that the hardwood trees are just on the verge of turning gold. Did you spot the private tour carriage at the base of Sugar Loaf?

Here’s a closer view!

Bear enjoyed the wind at the top of the Island – Ft. Holmes.

What a view!  We’ll try to walk back up there in a week or so to check out how things have changed with the trees.

Downtown there are images of Fall everywhere – like those two baskets of bright yellow mums sitting on the fence posts at the Windermere Hotel.

It’s been normal over the last week to see rain out over the Straits . . .

. . . dark clouds over the Grand Hotel . . .

. . . and on Monday – while I was working at the Stuart House – rain!

Fall continues to bring Bree’s Blog readers to the Island, and several stopped by on Monday – like Jeff and Jacob from Garden City, MI (we had to stand inside because of the rain) . . .

. . . Mary, daughter Rory, and Goldendoodle McNally (husband and dad David took the photo) from Houston, TX . . .

. . . and Joyce, Al and Muriel from Indiana. This family loves to Geo-Cache . . .

. . . and next summer, good Lord willing, maybe we’ll do a blog story about their adventures while they’re here on one of their “expeditions”!

Thanks also to Cathy Cislak from Indianapolis (didn’t get a photo, darn it) who dropped by to leave some doggie treats for Bear and Maddie, which they wanted me to thank you for, Cathy!  Bear said, “Could she come to the Island more often, please!”

Reader Photos

Rebecca Bruner photographed the Round Island Lighthouse on August 9, 2012, near the spot where her wedding was held on August 12 at Windermere Point.

Jennifer Gilbert.  Jennifer was here in June working on an article about families visiting Mackinac Island for www.southshoreparent.com. She stayed at the Island House Hotel and loved this window (and the view) from the sitting room inside the hotel.

Craig Wicks – Roanoke, Virginia. This photo is from Criag’s visit in 2001 and shows the Shepler Ferry dock at sunrise.

Fran from Florida. Fran visited the Island with her two boys, and this photo shows one of them, at the garden on French Lane, trying to find all the Seek & Find items.

Neil Heineka – Benson, Illinois. Neil and his wife Erica have been coming to the Island for 10 years, beginning shortly after their marriage. They hope one day to summer here. Now they bring their two daughters and stay at Stone Cliffe, where the girls can play on the wide lawn, and they enjoy music on the portico and the marvelous views.

Lori Henes. Lori and her husband planned a vow renewal ceremony for Labor Day weekend – just the two of them. But her husband had other ideas. He contacted all their children and her mom and dad. On Sunday, the day of their vow renewal, the family surprised Lori and attended the service. This photo is Lori’s of the Grand Hotel flowers.

Mystery Spot

The object of the Mystery Spot is to be the first to identify where the object is located. When you think you have the answer, email me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com. I’ll check my email several times a day, and as soon as we have a winner, I’ll post the winner’s name at the top of this blog so you can stop guessing (you may have to refresh your page for this to show up). Is there a prize for the winner?  Yes there is; but the prize is secret, and the only ones who will know what it is are the winners. To be fair, I’m asking residents of Mackinac Island to please NOT guess. This is just for readers who don’t live here . . . but would like to! And the Mystery Spot is   . . . .

Something a little different – not WHERE is it, but WHAT is it?

Again, please email your answers to me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.  PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER IN THE “COMMENTS” SECTION OF THE BLOG.  Remember, I’ll post the winner at the top of this blog as soon as someone gives the correct answer.

That’s all for tonight.  I’ll see you back here on Thursday night or Friday morning!  Stay warm!

MYSTERY SPOT ANSWER

The Mystery Spot is the lantern on a Grand Hotel carriage. So many readers guessed correctly that it was a “lantern on a carriage”, but I needed to know “which” carriage.

Only One More Friday . . . . . 10/21/2011

C   R   A   Z   Y  !  !  !

Strong winds and rain greeted me when the alarm clock buzzed this morning at 5:45, and gale warnings were up until late Thursday afternoon.  I dressed with more layers than I’ve worn on the Island since I returned one February for Winter Festival.  TWO sets of Cuddl Duds (top and bottom), a turtle neck sweater, another pullover and over all that – rain gear (jacket with hood and rain pants).  The only things not protected from the rain were my feet and hands, which was a big mistake.  I wore heavy socks and leather boots, and by the time I’d been working an hour, my socks were squishy wet, and my toes were frozen.  Reminder to self:  Add plain black rubber boots to my Christmas list (I just couldn’t bring myself to don my black and white polka dot rain boots to go work – not a very professional look.  Silly me.  After an hour of being splashed by the river running through the entrance gate and then stepping down into that river to talk to hundreds of ladies going to the island, I would have given anything for dry, warm toes. But everyone survived, and Shepler’s did a fantastic job.  Those were some tired employees at the end of the day, and they didn’t get off at 1 p.m. like I did to go home and nap for three hours.

Jill lives downtown and is an EARLY riser, so she's met me at Martha's Sweet Shop the last two mornings. This is how dark it still was at 7:20 today as I was getting off the taxi.

Inside with owner Loretta Spata, it was bright and warm and filled with the yummy aromas of fresh-baked pastries and hot coffee. This made three mornings of delicious pumpkin and walnut muffins that I couldn't get enough of. By the way, that's just ONE cinnamon roll on Jill's plate - they are huge!

The ride over this morning to Mackinaw City. Visibility was zero through the spray on the windows. The wind was out of the NNE which, according to Captain Billy, was a very good thing. Those who were on duty this past weekend said it was twice as bad Saturday because the wind was from a different direction.

The final group of 1,000 Winsome Women crossed to the Island this morning. As soon as they could be parked, ladies moved into that big blue and white building which houses the ticket office. This building is also dry and heated and has a coffee bar. Talk about a booming business!

Crossing back to the island at 12:30, the wind had shifted to straight out of the north - a bumpier ride.

Much bumpier!

By 2:00 I was home, sitting with my feet up in my recliner (toes all dry and cozy in wool socks) and covered in a blanket.  Three minutes later I was sound asleep and didn’t wake up until almost five.  No matter how wet and wild these three days have been, it’s always fun to volunteer at Shepler’s.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Having worked three days, and with the weather like it’s been, there have been few chances to get out for pics.  So tonight, I’m going to post some photos from Ted and from friends who have given me permission to use their work.  On Monday, while I was working and before the weather got so bad, Ted took Maddie and Bear on a two-hour walk.  I’m so sorry I missed going with them, but Ted got some really nice shots!  Enjoy!

TED’S PHOTOS

Looking up the hill in front of the fort to the area where Anne's Tablet is located.

Downtown on a lazy October day.

All the annuals have been pulled up from the Grand Hotel flower beds, and these gardeners were busy planting the tulip bulbs for next Spring. I always try to guess the pattern and the colors - but it's always a secret.

Hmmmm . . . now there's a mountain of dirt behind the Carriage Museum. Wonder what that's for???

Fall colors at Turtle Park.

The road beside the cemetery leading up to Lookout Point. As you can see, the winds of the last week have really taken a toll on our leaves.

Bear - checking out a pile of leaves for anything worth wolfing down.

Sugar Loaf from Lookout Point.

Lookout Point. Looks lonely up there now.

Approaching the embankment that surrounds the site of Ft. Holmes.

Inside the earthen walls of Ft. Holmes.

The bridge from the top of the Island.

Taken from the top of the Ft. Holmes embankment.

Looking straight down Rifle Range Trail from Fort Holmes, with Fort Mackinac in the distance.

Walking back home on one of numerous gravel trails . . . .

. . . and this one came out on Garrison Road, where they turned and walked toward the Post Cemetery. The flag there could be seen from the bottom of the hill - permanently flown at half-staff.

After a week of wind and rain, we always look for God’s promised rainbow.

Paul Retherford is a wonderful photographer and is on the island often for weddings. On this particular trip, he captured a rainbow over the harbor.

Friend Chris Ann Nelson's photograph from her beach in Mackinaw City - a rainbow over the bridge.

Patrick Conlon, the dock master at Shepler's, took this amazing shot of the first boat out on Monday morning, before the bad weather moved in that afternoon.

Next week will begin the countdown – less than a week to go.  The days are piling up on top of each other now, and the reality has set in.  I’m going to try and get a lot of packing done this weekend so I can at least get a few posts written next week before we go.

See you Monday, have a great weekend, and God bless.

Friends and Falling Leaves 10/5/2010

Patty and Buz (our condo neighbors from Oklahoma) flew in last week and were on the island until Sunday.  We had dinner with them a couple of nights at the Chippewa and saw them as they came and went during their week-long stay.  On Saturday, the four of us headed out for a bike ride that took Ted and I back along the same paths we had traveled last week (we wanted to show Patty and Buz some of those trails filled with fall leaves).  After showing them the Cave in the Woods and the Crack in the Island, we crossed over to the east side of the island to catch Fort Holmes.  Along the way, we sidetracked to Friendship Altar (another place they had not seen).  I’m not going to caption these photos a lot because I just talked about some of the same material last week – the colors HAVE changed though! 

 The weather was wonderful Saturday afternoon – bright sun, cool enough for 2-3 layers (even when peddling), blue skies, and autumn all around us.  Spectacular day!

Buz - trying to prove he could fit into a smaller part of the Crack in the Island than Ted could - and he did. Still no sign of that wooden bicycle though.

Lots of little planes taking off and landing while we were in the woods on the far side of the airport.

Patty and I back out on State Road.

Patty was trying out her "new" used bike. They did what we did at the end of the season last year - bought bike #3 - used. One more year, and we should have 8 bikes between us - THAT should take care of all the visitors - with no one having to rent bikes!

From the top of the tower at Friendship Altar.

From the tower, we could look out on woods filled with spectacular fall foliage.

 

Buz - hanging out under a tree and unaware he's about to be photographed.

From Friendship Altar, we took Scott's Road to Leslie Avenue, took a right there and rode back to British Landing Road. A left there at the airport, then straight onto Garrison Road, which brought us out at the Mackinac Island Cemetery.

Treeline at Lookout Point - accompanied by one huge cotton-ball cloud.

The path from Lookout Point up to Fort Holmes. There's just something about a path edged by a wooden fence.

There were several visitors at Lookout Point ahead of us, and we all took turns taking photos for each other. This one is a little washed out in the background, but that's the top of Sugar Loaf between Patti and I.

Two guys and a very tiny lady.

On the way to Fort Holmes. We had left our bikes down at the corner of the cemetery.

Off the path to Fort Holmes is a little shed with this beautiful tree growing beside it.

We were just up here what? Four days ago? Unbelievable how much the trees have changed in that short time.

As you reach the top of Fort Holmes, there are these three trees. One has been bent at almost a 45 degree angle by wind or snow, and I like the way the trunks have made way for each other.

Just past "peak" for this one . . .

. . . and not quite peak for the one beside it.

Looking through the trees from Fort Holmes.

Red Sumac against the fence boards.

 

Looking straight down Rifle Range Road from Fort Holmes to Fort Mackinac - and the lighthouses on the Straits.

Back in the day, nearly all island children owned horses. They'd ride them up to Fort Holmes on summer days, lead them inside the embankments of Fort Holmes to graze, and the kids would have an all-day picnic . . .

. . . like these young people were doing on top of the old fort entrance.

 After we all attended church together Sunday morning, Patty and Buz left on the 2 p.m ferry going back to Oklahoma.  I got an email from Patty a little after midnight saying they were safely back home. 

This afternoon I walked outside with Maddie and Bear a little after lunch.  Before I got to the corner and crossed over to the big lawn, a couple riding down on bikes through the Village called out “Are you Bree?”  I yelled, “Yes!”.  They pulled over, and we stood out in the yard and talked for over 30 minutes before I ran inside to get Ted to come take a photo.

Karen and Gene Seeley from Flint, Michigan. I think they told me that it was actually their son Eric, a huge Mackinac Island fan, who discovered Bree's Blog, but Karen and Gene are fans also. Hello, Eric! Wish you had been along!

 And a little TV surprise!

 
 
 
 
 

Yep! Mike Rowe. Dirty Jobs. Again. Right here on Mackinac Island. Last Week. At the Grand . . .

 

And I missed him. But not these two twin sisters, who are THE BIGGEST MIKE ROWE FANS IN THE WHOLE, ENTIRE WORLD!

Note:  Photos of Mike Rowe shared on The Grand Hotel Facebook page.