Tommy and Sandi could not have chosen a better time to visit the island. The weather, for the first time since we arrived, has been day after day of sunny skies and warm temperatures – today it almost got to 73 (although they both swear it was hotter than that after they trekked up the hill from town around 6:00 this afternoon). It wasn’t though – I checked the thermometer.
Since they had both conquered Turkey Hill and Fort Street on Saturday, Ted and I felt sure they could handle Fort Holmes Sunday morning. Tommy wanted to go to the cemetaries (he loves history), and we could walk by them on the Fort Holmes Road. So we took the dogs with us and started out. I hope you don’t get tired of looking at this view from the “top of the island.” To me it is so amazing, and each picture I take up there seems to catch something different.
- Tommy and Sandi get their first look from the top of the island.
- You can barely see the lighthouse on the point of Round Island.
- Looking across to Mackinaw City, you can see the huge wind turbines that help provide electricity to the town.
Maddie, as always, was on the prowl while we were up there. Bear, as always, found the coolest spot and got comfortable.
We were just about to leave and start back to the condo when three Boy Scouts came up the hill followed by a cat. The boys had some time off and had left the Scout barracks to go exploring. Half-way up to the fort, this cat came out of the woods and started following them. Ted had them read the telephone number off the cat’s tag. He called the owners and left a message that the cat would be with the Scouts. I plan to find out tomorrow if the cat was claimed (don’t panic, Ted – I just want to make sure he’s ok – I don’t want to bring him home – although I’ve always really wanted a cat).
- A lost cat adopted these three Boy Scouts and followed them to Ft. Holmes. He looks very comfortable, and obviously feels safe, lying at their feet.
We swung by Skull Cave on the way down from the fort and shared the cave’s history with Tommy and Sandi. The cave was used as an Indian burial ground, and in 1763, after the Indians took Fort Michilimackinac on the mainland, British merchant Alexander Henry escaped to the island and hid in the cave overnight. When he awoke, he discovered that he had been lying on bones. Since the site was sacred to the Indians, they did not pursue him within the cave, and his life was spared.
- Ted guarding City Hall.
At that point, we all went home so Ted could change before going downtown. He had his first volunteer assignment during the Lilac Festival Parade – he was to stay at City Hall and guard the instruments of the band members who were marching in the parade while they were away from the building before the parade began. So he left us after eating lunch. Tommy and Sandi decided to nap, and I worked on my blog. I woke them at 2 p.m. so we could go to town and hopefully find a good spot to watch the parade. We had decided earlier that the front window table at The Pink Pony would be perfect, but knew we probably didn’t stand a chance of getting there in time to claim it. But we did!
We hadn’t been there ten minutes before Ted called to tell us about the excitement over on his street. It seems the pinto pony that “Duck” Andress was supposed to be riding as Grand Marshall had broken away from the person holding him and had hightailed it up the street right past Ted’s post, then had turned and started up Turkey Hill. When Ted heard all the commotion, he ran to the street just in time to see this horse go galloping by with no rider. Now Ted has great respect for horses (they scare him), and he figured there were a lot of people more capable of catching that horse than he was. He was caught though, and he was in the parade – but Duck rode another horse – one with a little more dignity. By the way, the flag that Duck is carrying is the one that was flying over the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. the day he presented one of his carved walking sticks to the Smithsonian Institute Museum. They accepted it for their American Indian display (more on this great story later on in the summer).
I have to admit that although I love The Pink Pony, it is not a good place to watch a parade if you are going to take pictures. People line the street in front of that window, pretty much blocking the whole thing except what you can shoot when someone happens to move. I’ve selected three to show you, and I’ve captioned them – but I confess to choosing comfort over picture quality.
- Bagpipe Band
A buggy full of beauty queens
The smallest cowgirl in the parade
I had volunteered to run home and let the dogs out after the parade because we were eating dinner downtown, and Ted wouldn’t be “off duty” until 7 p.m. Then I would run back downtown and meet up with Ted, Tommy, and Sandi. So I left the Pony at 6 p.m. (before the parade ended) and got a shot of one of the last bands from a better vantage point. I have no idea who (or what) this band was supposed to be, but they were pretty doggone funny looking – ALL of them!
I was also lucky enough to catch the Grand Marshall still at the stable and got a much better picture of him.
Did I mention that we had already hiked up to the highest point on the island this morning? I said I was going to run home, but there wasn’t any running up that hill going on, believe me. In fact, when I came up behind these two beautiful horses, which had performed earlier in the day, I begged the owners to let me have a ride as far as they were going. They just looked at me strangely, and walked a little faster.
So I made it up the hill under my own power, let the dogs out, fed them, and walked back downtown. We ate dinner at the Seabiscuit (try the roast beef on muffins-YUM!), then stopped at Joann’s for some fudge. Then we walked back up that hill O N E M O R E T I M E ! ! Lordy! I do sleep well on Mackinac Island!