Today we took the Arnold Ferry (it’s the cheapest) to Mackinac Island.
View of the very grand Grand Hotel from the ferry:
No cars allowed on the island, though delivery trucks can come over on the ferry but they can’t stay. There is one vehicle allowed on the island at all times and that is a combo ambulance/fire truck. There are 6 policemen patrolling on bicycles. The speed limit on the island is 25 mph and that applies to everyone on bicycles too! One road is steep and if you don’t use your bike brakes you could get going up to 60 mph. The policemen often wait at the bottom of the hill and issue speeding tickets to bicyclists, and if you give the cop a hard time he can fine you up to $200, and if he really doesn’t like you, he can give you points on your driver’s license for moving violations!!
The only deer on the island are ones that come over on the ice in winter so sometimes there are 0, sometimes up to 6. This year there are two. Occasionally a black bear swims over but they tranq them and take them back to the mainland; tourists find them scary, plus we were told that if a bear ate a fudge-filled tourist, he’d be in danger of getting diabetes, LOL!
The downtown area is a welter of restaurants and tee shirt & fudge shops. We walked around downtown then had lunch and Deb rented a bike and rode around the outer ring road (8.2 miles) while Jeanne and I took the horse-drawn carriage tour. On the first leg of the tour we ended up right in the front of the wagon, right behind the driver. This was our view:
Then after a short while they dumped us off at the Butterfly House and we changed to a larger wagon drawn by 3 big Percherons;
It was a pretty interesting tour, though our tour guide guy was a little too talky, and he reminded us to tip him WAY too often.
We were told that the little island school has grades K-12 and this year’s graduating class had 6 students. Winter residents number anywhere from 6 (the policemen) to 300.
We landed back in town just in time for Jeanne to buy a nice embroidered tee shirt and make the 3:00 ferry to the mainland. The first thing we did was go get ice cream. We are training Deb pretty well in the daily ice cream habit! Princess Roxie was not amused at being left alone for 6-plus hours. The ferries and island are very dog-friendly though; they are allowed everywhere except in the restaurants, including on the horse-drawn carriage tours!