Through the Eyes of Fudgies – Part II 8/30/16

On Sunday you read about Kim and R.D.’s first-time visit to Mackinac.   Today it’s all about Debra and Glen!

Debra and Glen Phelps

As someone who came to the island for the first time over 15 years ago and has cried like a baby as I’ve left each year since then, I can recognize a total convert to Mackinac-ism in an instant.  Debra learned about the island from reading this blog and has wanted to come up here for years.  She came, she saw, she fell in love  – hook, line and sinker.  When she tried to book a room for next summer before they had even checked out from this visit, I knew I had a true-blue Mackinac fan on my hands!  Debra’s husband Glen is “almost” as Mackinac-in-love as Debra, and that will make for a very happy family over the coming year, as they plan their next trip.

Debra’s beautiful photographs have captured a vast segment of Mackinac’s beauty, and her words from her Facebook page tell the story of her island trip much better than I could.  From this point on, I’ll use Debra’s words:

Debra and Glen Phelps

Debra and Glen Phelps

"Mackinac Island is as beautiful and unique as I expected! It is like going back in time with the town, 'cottages', horses, carriages and bicycles (no cars allowed).

“Mackinac Island is as beautiful and unique as I expected! It is like going back in time . . .

. . . with the town, "cottages", horses, carriages and bicycles (no cars allowed)."

. . . with the town, “cottages”, horses, carriages and bicycles (no cars allowed).”

"The gardens and Lake Huron are gorgeous."

“The temperature today only reached a high of 70 degrees.”  (Spoken in amazement by a true Georgia girl!)

 

"And the temperature today only reached a high of 70 degrees." (Spoken in amazement by a true Georgia girl!)

“And the gardens and Lake Huron are gorgeous.”

"We toured the one and only opulent Grand Hotel today."

“We toured the one and only opulent Grand Hotel today.”

Many famous people have stayed hee since it opened in 1887. Somewhere in Time was filmed here. The pool is named after Esther Williams because she swam in their pool in a movie that was filmed here."

“Many famous people have stayed here since it opened in 1887. Somewhere in Time was filmed here. The pool is named after Esther Williams because she swam in their pool in a movie that was filmed here (This Time for Keeps).”

"The pictures don't do it justice. The porch is the longest in the world (660 feet). Glen liked the rocking chairs on the porch best."

“The pictures don’t do it justice. The porch is the longest in the world (660 feet). Glen liked the rocking chairs on the porch best.”

"More pictures of Mackinac Island . . . the cottages . . .

“More pictures of Mackinac Island . . . the cottages . . .

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. . . flowers . . .

. . . flowers . . .

. . . the Grand carriages . . .

. . . the Grand carriages . . .

. . . Lake Huron . . .

. . . Lake Huron . . .

. . . and the beautiful Arch Rock formation. Everything is truly beautiful."

. . . and the beautiful Arch Rock formation. Everything is truly beautiful.”

 

"Today the Hortons (who are in very good shape), the Harters (who can ride a tandem bike in total unison) and Glen and I (who are very out of shape) rode bikes on the 8.2 mile bike/horse road that completely circles the outer edge of Mackinac Island."

“Today the Hortons (who are in very good shape), the Harters (who can ride a tandem bike in total unison) and Glen and I (who are very out of shape) rode bikes on the 8.2 mile bike/horse road that completely circles the outer edge of Mackinac Island.”

"The sin was shining, the wind was blowing and the gorgeous lake waves were rolling in." We stopped for a photo at Devil's Kitchen."

“The sin was shining, the wind was blowing and the gorgeous lake waves were rolling in.  We stopped for a photo at Devil’s Kitchen.”

"Exercise is fun in this weather and when surrounded by such beauty."

“Exercise is fun in this weather and when surrounded by such beauty.”

"Yesterday we visited Grand Hotel where the movie Somewhere in Time was filmed. On the bike ride today, Ted showed us the tree from the scene where Elyse first saw Richard and she said, "Is it really you?" Here Glen and I are standing in front of that tree."

“Yesterday we visited Grand Hotel where the movie Somewhere in Time was filmed. On the bike ride today, Ted showed us the tree from the scene where Elyse first saw Richard and she said, ‘Is it you?’ Here Glen and I are standing in front of that tree.”

"Brenda took me to the staircase at Grand Hotel that Richard ran down to meet Elyse when she was calling him."

“Brenda took me to the staircase at Grand Hotel where Richard ran down to meet Elyse when she was calling him.”

"As I was walking Tessa this evening I noticed that the city building and churches are historic in keeping with all else on Mackinac Island. This is Little Stone Church where Brenda and Ted attend."

“As I was walking Tessa this evening I noticed the city buildings and churches are historic, in keeping with all else on Mackinac Island. This is Little Stone Church where Brenda and Ted attend.”

"Notice that even police and firefighters ride bikes!"

“Notice that even police ride bikes!”

"Today it rained on Mackinac. But it did not keep anyone from continuing to enjoy this paradise. Glen and I went on the "once a week" tour of the Governor's Cottage this morning. Because of the rain and the very steep hill that it sits on we took a taxi which is a horse drawn carriage."

“Today it rained on Mackinac. But it did not keep anyone from continuing to enjoy this paradise. Glen and I went on the “once a week” tour of the Governor’s Cottage this morning. Because of the rain and the very steep hill that it sits on, we took a taxi which is a horse drawn carriage.  Glen and I are standing on the porch of the Governor’s Cottage, which has been used by Michigan governors and their dignitary and presidential friends for many years.”

"Later in the day when the rain broke, I walked up and down "our street" and took some more pics. This is the rental horse stable, 'Cindy's'".

“Later in the day, when the rain broke, I walked up and down ‘our street’ and took some more pics. This is the rental horse stable, ‘Cindy’s'”.

"When we got back to Park Place Suites, Tessa and I were sitting in our courtyard and the 'garbagemen' came in a horse drawn dray! I do love this place!"

“When we got back to Park Place Suites, Tessa and I were sitting in our courtyard and the ‘garbagemen’ came in a horse drawn dray! I do love this place!”

"Tonight's walk took me to the end of our street that runs into Lake uron and gave me the opportunity to admire the Mackinac Bridge at night."

“Tonight’s walk took me to the end of our street that runs into Lake uron and gave me the opportunity to admire the Mackinac Bridge at night.”

"Then off I went to get some delicious Moomer's Ice Cream (at the No Name Café), followed by Taps at the fort.

“Then off I went to get some delicious Moomer’s Ice Cream (at the No Name Café), followed by Taps at the fort.

"Today Ted, Glen and I visited Fort Mackinac that overlooks beautiful Marquette Park where I let Tessa play."

“Today Ted, Glen and I visited Fort Mackinac that overlooks beautiful Marquette Park, where I let Tessa play.”

"I feared that it would just be old buildings. I was wrong! The many buikdings were filled with period furnishings, historical information and activities for children."

“I feared that it would just be old buildings. I was wrong! The many buildings were filled with period furnishings, historical information and activities for children.”

"There were also gun and cannon demonstrations. And there was an outdoor restaurant with the best view in town!"

“There were also gun and cannon demonstrations. And there was an outdoor restaurant with the best view in town!”

"After the fort, Ted took Glen and me for a walk on Anne's Tablet Trail (one of many trails) through a beautiful wooded area. The tablet seen on the trail honors the memory of a local author from years ago."

“After the fort, Ted took Glen and me for a walk on Anne’s Tablet Trail (one of many trails) through a beautiful wooded area. The tablet seen on the trail honors the memory of a local author from years ago.”

"Ted led us through the woods to the East Bluff where more pretty vintage cottages were lined up with million dollar views and beautiful flower gardens."

“Ted led us through the woods to the East Bluff where more pretty vintage cottages were lined up, with million dollar views and beautiful flower gardens.”

"I loved our walk so much that I immediately went a second time showing it to Tessa!"

“I loved our walk so much that I immediately went a second time, showing it to Tessa!”

"Bittersweet picture of Shepler's Ferry that took us away from the island."

“Bittersweet picture of Shepler’s Ferry that took us away from the island.”

"I am leaving a piece of my heart here and am sad to leave. But how blessed I am to have experienced this paradise! Glen and I love Mackinac Island so much that we plan to visit again next year. I hope all of you who have followed this trip with me will visit the island too."

“I am leaving a piece of my heart here and am sad to leave. But how blessed I am to have experienced this paradise! Glen and I love Mackinac Island so much that we plan to visit again next year. I hope all of you who have followed this trip with me will visit the island too.”

A few more of Debra’s photographs. . . .

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Ted and I had a blast showing Kim, R.D., Debra, and Glen Mackinac Island.  To paraphrase the slogan from the former Atlanta Journal, “We covered Mackinac like the dew.”  We tried our best to wear them out each day, but they were real troopers and just kept on going – even in the rain!

Hope you’ve enjoyed the island through the eyes of these four fudgies!

God bless.

 

Trailing Ted 6/14/2010

Having only been on a bike once so far this summer, and with Cathie not having been on a bike since she was here last summer, she and I daringly climbed aboard to follow Ted on his much-planned “show Cathie Friendship Altar and Little Arch Rock” adventure.  Friendship Altar is a hard-to- find spot in the woods Ted and I had discovered last fall, after detailed directions from an island resident.  Ted had only discovered Little Arch Rock last week, again on a tip from a life-long island native, so I had never been there.  “It’ll be fun!” he said.  Those words from Ted usually mean  I will end up either:  1) happy I tagged along to discover another island treasure, or 2) not speaking to my husband until the next time it snows at the equator. 

We  bought a used bicycle at the end of the season last year, so Cathie didn’t have to rent a bike for our little adventure into the great unknown.  We started off in the Village and headed toward the airport.

Cathie stopped two blocks from the condo to get a pic of these beautiful poppies in front of a neighbor's house.

We rode a mile or so, passed the airport, then Ted took a sharp left into what looked like dense woods.  Cathie, following close behind, tried to make the turn – and didn’t quite make it.

A perfect fall onto soft earth and grass. I gave her a 9.7 on grace.

We were soon into the forest primeval – seriously. 

We stopped occasionally for a Kodak moment. Ted would wait impatiently in the background, muttering, "It's a log. Why are you taking a picture of a log?"

The further we got into the woods, the more narrow the path became.

We kept climbing up the trail, while Ted went on and on about Little Arch Rock and what a "find" it was.

Cathie and I kept whispering to each other, "This is fun! This is fun!"

Eventually we rounded a bend in the trail and came upon a little pond of water surrounded by wildflowers.  We asked Ted, “Is this where Little Arch Rock is?” 

“No”, he replied, “This is a little pond of water surrounded by wildflowers.”

Little pond of water, etc. etc. etc.

After nearly an hour of hiking, the path became so dense Ted would have to go ahead of us, park his bike, then come back to pick our bikes up over fallen logs and big rocks.

Ted - lifting Cathie's bike over some fallen trees.

Our "trail" at the most narrow point.

Somwhere about here in our “quest”, my cell phone rang.  It seems, even in the middle of nowhere, the modern world can find you.  It was a nice lady from the Mackinac Historic State Parks with a question about the flag they are flying over the fort on Monday for Cathie and Charlie’s grandson.

"No, we didn't know Monday was Flag Day. That's wonderful! Oh, by the way, could you see if the Coast Guard might be available for a deep woods search and rescue later today?"

Finally, Ted turned and said, “There it is!  Little Arch Rock!  Now, aren’t you glad you came!”

Cathie and I followed the direction his finger was pointing – up a steep hill.  The only thing we saw was a rock.

“Where’s the arch?” we both said almost simultaneously.

“Well, you can’t exactly see it from here.  I had to climb that hill, hang upside down from that tree branch, and swing way over to the left before I spotted it” (just kidding except for the part about climbing the hill).

BUT – neither Cathie nor I wanted to climb the hill to find the arch, so we just took a picture of the rock. 

You can't see the arch either? Geez, where's your imagination!

 I have to tell you that Ted was a little disgusted over our lack of enthusiasm over “little arch”, so instead of taking us the scenic route to see Friendship Altar, he took a short cut, and we were there in five minutes.  Ted and I discovered this rock formation back in the fall of last year, and Cathie loved seeing it and climbing the platform tower for the view over the Straits.

This photo gives you some perspective of just how large this rock called The Friendship Altar really is.

 

From the Friendship Altar, you take a set of steps up, bringing you to this platform tower.

 

The view is worth all the climbing. Over the tops of the trees, looking past a little strip of the Straits of Mackinac, you can see St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula.

From Friendship Altar, we bypassed British Landing and started back to town (three miles away) on the highway that runs around the island.  While Ted rode on into town to the post office, Cathie and I took a shortcut that brought us out at the the Grand Hotel pool and gardens.  Just before we turned off the highway, we stopped at Devil’s Kitchen for this photo.

Cathie and I - standing inside Devil's Kitchen.

 

The Grand pool is heated all summer. In 1947, the movie This Time for Keeps, starring Jimmy Durante and Esther Williams, was made at the Grand Hotel. This pool was where Williams, a famous swimmer of that era, did all of her water location shots.

 

Cathie - photographing the beautiful gardens around the pool.

We didn't have flowers like this last year until the middle of July. The weather has been perfect this Spring for early bloomers!

We walked into a part of the gardens at the Grand I had not explored before. I have often heard of the Grand Maze, and now I've seen it!

We also discovered this beautifully carved wooden bench, where you can sit in the shade and just enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Cathie and I arrived back at the condo, tired but very pleased with ourselves for having completed our journey without Coast Guard assistance.  Ted was a little hurt we weren’t more impressed with Little Arch Rock, but he was happy we enjoyed our adventure and that he doesn’t have to wait until it snows in Ecuador before he hears me say “This is fun!” again.  This morning he got up and asked us over coffee if we wanted to go with him to see the “Twin Rocks”.  Cathie and I just poured ourselves another cup of coffee – and grinned.

Note:  There will not be a blog post on Tuesday morning.  We leave for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on Monday morning, June 14, to visit Whitefish Point Lighthouse, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, the legendary Pictured Rocks, and Tahquamenon Falls (the second largest falls east of the Mississippi – with Niagara Fall being the largest).  It’s going to be a long, long day, so I’m going to skip blogging for one night.  I’ll be back here, good Lord willing, on Wednesday morning with news from our trip.  See you then!