After 2 weeks of battling one crazy cold, I was happy to spend the weekend with my family… and that meant a quick trip off of the island. Now islanders usually have several ways to leave Mackinac in the winter: we can take the boat when the water allows for it, and that usually goes through the first or second week of January. The second way is to take the ice bridge, which can be done by snowmobile, or even by bike or (a very long) walk. And the third is to take Great Lakes Air, and fly off the island.
However, this has been an interesting winter for all of us so far! It’s too icy to run the boats… and it’s too warm for an ice bridge to even form. So that only leaves us with flying as our only transportation to and from the island right now.
The quickest way to get there this time of year is by snowmobile, and if you know enough people, and are in the right place at the right time, it’s easy to catch a ride if you need one. For me, however, not wanting to sneeze/cough/hack on anyone, I decided to take a trip up to the airport by taxi.
And once there, I was quickly helped out by Myron:
I was pretty lucky and was able to catch a plane all to myself! It seemed like the perfect time to not only take pictures, but to take another (almost) 360 picture inside of the plane:
The pilots make so many trips every day that I’m sure it’s like driving in a car for them! The trip is so quick, somewhere around 5 minutes, and it’s, in my opinion, so much fun! It costs $25 for a one way trip, or $50 for a round trip. And of course, it’s a great time to catch some pictures of Mackinac island, the water, and the Mackinac Bridge…
*Update* ~ added several aerial photos of Mackinac Island ~ I can see my house!:
As the K-12 Music teacher at Mackinac Island Public Schools, I have the opportunity to see about 80% of the students here on the island, plus teach a guitar & piano ensemble at the high school level. And I’m always looking for new ways to expose every area of music to my students. This year, I went to the Michigan Music Conference in Grand Rapids, MI, hoping to learn new ideas about doing just that.It also was nice to find out that a lot of the things that I’m currently teaching in my music classes are things that were discussed during many of the sessions. It’s always nice to know that I’m on the right track!
Anyway, the only downside to this annual conference is that it happens in January. This is the month that the boat companies usually stop running boats to Mackinac Island ~ and it just so happened that the day that I left for the conference was also the last passenger boat Shepler’s would run for the season. I have to say that Shepler’s is always very accomodating to their customers, and having one of their buses on their boat for us to sit in was a great idea. The most comfortable winter ride ever! And I’ll definitely look forward to next season.
(picture of the ice & the island):
Once off the island, I spent a night in Petoskey, and woke up to another couple inches of snow. Much to my surprise, unfortunately, that snow conintued throughout most of northern lower Michigan on my drive down to Grand Rapids (and I also have to admit that I’m one of those people who drives slow in the snow)! On the way back up on Sunday, all the snow had cleared and the sun was shining too! So I decided to put up a before & after picture of my drive:
I took the Arnold transit slow boat back to Mackinac Island on Sunday. Deciding to sit underneath on the lower level, I had forgotten how strong that boat really is! You could hear the boat grinding against all the ice as it slowly made its way away from the dock. There were quite a few of us down below, and a few of the passengers couldn’t help but look outisde to see all the commotion in the ice:
I take so many pictures of the Mackinac bridge and the Round Island lighthouses from the island, that I had to take the opportunity to take pictures of just the island from the outside:
When I arrived home, I had a wonderful surprise that I’d been expecting for quite some time… my snowmobile had finally arrived! Granted, it’s not driveable yet (it’s missing one part which is going in tomorrow!!), but I figured I’d better get it over here asap! Next week, my cousin from Australia is coming into the states to visit for a month, and I hope to give her a chance to drive around in the snow!
I also decided to take pictures of the Round Island Passage Lighthouse. And this is where my blog will end for tonight… thanks for reading!