Mackinac Island Tour
So you've been looking all over the Web for some nice pics of good ol' Mackinac Island, Michigan, and you just CAN'T FIND 'EM, can you?  Of course not!!  That's because the only pictures of the Island out there are of horse carriages and the stinkin' Grand Hotel!  Well, okay, so it's a nice hotel, but what about all the OTHER stuff the Island has to offer?  Huh?  Like all the interesting land formations and such.  Where on the Web are THEY?

The answer is:  HERE!

That's right!  Step right up and enjoy!  I'm Tehuti, your guide, and I'll take you on a nice seven-hour tour of our lovely Island.  I hope you've got some good walking shoes because damn, your feet are gonna hurt.  But hey, it's ALL worth it.   :)

Step aboard the ferry and enjoy the ride!
Why look, it's the Mackinac Bridge.  (That's pronounced MACK-IH-NAW, by the way.)  Do you know the saying, "If everybody else was ___ (fill in the blank), would you do it too?"?  Well, around here that saying goes, "If everybody else was jumping off the Mackinac Bridge, would you do it too??"  Eerily enough, it DOES happen...and it just happened recently.  But that's not part of our tour; so hurry up, quit dawdling and get on the ferry.  Oh yeah, the ride is $15 for tickets across and back.  What, you expected me to pay your way??  I'm just your guide, not your freakin' piggy bank.  Fork it over or stay on the mainland.
Well, congratulations, you made it across without throwing up once!   :)  Welcome to Mackinac Island, home of horse crap and fudge!  It was quite an arduous 15-minute ride, so let's take a brief rest in Marquette Park.  Ahhh, here we are, already.  Isn't it pleasant?  See that big white building perched up there on the cliff?  That's Fort Mackinac.  More about that baby later.  That little guy standing on the stone pedestal way in the background is Father Marquette.  Oh, you want a closer look at him?  Okay, follow me...and watch out for seagulls...
Here is Father Marquette.  As I know absolutely zip about him, I'll let my handy tourbook do the talking for me.  *Ahem*--it says thusly:  "(In 1671) Father Jacques Marquette left a small settlement at Sault Ste. Marie and established his mission at the Straits near present-day St. Ignace.  He and Louis Jolliet paddled canoes west a few years later and discovered the upper Mississippi River, a venture that assured them a place in history.  In the center of the formal Marquette Park, the Jesuit priest is memorialized in a bronze statue dedicated in 1909."  Well isn't that special!

May I add that Father Marquette is widely respected as a resting spot for seagulls.  Last year the only pictures I could get of him all had a seagull stuck to his head.  Weird birds.  That's simply not a very dignified way for a Jesuit priest to look in public.
Here again is the fort.  Take a careful peep.  See that big gray section of wall near the middle, right to the left of that jutting rock?  That's where a big part of the fort wall collapsed last year, just days after we visited.  Some chunks of the wall fell down into the park as far as twenty feet.  Luckily, it happened at nighttime, so no one was hurt.  They're currently in the process of restoring the walls, which will take an estimated ((best Dr. Evil voice))  FOUR MILLION DOLLARS!!

All in the name of history, I suppose, eh?
Here is the Missionary Bark Chapel at the edge of Marquette Park.  According to the guidebook (available for only $1 on your ferry ride across!!--buy one now!!), in 1670, Father Claude Dablon, a French Catholic Jesuit missionary (that's the best kind), wintered on the Island in a bark building similar to this replica.  Wha--"REPLICA"??  Y'mean to tell me that thing's FAKE?!?  This was supposed to be HISTORICAL, not FAUX!  I want my $15 back!!
Here's a closeup of that FAKE chapel.  Foo.

I's nice and elliptical, at least, isn't it?
This is the southwest corner of the fort, I believe.  I dunno.  I've always sucked with maps.  I mean, I've even got one right in front of me, and I'm still trying to figure out, "Is THAT the road we took?  So, that there would be...west?  Jeez, I hope that's right, else I'll be putting false information on my website and everyone will lose all respect they've ever had for me..."

I guess I really should have paid more attention to the geography portion of my history class.  Moving on.
Once more, the fort.  Okay, okay, c'mon, quit staring at it, we've got other places to go.  Hurry up!  And watch your foot, there's something down there that, uh...doesn't quite smell like fudge.   o_O
The Island is full of fancy Victorian-style houses.  Not sure if this particular one counts as "Victorian," but it's at least a beautiful one.  (You can see this one is a private residence.  Most of them are surrounded by tall bushes and fences, to keep fudgies like myself away.)  Somewhere further along on the Island is a silver and plum house with Greek-style columns on the front porch.  Drat it all, I should have taken a picture of that one, but I guess I was in a hurry and my feet were hurting.  *Cough*--but anyway--come along, we're on Huron Street right now, we have to keep on walking until we get past St. Anne's Church...but before we do...
Ta-da!  Ain't it pretty?  This is the Inn-On-Mackinac.  NO idea what it's all about, but it's one nice-looking building, isn't it?  Ah, if only the sun were a bit brighter so it would bring out the color a bit more...but if there's one thing that can be said for this weather, it's that we won't have to worry about excessive sunburn.

Let's keep moving.  We have a walk ahead of us, through some woods, before we get to one of my favorite parts of the Island...what, your feet are hurting you already??  Man, you'll NEVER make it through the day!  I *told* you you should get more exercise...
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