Writing about and photographing Mackinac Island has been one of my main passions for a lot of years now. Sometimes I feel there can’t be a single blade of grass I haven’t held in my lens or a single adjective I haven’t used to describe my happy place. I go through periods of feeling as if I have nothing new to offer and no story left to tell. And then something happens, or somebody encourages me, or I see something differently – and suddenly all is right in my world again.
That happened this week, and through these next two blog posts I want to share how seeing the island through the eyes of four people visiting Mackinac for the very first time had me seeing the island as a “fudgie” again.
Two couples, Debra and Glen Phelps and Kim and R.D. Harter, visited this week from Albany, GA. We’re all connected through the Dougherty County School System where five of the six of us spent a lot of years working in the business of educating children. Kim and R.D. arrived last Saturday by plane and stayed with us at the new condo. Debra and Glen arrived the next day by car, after three days of driving, and stayed at Park Place Suites on Market Street with their precious furbaby Tessa. Both couples filled their Facebook pages with photographs and words describing their week here, and I want to share some of their photos and some of their words.
Tonight – Mackinac through the photographs of Kim and R.D.
KIM AND R.D. HARTER
From Kim’s Facebook post after they got home: “A few things we learned on Mackinac Island this week: 1) Taxis aren’t always cars. 2) Horses always have the right of way. 3) Bicyclists can be ticketed for speeding or blocking sidewalks. 4) Hills can hurt going both up and down. 5) Great Lakes water is salt free, shark free & quite chilly. 6) People help one another. 7) Wind jackets are for wind, not rain. 8) August isn’t always hot. 9) Customer service still exists some places. 10) Farewells are painful. 11) Friends are appreciated.”
Now I could write a story about how Kim arrived at each of these statements, but in the interest of time, I’ll just pick a couple. Number 4 – A truth learned after your hosts have you – on the very first day – hike around for over eight hours up and down hills. The next morning it hurts just as much to go down a hill as it does to go up one. And Number 6 – Learned after watching a dray drop off several rooms of furniture and large appliances, and then watching any and every man in sight converge and work the next few hours carrying every bit of it into a neighbor’s condo. Not paid workers, just men who happened to be around and saw the need.
Here are some of the Harters’ photographs – in no particular order . . .
Kim and R.D. at Arch Rock
When you leave south Georgia at 6 am, and it’s already in the 80’s and wake up the next morning in Michigan to 55 degrees, it’s quite a shock – but a very welcome shock!
Through special permission from Grand Hotel management, our group loaded on a beautiful carriage, drawn by gorgeous Hackneys and driven by friend Ben Mosley, for a whirlwind tour of Mackinac.
A little rain has to fall to make you appreciate the sunshine more! But this group was a foursome of troopers who kept going whether through sun or rain or fog or wind.
Mission Point – across a grassy lawn.
A yellow beauty from Grand Hotel’s Rose Walk.
The view out the front door of the new condo.
The Island House’s magnificent flower gardens.
A busy day in front of the Iroquois Hotel.
Well, of course we took them to the Pink Pony!
All the shots in the rain were taken the same day – it was beautiful the rest of the time. This is looking down Mission Hill from the East Bluff.
Trying to catch a nap while waiting on the girls to arrive to tour Grand Hotel’s gardens.
Amazement at the blue, blue water!
Bikes in Grand Hotel’s bike lot.
Looking down from the top of Fort Hill before the Michigan Governor’s Summer Residence tour.
Approaching Grand Hotel.
Dessert at Woods Restaurant.
Crabapples in Grand Hotel garden.
Girl Scouts raising the flag at the Governor’s Summer Residence.
The doors to St. Anne’s.
Mission Point lodging – through a screen and through the rain.
The Chippewa Hotel hot tub – overlooking the marina.
Kim and R.D. at Woods Restaurant bowling alley . . .
. . . and later at dinner.
The Little Stone Church parsonage.
Last day goodbyes . . .
. . . came too quickly.
Leaving us with Numbers 10 and 11: Farewells are painful, and friends are appreciated.
We’re hoping these sweet friends will return to Mackinac again soon. And remember, next time we won’t call you fudgies!
Stay tuned for the next installment from fudgies Debra and Glen! Their story and photographs are coming on Tuesday!