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.

mackinac island gal blog bon fire boardwalk

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…

mackinac island gal blog pine tree fire

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

The Aftermath of a Snowstorm

How does your town compare to the snow on Mackinac Island?

As I walked downtown to buy some groceries, I was amazed by how the snow had not only fallen, but covered, every object and crevice outside. So of course, I had to take pictures! I’ve been seeing multiple pictures on my friends’ facebook pages of what’s going on in their towns. Here’s what’s going on here:

The trees & bushes in my parents’ front yard:

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French Lane:

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The Cloghaun Bed & Breakfast:

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Metivier Inn:

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Luckybean Coffee House & The Birches on Market St.:

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Hoban St.:

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Taking the cat for a walk!:

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Downtown Mackinac Island – some people leave their snowmobiles downtown when they leave the island:

… and it’s not always fun to come back to a snowmobile covered in snow!

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Fort Hill:

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Fort Mackinac:

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Father Marquette in the snow:

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Trees of all kinds are weighed down with snow. Some have faired worse than these. Hopefully we can do something about it so that the lilac trees don’t get damaged from the extra weight.

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This cart looks like it’ll be a lot of fun to push back to the dock!

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Looks like someone had the same idea I did – taking pictures from Shepler’s dock – but they didn’t get too far…. and I didn’t bother trying!

 

Hoban St. again… CSB Bank and Village Inn Restaurant:

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Most towns hope for the streets to be plowed clean. Here, we have nicely plowed sidewalks:

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The old lilac tree in my parents’ front yard, right before I tried shaking off as much snow as I could:

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And we end back at my house! Wanna help me shovel my front yard?

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Mackinac Island 2012

It’s been a long while since my last post! I hope everyone had a great holiday season. But now it’s back to the grind!

I was hoping that there’d be snow on the island when I got back from my winter vacation, and fortunately by the time I got back on Jan. 2nd, it had snowed just in time! Plenty of snowmobiles and cross-country skiiers are filling the streets. That day was also my first time riding on Shepler’s freight boat, the Sacre Bleu. Since we all got to sit in their shuttle bus which was parked on the boat, it turned out to be a very comfortable ride:

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The only thing about the snow that I wasn’t looking forward to is the fact that it would be harder for me to go on my usual runs to Devil’s Kitchen & Arch Rock.However, I quickly found out that a pair of YakTrax still makes it possible to run on the thin layer of snow and ice that currently exists over the road. But before I started running again, I decided to take a hike around other areas of the island. As I left my home to start my trek, I was able to catch a picture of the Taxi riding by:

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It also helps to have friends in high places! I was able to take a quick walk up to Fort Mackinac and take some pictures of the snow-covered downtown area, catching the last boats leaving for the day, and some snowmobilers on their way home:

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And from there, we hiked our way up to Sugar Loaf. I was excited to see that the snow out by Sugar Loaf was untouched, and immediately climbed my way up for a picture!

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Unfortunately with the weather heating up, a lot of the snow has melted (although not enough to stop the snowmobiles). I ran out to Devil’s Kitchen yesterday with virutally no run-ins with ice. But with a new snowmobile on the way and a cross-country ski rental just down the street, I’m looking forward to finding out more about what the island can offer this winter.