Mackinaw City, MI

July 9, 2010 9:17 pm

This morning, we walked over to the Northern Lights restaurant next to the motel for breakfast. We took our time, because it was going to be an easy day.


I learned that here, American Fries means Hobee's Hash Browns.

We rode the Arnold Line Ferry to Mackinac Island.


Motor vehicles are prohibited on the island, so the only forms of transportation are walking, bicycling, and horse-drawn carriages of all sizes.


The town is a madhouse of bicycle and pedestrian traffic. I took this during a break in the traffic.


The other form of transportation left its sign on the road..

We stopped to see Arch Rock. The outer rim of the island is an 8-mile perimeter road, but the inside of the internal part is crisscrossed with steps and trails. I wish Merrianne (my wife) were here, I think she would have enjoyed the hiking. The island has light breezes, and is like Hawaii, only not so humid.




At a concession partway around the island, we met this family. Gary (the elder) and Sue once snowmobiled all the way across the U.P. Their daughter is Sophia, and their son is also Gary. He’s going to college in the fall.


Gary, Sue, Sophia, and Gary.

Even though we were riding at a very leisurely pace, we were soon back in town. Marc’s Double Oven attracted me because it said Free Wireless Internet in the window. Actually, there were quite a few public wireless access points in town. Elliot and I had orange sherbet there. Elliot had Kiwi sauce on his. I met Marc, the owner, who was a really nice guy.


We did a little shopping in town. My “God is Still Speaking” shirt continued to get a lot of attention. The girl behind the counter said she liked it. She was a Christian, of course, but also signs. Elliot and I decided to loop the island again. On our way out, John asked me some of the particulars of our trip. He was a Christian, also. I gave him a card.



Elliot had seen these strange birds with “Mohawk” feathers when the wind blows. I took a picture of them on the next pass. Does anyone know what they are?


Mohawk birds, about the size of a large pigeon.


Most of the way around the island it looks like this.


We took the top deck on the Ferry going back.


The Mackinaw Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world.

After landing at Mackinaw, we looked for lodging. Before leaving the island, I checked the internet and found that the Day’s Inn and all the nice motels on highway 23 were about $100 a night. We kept riding until we saw more modest motels, but those were still pretty nice. 2 miles out of town, we came upon the Mill Creek Campground. $15 for a tent site ($13 with no electricity). Wi-Fi, but not free.

This family was having late afternoon ice cream, and we chatted. Patty had done extensive cycling in Hawaii, New Zealand, and Australia before. Her son was hoping to get into it, soon. They’re from West Virginia.


Patty, Zechariah, Amanda, and Shawn. The smaller dog is Liana, and the larger Daisy.


  1. Sue and Gary Wurtz says:

    It was a pleasure meeting you and your son on Mackinaw Island! We were fascinated by your road trip. We will be monitoring the rest of your journey. Best wishes and safe travels to you! Gary, Sue, Sophia and Gary Jr.

  2. LMK Shaffer says:

    I’ve read a few of your entries – what interesting adventures and people you’ve encountered during your trip!

    I showed Scott, our resident waterfowl expert, the image of the birds with the Mohawk feathers. Sorry, he couldn’t identify the species.

    Scott and I wish Elliot a happy birthday (tomorrow, isn’t it?). Will you be celebrating in Canada or in the “mitt” of Michigan?

    Happy trails to you both! Ride safely.

    • roderick says:

      We will be in the lower peninsula for a few more days. Rose City is our next goal, then Bay city. No more gravel bike paths!