Mackinac in November

What a great time to be outside!

November up here on Mackinac Island has been fairly good to us so far. The weather seems much warmer than in past years, which has been great! It makes raking the leaves in my front yard all the more merry, and I hope the nice weather keeps up for a few more days because I’m still not done raking…

One of the nice things about this time of year is that the sunsets seem to become more interesting. I’m not sure why, but the skies just end up producing much more pink and purple colors that make it seem so unique, especially over our beautiful Lake Huron. In the summer, whenever I close the shops for the night, I would always take the long way home and ride my bike through downtown and around the boardwalk, just so that I could catch that sunset… it never failed to relax me after an especially long workday. But now that the sun sets much earlier (around 5pm-ish), I try to get outdoors early enough to catch it.


Im trying to enjoy this wonderful weather before this snow starts up, which apparently is happening this Saturday…

On Saturday, we received our first dusting of snow. I was really looking forward to it, but unfortunately it didn’t seem like we got that much on Saturday. I could be speaking too soon on this though… maybe we’ll get more snow overnight? Maybe it’ll snow all day Sunday!? Hopefully it will, as I’m absolutely ready for some colder weather and plenty of beautiful snowfall… we’ll see!

~ Heather

*UPDATE* Woke up to much more snow! It might all melt today, but still, it’s nice waking up to the first winter wonderland of the winter season!

Snow storm and Holiday Postcards

Take a stroll with me on the boardwalk…

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Today a nice big snowstorm hit Mackinac Island, and it was great. Well, maybe the wind wasn’t so great, but everything else was great. We had to endure an entire weekend with no snow and barely enough ice on the ground for snowmobilers to get by, so the several inches of snow that we accumulated last night and today was nice. I wanted to get a little walk in this morning, so I decided to walk to work instead of drive.

A nice view of the Grand Hotel on my way towards the school
A nice view of the Grand Hotel on my way towards the school

On my way out of work, I could tell there was a lot more snow… and a lot more wind, too! The snow just wanted to stick to everything, including store windows. But the wind was really making it hard for snow to stick to the ground, so driving seemed to be a little bit of a wispy adventure.

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By the time I got home a minute later, I figured, why not take a ride? So I started up my snowmobile and headed into town. I needed gas anyway, and I hadn’t gotten any good pics of the fudge shops yet, so what better time than any!

Leaving Island Hardware after getting some gas, and about to cross Main Street onto Astor Street.
Leaving Island Hardware after getting some gas, and about to cross Main Street onto Astor Street.
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I swung back around onto Main St. to check out the tree

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Our main store, May's Fudge Shop, oldest family-operated fudge shop on the island. I added a couple of decorations to make it more festive!
Our main store, May’s Fudge Shop, oldest family-operated fudge shop on the island. I added a couple of decorations to make it more festive!

 

Here are just a couple more photographs from around town:

Fort Mackinac
Fort Mackinac

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By the way, awhile back I started a little Postcard Pal event where I asked all of you out there to send me a postcard with a note about your memories of Mackinac Island. With the holidays in full swing, I thought I’d bring back the event in a good ol’ holiday style!

Send me a postcard with a message saying what you like about Mackinac Island in the winter, or what you’d like to experience about Mackinac Island if you haven’t been here in the winter. Your postcard will be featured on my blog, and you’ll receive a postcard back from me! Send all mail to:

@MackIslandGal / PO Box 870 / Mackinac Island, MI 49757

Thanks for stopping by, and hope to hear from you soon!

 

Pine, Parties and Poker Runs

It’s the perfect weekend for some festive Mackinac activities!

This weekend was the annual winter festival on Mackinac Island. Being the overworked secretary/teacher/candymaker that I am, I completely skipped out on Saturday’s activities, but heard that the kids all had an amazing time playing games at Turtle Park. I did, however, spend some time with Chelsea Berkshire planting boxes for her scavenger hunt. The kids had to figure out clues to find the hidden boxes at different checkpoints around the island that included Skull Cave, Fort Holmes, and Point Lookout, among other places. We had a fun time planting them all and almost stayed out there with them when Chelsea’s snowmobile wouldn’t start back up! Fortunately a dray went by and helped us out. I love the friendliness of this place…

The view of Sugar Loaf from Point Lookout
The view of Sugar Loaf from Point Lookout
Walking down the 144 steps from Fort Holmes. It helps to have a big pair of gloves and your snowmobile helmet in this kind of weather!
Walking down the 144 steps from Fort Holmes. It helps to have a big pair of gloves and your snowmobile helmet in this kind of weather!

Instead of going to the park on Saturday, I decided to take care of some loose ends downtown, and also had time to shoot some photos as I was driving around, most of which I see on my commute to work.

Some snowmen up in Harrisonville
Some snowmen up in Harrisonville
A trail up on 7th street takes me from my home to a back road that gets me to work
A trail up on 7th street takes me from my home to a back road that gets me to work
Driving to work
Driving to work
As I turn the corner, I always pass by the Governor's summer residence
As I turn the corner, I always pass by the Governor’s summer residence
Passing behind Fort Mackinac
Passing behind Fort Mackinac
Almost there... the view from East Bluff this past Sunday
Almost there… the view from East Bluff this past Sunday

My day usually consists of me driving to Ste. Anne’s church for work in the morning, then heading through town to get to the school in the afternoon, and if need be, stopping by at May’s Fudge Shops in between to send out orders. Some days I stop by the school first, or maybe I’ll stop by the fudge shop first, but any way that I go, I know the commute will always be an interesting sight!

Driving by Windermere Park with a view of the Round Island Lighthouse Passage
Driving by Windermere Park with a view of the Round Island Lighthouse Passage
Down on the boardwalk... ice!
Down on the boardwalk… ice!
And finally parked at the Mackinac Island Public School. At the end of my day, I find myself looking at this kind of sunset...
And finally parked at the Mackinac Island Public School. At the end of my day, I find myself looking at this kind of sunset…

On Saturday night, there were festivities going on at the school for kids of all ages, and I spent some time there setting up the sound system for them. Once all was finished, I was heading out the door when I received an invitation to a bon fire just at the end of the boardwalk… and I certainly wasn’t one to turn down an invitation to some heat! The fire was big, and sitting on just the right side made my face hotter than hot. It was the first time all weekend that I really felt the warmth of Mackinac.

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There were even islanders there cooking up food on skewers and passing around for everyone to eat. I was offered a chair and quite possibly the best seat in the house, that is, until several men decided to throw a pine tree into the fire…

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We quickly realized that the pine tree wasn’t the best of moves, and, even though it smelled fantastic, at least half of us left for a warmer venue.

The next day, I decided to make my way over to the Sunday brunch at school (which was delicious!), and look around at all the auction items and bake sale. There was so much offered and I really thought that I could win some of the silent auction items that were out, but instead I volunteered to help a friend run the last half of the poker run table so that she could catch one of the first planes off the island for the day. Being a poker player myself, I didn’t think it would be that difficult to keep track of everyone’s hands, and the game seemed like a lot of fun. Contestants started off by choosing one blue card from the table, then had to drive around Mackinac Island at 4 different checkpoints to pick up 4 other cards. At the very end of their trip, they would have to come back to pick up their last red card from the table, and whatever hand they could make out of their 6 cards would be counted.

View from the poker run table
View from the poker run table

There ended up being quite a few full house hands which were the highest of the day, and 4 prizes were given out. It was fun seeing everyone come in and choose their cards. But I suppose if I would’ve had the chance to play, no one would stand a chance…

mackinac island gal blog ace