Thursday, August 12, 2010

Retour à partir de Paradis

{return from paradise}

That's right, I took an unannounced leave, not that you all noticed anyways since I've been horrible about posting lately. But I have returned from this impromptu rendezvous, which was wonderful might I add. And the destination is, you may ask? After a fifteen minute boat ride from the mainland and I arrived on Mackinac Island.

It is literally one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, despite all the tourists and fudge shoppes! The scenery was absolutely breathtaking, the architecture amazing, and the whole "atmosphere" was just incredible. It was an absolutely stunning place to be, chock full of history and gorgeous, undisturbed, nature. Eighty percent of the island is national park, and I biked around the entire circumference (8.2 miles). Almost all motor vehicles are banned on the island, with the exception of a firetruck or two, so to get around you have to bike, or ride in a horse and buggy. I did both, haha! The island actually has more horses than people; there are only just over five hundred year round residents, compared to 475 horses owned by just one company (there about two others, plus independently owned!). Another interesting fact is that is completely illegal to pick any flowers! You can be fined up to one hundred dollars for each flower, depending on the kind. You can also get a speeding ticket on a bicycle! A few things that I found intriguing that I would share.

Endless nature trails combined with a historic downtown section and a fort from the late 1700's make for one magnificent area. I took many a photograph, the best two of which I will share. I'm not the greatest at photography and I know these aren't the best, but it was a blast going around taking pictures even if it made it obvious that you were a "fudgie" (what locals call tourists).

The first photo you see is of Arch Rock, my personal favorite location within the entire island. It is absolutely magnificent to see in person, pictures really do not do it any justice. The view is literally breathtaking, and humbling as you stand there looking out onto the lake, with no sounds except the crash of waves and the occasional bird chirp. It was especially neat because some brave soul headed into the water and assembled stones in the shape of a heart. It is a little hard to see in this smaller but photo, but the larger version is on my flickr.
Arch Rock stands 146 feet above the water, and is composed of limestone, which is rare for a natural bridge since it is not the best material for stability. Yet the rock still stands.
Just a note; there is extremely little editing done to this photo, nothing more than a simple crop, re-sizing, and a few little tweaks. These are the true colours captured, first hand they are even more stunning but the water was really all those shades of beautiful blue.

The next picture is in front of the Grand Hotel, my second favorite place. Construction began in 1886 and it was finished in well under a year (I remember reading something that said somewhere along with line of three months with over 300 workers, but can't verify that), which was quite a feat for a building of that size in that era. It has the longest covered porch in the entire world at over 660 feet. Five presidents have stayed there over the years along with Thomas Edison and Mark Twain. This particular shot was actually taken while I myself was on a horse and carriage ride. We were passing by the hotel and I just happened to get a quick picture in, and I love the way it turned out. The colors were nice, but it looks especially nice in black and white, I think.

Sorry if this has bored you to death, and sorry that it is extremely off topic, but I'm pretty interested and enthusiastic in these sorts of things, if you couldn't tell.
{^For those of you wondering, it is indeed a pseudonym.}

PS: I'm thinking of taking this blog in a new direction. Higher quality posts, more pictures, etc. There's a new layout/design to go with this, do you like it?


  1. Wow! Mackinac Island looks beautiful. We're glad you had a good time. Both of the photos you posted are amazing. :)

  2. The island looks beautiful- thank you for sharing photos. :D

  3. Wow. That sounds fabulous. You must've gotten lots of amazing pictures... I envy you. Mackinac Island sounds cool. You seem to have had a great time. Both pictures are amazing, by the way.

  4. Wow! I've never been to Mackinac Island (although I have heard of it) but now I desperately want to go! Gorgeous pictures. I love the picture of the beach and Arch Rock. :)


  5. Cool! Beautiful pictures. I've heard of Mackinac Island, and I don't think I've been there, but I really want to go! I love the ocean picture. The water is so gorgeous.

  6. Those are beautiful pictures! Mackinac Island sounds like a really nice place. :) Thanks for sharing them!


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