Spring Trip 2018 travel blog

Jim Junior

Big Mac

Open Structure reduces wind forces

Open Road bed for center lanes

Toll Booth

Tuesday Night, May 22nd 11 pm

International Dark Sky Park - Headlands of Mackinaw City

Dark sky parks are places where you go at night to see the stars more clearly as there is no white light all around the area. You park away from the viewing area and walk to it without any white light. We arrived at 11:15 pm and after a few minutes we had our night vision and the stars just popped out!

There was a half moon overhead which cast enough lights to see shadows, but we were happy to view 2 planets and a plethora of stars by sitting with our backs to the moon. The northern lights are sometimes seen from this viewing area, usually in April or September.

Wednesday, May 23

I like to visit quilt stores and antique shops and Mackinaw City has neither. I made a Goggle search for fabric stores near me and found Quilting and Crafts in Carp Lake only 5 miles away. It was a straight shot 5 miles down 2 lane Mackinaw Highway (speed limit 35 mph) and wondered how a quilt store in a town of 200 survives when the Beverly’s Fabrics in San Diego is closing.

Opening the door I saw the tiny retail space was stuffed with bolts of fabric stacked everywhere, along with quilt book, patterns and tools. The owner was so nice, she showed me the back room with her long arm quilting table in back. She was in the midst of quilting a very large quilt featuring antique cars.

I picked through the bolts of fabrics and found some great fabrics half off which she cut for me in .5 yard pieces. She had one remaining quilt pattern for Round House Lighthouse we saw on our trip to Mackinac Island! Lucky me!

After my purchases had been cut and paid for I asked about the taxidermy store next door for the past 10 years I’ve wanted a stuffed squirrel. Her husband had the taxidermy shop so she went over and introduced me to Jim who said he had 1 squirrel in his shop.

After rummaging around for a few minutes he came back with a small black squirrel mounted on a branch. Jim pointed to a nearby mature maple tree where most years squirrels raise their young. One year he saw very young squirrels frolicking and noticed one who was doing poorly. Jim kept his eye on the little squirrel and one day he found it had died and he stuffed it because he loved animals

Jim carefully brushed the squirrel’s fur with a child’s toothbrush and said to take good care of and brush the baby squirrel just as he showed me. I now had my own black squirrel and I’ve named him Jim Junior (see photo).

The Mackinaw Bridge had been calling to us and this afternoon we crossed the bridge, toll $4 one way, to St. Ignace where we found (and ate) Big Boy Burgers and shopped at Family Fare grocery. The Mackinaw City locals told me it was a large grocery chain store that has everything. No and, sorry, no. Not a big store and has enough, but in no way everything. It did find the cran/raspberry juice I can’t find in San Diego so bought them all. The Mackinaw Bridge (AKA”Big Mac”) was completed in 1957. It is 4.995 miles long, Towers are 300 Ft tall. The bridge was designed for the wind to flow through the structure and can sway over 15 Ft before they shut it down for safety reasons.

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