Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Touring Mackinac Island

Spent the day touring Mackinac Island. The only mode of transportation allowed on the Island is via horse, foot or bicycle. Went on a great horse drawn carriage tour this morning learning much about the history of the Island and seeing it's natural beauty such as Arch Rock pictured above.

The Island has an interesting history, not the least of which is it's name. It was originally a summer fishing ground for the Anishinaabe-Ojibwe Native Americans who named it Michinnimakinong because they likened the shape of the island to that of a turtle's back. French settlers arrived in the area around the 1715 and for over a half-century traded and peacefully lived among Natives. They called the area Michilimackinac or Mackinac for short with the "ac" being pronounced "aw". The British then took control of the area and begin spelling the name Mackinaw. Today, the Island retains the French spelling but both Mackinac and Mackinaw are prounced "aw". Everyone agrees it is very confusing, but that it's just the way it is!

Spent several hours touring Fort Mackinac and it's totally restored original buildings complete with various re-enactments of daily events such as firing of cannons, changing of the guard, etc.

Went to the Grand Hotel and sat own it's famous porch overlooking the Lake and it's beautiful flower beds. The porch is the largest covered porch in the World and has been visited numerous dignitaries, world leaders and U.S. presidents.

Currently staying in Mackinaw City, on the lower Peninsula of Michigan and will be heading South tomorrow on my way to Northeastern Indiana. Ever wonder why Michigan has Upper and Lower Peninsulas? The states of Ohio and Michigan were where the boundary would be drawn around Toledo and a decision was made to include Toledo as part of Ohio. As compensation for losing, Michigan was granted the Upper Peninsula!

Went to the new Batman movie tonight. Good flick!


At August 14, 2008 2:11 PM , Blogger gerryroeder said...

Love your pictures! John sent me some info but love the Blog. My Blog is just going Say hello to Claudia. Restaurants sound amazing. Gerry


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