Lilacs, Hikes & Postcards

For those of you who missed the Lilac Festival…There were some beautifully floral moments throughout the lilac festival week, and this year I wanted to incorporate something new into the schedule – I led photo enthusiasts on a photo hike to some of the not-so-well-known areas of Mackinac Island, stopping every so often to take scenic photos and enjoy the views. I hope to make this an annual event, and will most likely do another hike in July and August! We started by walking through Market Street, then made our way up to Anne’s Tablet:Of course, I have to end the lilac portion of this post with my favorite of all the lilac species, the Sensation lilacs! Their white-lined petals give a unique style to an otherwise simple lilac design:

Now that July is upon us, we’ve finally gotten a few hot hot HOT days on Mackinac! Not that I don’t like warm weather, but it’s the humid + hot days that make me reminisce about the winter months… anyway, instead of hanging out inside air conditioned buildings, I opted to go for a hike to feel the cooler breeze near the water, as well as take some interesting photos along the way:

Near Nicolet Tower:

On the trails:Some interesting roots… I had to climb down the cliff side to get this angle, but it wasn’t as dangerous as it sounds! Still, be careful if you decide to hike a cliff side trail…

Something I haven’t done in awhile on this blog is feature postcards, and I thought I would try to revive that old tradition of mine! If you send me a postcard and write about what you like about Mackinac Island, I will post it on my blog as a feature!! You can send your postcard to:

Heather May

PO Box 870

Mackinac Island, MI

49757

Until next time,

Heather

Spring Wanderings

The April Showers have definitely started up this weekend, as Michigan got its fair share of thunderstorms. Actually, I enjoyed the sound of the thunder falling asleep last night. As for this weekend, I spent some time outdoors and wandered out towards the side of the island that I don’t get into much, finding myself in some kind of miniature adventure.

On Saturday, I headed to St. Ignace to drive my car around and buy some groceries. It was sunny at the time and I took the opportunity to catch a photo of the bay and the lighthouse passage:


Catching a glimpse of the Grand Hotel as I head up to Pontiac Trail
And on Sunday, biked out on the North end of the island, out past Arch Rock and mile marker 2 to reach Lake Shore Nature Trail. It’s a short trail, but such a cute little pocket of Mackinac. There’s even a wooden walkway that splits into two directions to make it more exciting, plus lots of trail markers to tell you about the surrounding nature. I highly recommend a stop here if you ever find yourself biking around the island!

Lake Shore Nature Trail

A side view of the island as I biked back towards town


I hope you’re all enjoying Spring in your own hometowns! Here’s to counting down the days to summer!

– Heather

Hiking Mackinac

Don’t you just love Michigan weather!? Last week we had piles of snow – this weekend, it’s almost nonexistent. With the warmer weather upon us, my friends and I took the opportunity to take a hike around Mackinac Island. I was pretty psyched about getting some fresh, spring air in my lungs, and hoped for some good shots of the surrounding nature. I also realized that I hadn’t gone letterboxing in quite some time, and immediately geared up to find some boxes!

Photo_1

If you are unfamiliar with letterboxing, it’s an outdoor pastime that combines navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a treasure hunt style outdoor quest. It’s actually very similar to geocaching – in geocaching, one is given latitude and longitude coordinates to find a hidden box where one can log in by signing a sheet and trading items within the box. With letterboxing, instead of coordinates, you receive clues that lead you to a box where one logs in with rubber stamps. Making your own rubber stamp is fairly easy, and a lot of fun when finding other creative stamps too! We set out to find two specific letterboxes, and found both.

Afterwards we decided to step up on our hiking and took a couple of trails and stairs that led us to Sugar Loaf. I was here earlier in the winter when no one had yet disturbed it in all of its snowy glory… this time, it looked as though some people had made their way here by foot, ski, and even snowmobile.

Photo_4

We made our way up Henry Trail towards Point Lookout, where we caught a glimpse of Sugar Loaf:

Photo_5

Then slowly made our way down the stairs. This was probably not our best idea, since the stairs were half wet and half covered in snow, therefore creating slimy, slippery stairs!

My friend, Myron, works for the island, and has been working very hard to clear the roads and trails of trees and branches that had fallen from last weekend’s snow storm. We actually lost a lot of lilac tree branches and some lilac trees because of all that heavy snow, which is incredibly unfortunate. Myron noticed a couple other branches at the bottom of the stairs, and cleared the way for us.

Photo_2

And finally… Sugar Loaf!

Photo_3

It won’t be long until all these barriers will be taken out for the summer!

Photo_5

Another thing I noticed along the way – the amount of litter left in the park. I brought a bag with me on our hike specifically for picking up empty bottles and trash. Every little bit counts!

Photo_2
I’m hoping that with this warm weather coming up that my friends and I might be able to take more hikes and more time to pick up litter as we go along.

Mackinac Island also hosts a Geocaching event, the 6th Annual Spring Fling, which takes place this year on the weekend of April 28th. Find out more about geocaching at www.mi-geocaching.org or www.geocaching.com. If you’re interested in learning more about letterboxing, please visit www.letterboxing.org or www.atlasquest.com