We made the 9 a.m. ferry over to Mackinaw Island! This is was the “special” ferry because this was the only time of day that a ferry could travel under the Mackinaw Bridge, “the world’s third-longest in total suspension and the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western hemisphere.” (Wikipedia)
We were in awe of the quaint community and didn’t know where to start! So we walked along the beach boardwalk to exercise the dogs while we discussed how to tour the island in our short amount of time. We decided to take the surrey tour knowing our driver would tell us about the history of the island and about the historic sites.
On our way to the ticket booth, we passed a beautiful flower garden; I had to stop and admire the selection of flowers. There were abundant begonias in vibrant colors, I wish I could grow them in Montana but our yard doesn’t have the needed shade for their thriving.
The surrey took us through the little village with historic insights shared all along the way. We passed the magnificent Grand Hotel, we were told to even walk inside the hotel there was a $10.00 entry fee! I suppose they do this to keep the summer tourism chaos from disturbing the lodging guests who pay over $300 to $500 a night! The driver said that this was the first summer in the history of the hotel that it was booked from June to August. I found that interesting in spite of our economy.
On Monday while in Cheboygan, I saw another chiropractor and when I told him what we are doing and that we are on our way to Traverse City, Dr. Benter enthusiastically and emphatically gushed (if a man can do that) how we absolutely must drive hwy M-119 down to Traverse City and he proceeded to cryptically write names of sites and stops along the way.
After trying to decipher his handwriting, Dale and I decided we must do this! And we were not disappointed! This was indeed an unplanned route with one u turn and many unplanned stops!
Our first recommendation was the Leg Inn, a well known Polish restaurant. The builder of the restaurant used wood stove legs to decorate the outside of the restaurant. He was also known to carve imaginative animals out of the driftwood collected along the shore of Lake Michigan. We went inside the restaurant to see these crazy carvings and yes, he was quite creative and some of his pieces were very large.
Then Dr. Benter said we must drive through the Tunnel of Trees; a one lane, winding road through, yes, a tunnel of very tall trees. The fall colors and sparkling sun through the leaves were picturesque. While winding our way along, we came across an antique store, thus, a u turn. However, this store reminded us of the American Pickers; only they would know what is a find and what is junk. To us, it was all just junk.
On to the chicken pot pie store! Good Hart! Yes, there is a world renowned chicken pot pie store on M-119 and we stopped there! I thought how fun to send a pot pie to Chad and Christy in Montana and a pot pie to Brandon and Carrie in Pennsylvania. Welllllll, the cost of shipping to Montana would have been a whopping $100.00 and only $14.00 to PA. The kids were in our thoughts, so much for that. But we bought one for ourselves for dinner later that night.
Next and last was Pond Hill Farms and Harbor Springs Winery. Wow, oh wow! Now this was a stop! This was the kind of stop any Heath would stop at!
The farm was decked to the hilt for autumn; pumpkins and winter squashes everywhere! My up and coming photographic artistry came to life . . . how many photos can you take of pumpkins?
We went into the store and of course I had to purchase freshly harvested vegetables and winter squashes, which our family loves as a side dish at dinner time.Even Dale got into the shopping mode and bought a jar of Pond Hill Farm Hot Garlic Pepper Jelly made with real Michigan sugar. It is so good we should have bought a larger jar; nothing like a little cream cheese and jelly on a saltine cracker!
Then I went upstairs to taste a white wine or two. (only two in the end) And I bought a 2012 Harbor Springs at Pond Hill Farm Pinot Gris, Michigan. It is a little sweet but still an interesting and intriguing swirl on the palate. (so much for “wine” speak)
And with autumn here and how I love to decorate for our four seasons, I bought one little pumpkin to grace our camper.
This was a GREAT day! And this was a completely unplanned route on our trip. Thank you, Dr. Benter, for sharing with us M-119!