I’m ready to take advantage of any opportunity to visit Mackinac Island and Marcie Quist and the Metamora Combined Driving Event presented that opportunity. Mackinac Island is a little gem just east of the Straits of Mackinac which separates the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan.
Marcie was the President of the Jury at the Metamora CDE and as we are friends outside of the combined driving world, and as Marcie had not been to Mackinac before, we made a plan to visit the Island after the event. How fun to see this unique island through Marcie’s eyes.
Because Marcie wanted to see the Mackinac Bridge up-close-and personal, we drove over it (a five-mile span and one that frankly makes me a little nervous) to St. Ignace on the upper peninsula side. Many of the ferries are now high speed things but all freight – including horses – go in different ferries and only from St. Ignace. We hadn’t even parked the car when we spied two horses departing a ferry. They were held by no other than Debbie Egan. She and Ron have leased a pair of Dutch Harness Horses to people who live on Mackinac’s West Bluff. They were taking them to Ohio for a couple of weeks. That was just the start to a great 24 hour adventure.
We had a private carriage tour of the island, lunch at Grand Hotel, a visit with Ben Mosely who works for Grand Hotel and manages their stable (I wrote about the grand opening last summer in Driving Digest). We had dinner at the Woods restaurant which required a half-hour carriage ride each way. We stayed at a charming B & B. We rented bikes on a “dusk to dawn” rental so we could get up at 7 a.m. and ride around the perimeter of the Island (8 miles) before breakfast.
All this, and we caught the 10 a.m. ferry back to St. Ignace, crossed the bridge again (better this time) and I dropped Marcie off at Pellston for a noon flight.
I’ve organized trips to Mackinac Island before and I wonder if Driving Digest subscribers would be interested in a group trip to the Island sometime in 2014. It is truly something that should be on everyone’s bucket list. If enough are interested, I will try and put something together. The folks on Mackinac love to welcome horse and carriage people.