Thursday, May 31, 2012

Alpena, MI to Mackinaw City

5/31/2012  A good and easy day today.  It turns out that the weather forecast was off by maybe 10 degrees.  It didn't get so cold last night, and the morning broke with blue skies and lots of sunshine.  There was a pretty good breeze, so it was fairly cool, but not cold as I feared.

We had breakfast and packed the bikes and got on the road around 9am.  We wanted to get back on US 23 and follow it to Mackinaw City, on the southern end of the Mackinaw Bridge, tying the lower part of Michigan with the famous upper peninsula.  The ride was only 88 miles long, so it was a very short riding day.

Along the way, we spotted a sign to a lighthouse and pulled off the road to see it.  The 40 Mile Point Lighthouse supposedly is mid way between Alpena and Mackinaw City; hence "40 mile" name.  According to the volunteer lighthouse keeper, they actually mis-figured the 40 mile distance and it's off by two miles!  But after the discovery, they decided to leave it where it was rather than to move it.

We walked down to the water/beach and found an old shipwreck lying in the sand.  All that was left was some wood and iron; much more iron than I thought there would be.  But it was neat.

The climb up the 57 steps to the top was not difficult.  Actually, it was easy compared to NC's lighthouses. But it was worth the stop and the time it took to see the place.

Onward to Mackinaw City, where we bought tickets to the ferry to9 Mackinac Island.  The ride was very smooth and only took about 15 minutes to cover the distance.

The island was pretty neat.  No cars or trucks are allowed, so everything moves by foot, by bicycle, or by horsedrawn vehicles.  Carriages were all over the place.  We walked around for a bit and decided to get lunch and a beer.  Found a place and had a good sandwich and beverage.

After lunch, we set out exploring the island on foot.  A couple of hours later, we were tired and had walked much of the island.  For the most part, it's a tourist trap, IMO, but a beautiful one.  Huge houses, painted in a rainbow of colors.  Huge hotels, old-styloe, mostly of wood and not especially high.  Small shops selling trinkets or fudge.  It was a neat place to visit, but it felt too rich for me.  Glad we went.

Before leaving, we stopped for another beer before getting on the ferry, drank it out on a deck, and then rode the return ferry back to Macinaw City.  Back on the mainland, we rode to our motel a few blocks away and stopped for the night.  After a little rest, we decided to eat dinner.  The plan had been to walk to dinner, but there was nothing close-by to satiate our appetite.  So, checking the Internet, we picked out a place downtown, too far to walk.  So, we took the bikes to the place, only to find it closed.  We believe that it actually had not opened for the season.  So, rather than riding around after dark, we walked across the street to an Italian place.  It was fair at best, but it was convenient.

After dinner, we rode to a small park by the water to see the big bridge in lights.  It was well worth the effort; Mae, thank you for your recommendation!

A very easy day with only a few miles. on the bikes.

Tomorrow--riding some fun roads, doing the bridge, and saying goodbye to Michigan.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting arch behind you. The shape reminds me of the arches in a national park in Moab, Utah.