While awaiting Arnold’s Ferry to Mackinac Island, stroll along St Ignace’s waterfront: a curious amalgam of tourist shops and eateries priced for differing wallet sizes. (Do LOVE seaside towns in the quietude of early morning: sunlight plays, jewel-like, on water’s surfaces and and its ambient light paints buildings in glowing colors).
A surly Arnold’s Ferry ticket-seller’s “Whaddaya want?” tempts a reply of “give me price on a baby dinosaur”, but would skew hopes for the day.
A short ferry ride has us rounding a marker buoy and slipping into Mackinac Island’s port: a bustling reminder of how ports used to be more chaotic: a frenzy of taxis, hotel shuttles, horse-drawn (aromatic) carriages, bicycle vendors, etc. Pick up a park ticket, then wander island’s busy, commercial, tourist-driven Main St. Continue past early 20th-century resort hotels, and onto island’s West Side, with bed-and-breakfasts which were once rich people’s homes.
Cross back behind Main Street and discover a Little Stone Church and a magnificent Grand Hotel. No photos have ever done justice to Grand’s grounds, golf course and glory. Not on MY budget, but would be lying to pretend being part of the one-percent is never appealing.
Out along the East Side’s churches, inns and resorts, for al fresco lunch at Mission Point Bistro. Excellent food and service help calm a sense that people of color visit this island more for economic sustenance than for pleasure, as compared with “us” in themed La Coste polo shirts or mother-daughters “anchor’-themed dresses.
Finally, past Jesuit-inspired Bark Chapel, head up into Fort Mackinac in time for a display of riflery. Considering how long it took to load and fire, it’s hard not to imagine ammunition lasted for a long time. Wandered along palisades, block houses, sentinel stations, and officer or family quarters. Paused to enjoy a glass of wine on a terrace overlooking a rich expanse of blue sky and blue-gray lake. A “clarion call” creates crowd attracted to cannon firing: a short, humor-laced description of “process” capped with a noisy explosion which seems surprising to onlookers.
(For more Ft Mackinac Island photos, see “page”: 2012/08/22 – Mackinac Island)