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Monday, March 27, 2023

Pure Michigan - Day 388

It was a short hiking day, but it was at least successful.
hiker at North Country Trail sign

We spent 2.5 hours at the DMV getting my trailer plate replaced. They were super busy, but I did get a new plate. Then we got sandwiches and headed out to walk the 4 miles through town.

At the north end is a museum of Ojibway culture. I've been in it several times. It's closed at this time of year. But there is an example of a Huron bark structure on the property.
Huron bark house
If you are a not a Michigander, "Pure Michigan is the state tourism motto. It gets lampooned a fair amount with pictures of potholes, road construction, etc. But a sunny day in St. Ignace is just about as Michigan as you can get. Mackinac Island offshore is a huge tourist attraction. Just in case you don't know, no motor vehicles are allowed, and all travel there is by bicycle or horse-drawn carriages. There is a huge hotel, The Grand Hotel, that has been featured in quite a few movies, etc. At the far left is one of the docks with a fleet of ships that run to the island in summer.
Mackinac Island

Today's new fact for me is to learn what these four "things" out in the water are for. They are called mooring dolphins- defined as mooring structures higher than the waterline that are not connected to shore. These dolphins were built in 1957 to offload jet fuel from tankers. An underwater pipeline carried the fuel to storage tanks on shore. From there it traveled through another pipeling to Kinross Air Force Base, 37 miles away. The base is now closed, but just in case you ever wondered how they got enough fuel into the wilds of the UP for all those airplanes, now you know!
mooring dolphins

It doesn't get more Michigan than this! The Mighty Mac, Big Mac, the Mackinac Bridge. About the same size as the Golden Gate- 5 miles long. I never get tired of it. It's on my list of my 10 favorite man-made objects (which actually only has about 5 things on it). This view is from Straits State Park, and is a different angle from most of the pictures you see.
Mackinac Bridge

And how did today go? About 2.5 miles were paved, and the rest was in moderate snow. I have a serious cramp in one calf, and the legs are sore, but everything was manageable today. When I went to bed last night, I really thought I'd be going home.

But now, we are on Plan Whatever. I have no idea how many times things have changed. I REALLY wanted to do the trail sections in order, but it seems impossible unless I wait longer than I want to. We scouted out the other trail sections on this side of the bridge, but they are still a horrible uneven untrodden mess of now-soft snow. I'm taking tomorrow off, and then we are going to Petoskey where there are a number of urban miles and/or roadwalk nearby. That way, I can keep doing SOMETHING that counts.

When I left the trail in December I was horribly frustrated at doing only six miles a day. Today I was happy to do four. Go figure.

Miles today: 4.0. Total miles so far: 4391.2

See Maybe Too Soon


The Oceanside Animals said...

Lulu: "We're glad to hear that today was a more successful day! For a long time our Dada had a Mackinac Island T-Shirt, although he has never been there. But his Auntie was and she brought the shirt back for him. Maybe someday he and Mama will make it there. I bet they would like it!"

Sharkbytes said...

Lulu- It's a really lovely place. Not quite a SoCal climate, but worth a visit.