August 5, 2014 – Mackinac Island

This morning we took the high-speed ferry

A sister vessel to our ferry

A sister vessel to our ferry

over to Mackinac Island … with an interesting detour under the Mackinac Bridge.

Mackinac Bridge (a), Mackinac, Michigan - 2104-08-05 Mackinac Bridge (b), Mackinac, Michigan - 2104-08-05 Mackinac Bridge (c), Mackinac, Michigan - 2104-08-05 Mackinac Bridge (e), Mackinac, Michigan - 2104-08-05 Mackinac Bridge (d), Mackinac, Michigan - 2104-08-05The Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere and the fifth longest in the world. The total length of the Mackinac Bridge is 26,372 feet.

  • The length of the suspension bridge is 8,614 feet.
  • The length from cable bent pier to cable bent pier is 7,400 feet.
  • The length of main span (between towers) is 3,800 feet.
  • The width of the roadway is 54 feet.
  • The outside lanes are 12 feet wide, the inside lanes are 11 feet wide, and the catwalk, curb and rail width is 3 feet on each side.

The height of the roadway at mid-span is approximately 200 feet above water level. The vertical clearance at normal temperature is 155 feet at the center of the main suspension span and 135 feet at the boundaries of the 3,000 ft. navigation channel.
All suspension bridges are designed to move to accommodate wind, change in temperature, and weight. It is possible that the deck at center span could move as much as 35 feet (east or west) due to high winds. This would only happen under severe wind conditions. The deck would not swing or “sway” but rather move slowly in one direction based on the force and direction of the wind. After the wind subsides, the weight of the vehicles crossing would slowly move it back into center position.
Nearing the island, we had a great view of some of the magnificent homes
Private Residences (a), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05and the Grand Hotel.
Grand Hotel (a), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05After passing between the Round Island
Round Island Lighthouse, Off Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05and Round Island Passage
Round Island Passage Lighthouse, Off Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05Lighthouses, we docked and entered a sea of tourists and more bicycles than we could count.

Main (Huron) Street (f), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05 Main (Huron) Street (b), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05 Main (Huron) Street (a), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05

Mackinac Island is about 8 miles in circumference and 3.8 square miles in total area. It has a total year-round population of 492 (2010 census).

Mackinac Island AerialThe island can be reached by private boat, by ferry, by small aircraft, and in the winter, by snowmobile over an ice road. Motorized vehicles have been prohibited on the island since 1898 with the exception of snowmobiles during winter, emergency vehicles, and service vehicles. Travel on the island is either by foot, bicycle, or horse-drawn carriage. Roller skates and roller blades are also allowed, except in the downtown area.

On our previous visit to Mackinac Island enroute to Alaska in 2011, we did take our bikes with us and toured both the island’s perimeter and interior sections. This year, however, we opted to walk with friends, spending more time in the central, downtown area.

The “main drag” is a literal mass of bicycle rental shops, fudge and ice cream stores, restaurants and a few hotels
Lilac Hotel, Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05accented by beautiful hanging baskets of flowers.
Flowers (b), Mackinaw Island, MI - 2014-08-05 Flowers (a), Mackinaw Island, MI - 2014-08-05Once outside the commercial area are some exquisite old homes, Private Residence (a), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05 Private Residence (b), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05 Private Residence (c), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05 some of which have been converted into small inns and B&Bs.

Island House, Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05 Harbor View Inn, Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05Several of the buildings have been designed with turrets adorned with ornate stained glass windows.

Private Residence (Copula and Stain Glass Windows), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05We enjoyed a really good lunch at
The Pink Pony (c), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05 The Pink Pony (a), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05 The Pink Pony (b), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05the “in-place to be during the annual Mackinac sailing regattas”

with LaDonna, Dave, Russ and Georgina,
LaDonna, Dave, Russ, Georgina, Dick and Debbie at the Pink Pony, Mackinac, Island, MI - 2104-08-05where a number of local micro-brewery beers were available.

My choice

My choice

Afterwards, we visited two architecturally different churches.

Sainte Anne Church – In 1670, Jesuit Father Charles Dablon founded a birchbark mission chapel on Macinac Island. The following year, Father Jacques Marquette relocated the mission at St. Ignace (just north of the Mackinac Bridge). Abandoned in 1706 and reestablished at Fort Michilimacklnic around 1715, the new church was named Sainte Anne do Mcihilimacklnac. During the winter of 1780-81, British troops relocated to the island and moved the church building across the ice. The parish is the nation’s oldest dedicated to Sainte Anne, with baptismal records dating from 1695.

Sainte Anne Church, Mackinaw Island, MI - 2014-08-05 Sainte Anne Church (Interior), Mackinaw Island, MI - 2014-08-05

The United Congregational Church (affectionately known as the “Little Stone Church) – This church was established in 1900 by eleven charter members. Local residents and summer visitors donated funds for its construction. The cornerstone was laid on August 2, 1904. It is built of Mackinac Island stones in an eclectic Gothic style. Its handsome stained glass windows, installed in 1914, tell the story of the Protestant movement on the island.

Little Stone Church, Mackinaw Island, MI - 2014-08-05 Little Stone Church (Interior), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05 Little Stone Church (Rear Stain Glas Window), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05 Little Stone Church (Stain Glass Window over the Door), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05Our last stop was at the Grand Hotel, which we’d toured on our prior visit. Grand Hotel (b), Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05
Its front porch is purportedly the longest in the world at some 660 in length,

Grand Hotel, Veranda Porch (660'), Mackinac Island - 2011-05-25overlooking a vast Tea Garden and fountains.

Fountain, Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island - 2011-05-25On our return ferry trip we saw a two-masted, square-rigged schooner passing between us and the Mackinac Bridge.

Two Masted Square-rigged Schooner (a) off Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05 Two Masted Schooner (b) off Mackinac Island, MI - 2014-08-05This evening we had an impromptu “pot luck” courtesy of Suanne before Russ and I wandered down to the lake’s edge in anticipation of a colorful sunset …

Sunset (a) - 2014-08-05 Sunset (b) - 2104-08-05 Sunset (c) - 2014-08-05which, unfortunately, never really materialized.

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