Guest Post: Laura & Doren


 We met Heather and Kent in St Ignace and boarded the morning ferry to Mackinac Island. We had an opportunity to move around the island via foot, horse or bike (no cars allowed). As our condo for the night wasn’t ready until 4pm we loaded up Penny dog in a bike carrier and rode the 8.2 mile perimeter of the island. This was a great way to see the quieter areas of the island as downtown was packed with people walking the shops. 

Penny loaded up in a bike carrier as we cruised around Mackinac Island. 

 Arch rock with Lake Huron in the background. This arch is 146 ft above the water. 

Checking out The Grand Hotel which was impressive. It was built in 1887 and claims to have the world’s largest porch. 

There are some beautiful homes on Mackinac Island. 

The afternoon wrapped up with us visiting Fort Mackinac for some history and a great view, dinner at the Pink Pony and a stop for dessert. 

View from Fort Mackinac. 

Embracing the full tourist experience. Tourists on the island are referred to as “fudgies”. 

The day time tourists had all taken the ferry back and we spent the night outside of town, experiencing the area when it was less crowded. We took a slow 1.5 mile horse and carriage taxi to our condo, luggage cart attached and all. 

 Horse drawn carriages were everywhere. 

There are ~400 full time residents on the island and yes they order from Amazon.  
From St Ignace, we drove south to Traverse City where we stayed for the next few nights. We indulged in the area’s wineries, breweries and food (the fresh White Fish and Trout were treats for us Arizonians). 

On the way to Traverse City we stopped in Charlevoix and walked the Earl Young Mushroom Houses. Two dozen or so homes built from 1919–1970s. 

Another day we took the scenic drive around Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and walked a few of the area trails. This area is made up of steep sand dunes with a 45 degree grade from the water. We made our attempt at hiking up at another angle and it was still deceptively steep. We enjoyed a quick picnic then off to more exploring with a stop in Leland (aka Fishtown). 

A few adventurous people (look closely for the dots on the “trail”) walking up the 45 degree sand dune. Besides being steep there were also super strong winds on the day we were here. 

We opted for walking up the less strenuous dunes but even those are hard to walk up without a bit of heavy breathing. Doren and I are somewhere in this picture. 

One of the many lookouts along the Sleeping Bear historic scenic drive. 

Lost track of how many beautiful lakes we passed on our road trip adventures. 

Quick stop in Leland which is a picturesque fishing village. 

Great name for a sweets store right next to a dam. We skipped this store however and picked up some fresh fish, smoked fish and even tried the fish sausage from the fish store. 

On our last night the winds that kept us in the marina all week had subsided. Captain Kent took us out to Power Island, which was a 1 hr boat ride away. We anchored and hiked around the island before a dinner of fresh fish followed by birthday celebration with ABC (Apple, Berry, Cherry) pie and wines that we had bought the previous day while out wine tasting. (Insert from Heather – thanks for spending your Birthday with us little sister). 

Power Island on Labor Day was surprisingly uncrowded with most boats leaving before dark.  

Clear NW Michigan waters along Power Island. 

Seriously. the water in NW Michigan is beautiful. 

Always great hospitality on MV Heartbeat (our first visit was in the Bahamas) and we hate leaving. Traverse City will be a place we come to again for the town, people, outdoor activity, and food. 

Thanks H and K!

Good times together!