Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Aug 5

Hey there Campers;

We got up and moved the Hilton to the casino. Oh yeah baby! We met a couple Bob & Sue who were leaving so we were going to take their spot. We all stopped to chit chat about RV rigs and places to go. They are from Michigan and have traveled around the area.
While we were waiting for the ferry boat to come we waited on the harbor front. Lo really like these chairs and wants to make some for our patio.

We took the Shepler's Ferry over to Mackinac Island.

On our way over we saw the local pirate ship that anyone can become a crew member.

The Grand Hotel open its doors in 1887. It was a fashionable summer resort. In the early days the wealthy people dressed for tea and promenaded on the 660 foot porch. Now days any one can come to stay. Guys are still required to wear ties and jackets at dinner. There are 600 employees at the hotel. The hotel has 385 rooms. Each ceiling is blue to make it look like the sky. Each room has a different look.

They have 300 wedding a year at the Stone Church. There is a 4 year waiting list. The suggestion was book the hotel now even if you don't have groom in mind. Talk about faith!! They had 7 wedding yesterday.

When we landed on the island we were amazed by the number of bikes. There are no motor vehicles allowed on the island. Everything is horse or pedal power.

Even those working in an office ride bikes.

We took the Mackinac Island Carriage Tours. While waiting in line, we met a Southern Belle from Atlanta, GA. We got to talk about tea. We asked about what sweet tea really was. She explained in her southern drawl, that you need to

Sweet Tea
·         brew 4 tea bags in the microwave for 5 minutes
·         2 qt of water
·         1 cup of sugar or 24 packs of Splenda

According to the Southern Belle this will make the best Sweet Tea ever. Or diabetic coma. Lo has decided he is going to try this soon.

Our carriage driver was Danny and our horses were Orville and Wilbur. These horses are draft horses and they are 1500 lbs. They can pull 5 times their weight. Horses wear rubber Nike shoes. So their hooves last. We asked what they did with the horses in the winter. They said that the horses are sent to Pickford, MI. This done because it is easier to send the horses to the feed instead of bringing the feed to the horses. Taxi horses stay on the island.

The post office has never delivered any mail on the island.

Danny told us about much of the island's history.

·         There are 17 candy shops.
·         1 doctor and a handful of nurses
·         3 vets on island at all times.
·         Horses work 4-5 hours a day every other day.
·         There are no snow days on the island. Kids have to come to school by skis, snow shoes or snowmobiles.
·         Island gets 110" of snow a year.
·         80% of the island is a state park.
·         Island use to be a National Park. (It was the nation's 2nd National Park for 20 years. Then switched to the state park when the fort was officially closed)
·         The island has one of 3 US Cemetery's that is allowed to have the US Flag a half mast since it was originally a fort. Of the 108 graves 69 are unknown soldiers. 

·         The flag on the governors house only comes out on sunny days since it weighs 45 lbs dry.
·         The term "get the lead out" came from the military. Since bullets were precious, when the soldiers went out for target practice they had to get the lead out of the trees and reuse them.
·         The first battle of the War of 1812 was fought at Fort Mackinac. No blood was    
           shed. The British captured the fort and held on to it until the end of the war.  

·         Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of the island and main island take a part as part of         
           the governors guard. 

·         The governors is on the island 4-5 times during the summer. 0213
·         The governor's mansion has 25 room 19 bathrooms. The house has been there since 1902.  

We were taken to Surrey Hill to view antique carriages and to shop.


The second half of the tour was given by Jocelyn. Her horses were Bart, Mike & Tony. The horses were called the Mafia. They always work together.

While on the tour, our carriage had to pull to the side to allow the state park carriage to pass since we were on a narrow lane. Unfortunately, this made our carriage hit a tree and crack the ceiling on the tram. Our driver Jocelyn had all of us get off. She tried to get the horses to move back but it did not work when Tony slipped down the hill. Then Bart fell. Jocelyn worked with Tony and had one of the riders take her knife and cut the reins. When Tony was free he stood up. We were all clapping for what Jocelyn did to save that horse. Tony was kissing Jocelyn thank you. The stable crew came and got the horses.




Lo and some of the riders on the tram had to push the carriage back. The stable crew had to take the tram by hand done the hill.

We had to walk the rest of the way down to Arch Rock. It is definitely beautiful. When I saw the kayakers I thought of Char and how she would look this.

Lo got a chance to check out the tram.

We got a new tram and a new driver, Rick. He acted out the story of Arch Rock. It was about a spirit and his lover. Rich was so funny we kept all in stitches.

We got back to Surrey Hill and decided to visit The Grand Hotel's stable. It was full of old carriages. These are not just show carriages.


We got to speak with Ben the Stable Master. He gave us a full run down on the stable and what it was like to work for the Grand Hotel.

We got to see a horse that the hotel donated to one of the local associations. The horse was magnificent looking.

As we were walking up the hill Lo sees this rock and decided to check it out.
It said:
Genuine Old Indian Weather Rock
·         If rock is wet - It's raining
·         If rock is white - it's snowing
·         If rock is moving back & forth it's windy
·         If rock is hard to see - it's foggy
·         If rock is casting a shadow - it's sunny
·         If rock is cold - it's cold out
·         If rock is warm - it's warm out
Old Indian Never Wrong
Ok I guess this is logic.

We leave Surrey Hill and proceed in another carriage back to town.

Why oh why were we on a carriage that had an accident with a bike and another carriage. No one was hurt. PTL.

We saw several shops making candy.

We proceeded to find a place for dinner. We went to Goodfellows Grill.

We took the ferry back to the Hilton. On our way we saw the Mackinac Lighthouse.

What a great day!!

Question of the Day

What is the favorite candy of the island?  

Well, until the next time Campers......

Lo & Bren


  1. Fudge! Moral of this story - walk. Stay out of the carriages. That's awful. Two wrecks in one day. Whew. Glad no one was hurt.

  2. For SOME PEOPLE who don't even LIKE tea, this sweet tea stuff is full of CRAZY.
    JUST SAY NO to Georgia Belles, y'all.Tea is good to help us drink more water, but with that much sugar in it... it's just making hummingbird water, and we are not hummingbirds!!

    A little Splenda (NOT twenty-four packets) goes a long way.

    I wonder if the Amish have that many wrecks. Seriously. What's UP with the carriages!? (Or, is it the cyclists/tourists). Dan Knepp rebuilds carriages like these - he's got some serious hobbies.

  3. Tanita, so true. Yep Sugar is not a good thing for any "body" who wants to be healthy. 1 tsp of sugar lowers the immune system for 20 minutes - puts it to sleep. In an ordinary soda there are 12 tsp of sugar. When you do research about artificial sweeteners like Splenda that inhibit your cell receptors. Controversial issues for sure. While enjoying your sweet tea remember the risks.