Mackinac Island

Previous Post About Bois Blanc Island: Round Island

My uncle's piloting the family motor boat into Mackinac.
My uncle’s piloting the family motor boat into Mackinac.

Mackinac is another weirdly pronounced island name like Bois Blanc (Bob-lo). Mackinac is pronounced Mackinaw.

Mackinac Island was the original tourist location in Northern Michigan before Bois Blanc Island and it still attracts thousands of people per day.

Initially, Mackinac Island was a trading post for the local Ojibwa Native Americans. They brought furs to trade with European settlers. The Europeans then took the furs east and sold them.

The traders chose Mackinac to conduct business because it is well situated at the junction between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. People could easily reach Mackinac by boat from all over the Northwest Territory.

Twice a year there is a big sailing contest that fills the port up with colorful sails. Didn't catch the contest this year though.
Twice a year there is a big sailing contest that fills the port up with colorful sails. Didn’t catch the contest this year though.

Since Mackinac was the center of this trade it was important for the British to defend it.

The British built Fort Mackinac on the south side of the island to protect and control the fur trade.

As the fur trade died out it became replaced by tourism in the late 1800s.

Millions of people visit Mackinac Island every year, but what do they all do there?

There are gift shops, arcades, toy stores, fudge shops (Mackinac Island fudge is the best in the world), and tons of state park space to explore.

Fort Mackinac is now a historical site where costumed employees will tell you what life on the frontier was like in the 1800s.

There's a soldier down on the parade grounds giving a history lesson to some other tourists.
There’s a soldier down on the parade grounds giving a history lesson to some other tourists.

There are a few other historical buildings sprinkled around the island including an old doctor’s house and a beautiful church.

My favorite attraction on Mackinac is the Butterfly House.

It’s a little house on the hill behind the beautiful church.

The house connects to a greenhouse filled with hundreds of butterflies from all over the world.

The butterflies flap around and land on flowers and people who are sitting still while instrumental music plays through overhead speakers.

A picture doesn’t really capture the whole experience, but here’s one of my better ones when a butterfly landed on a flower.

So pretty! These two were chasing each other around the house before landing here.
So pretty! These two were chasing each other around the house before landing here.

It’s like stepping into a greenhouse full of flowers, only the flowers are flying around over your head, dancing.

My wife and I got some delicious Mackinac Island fudge before being picked up by my uncle in the family motor boat for the return trip to Bois Blanc Island.

-Mister Ed

Next Post About Bois Blanc Island: A Typical Day on the Island

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Jeopardy!

I’m a big fan of the Jeopardy show.

I don’t watch it every night, but when I have time I’ll turn it on.

I started watching Jeopardy as a kid with my mom.

We’d watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune back to back.

I liked Wheel of Fortune more than Jeopardy then. I think it was because Wheel of Fortune is flashier and has more enthusiastic people.

Now I like Jeopardy better, partially because I feel I can participate more in a Jeopardy episode than a Wheel of Fortune episode.

In Wheel of Fortune my only means of participation is to guess what the whole phrase is, I can’t guess individual letters.

But I can guess individual Jeopardy questions!

I’ve actually worked out a system where I can keep my own score along with the Jeopardy contestants on the show.

I watch with a calculator in my hand and keep track of my points as the game goes on.

I get points for answering a question before any of the contestants do. I lose points if my answer was wrong.

If I correctly answered the question before the Daily Double, then I get to participate along with the contestant who found it. I decide how many of my points to bet on a Daily Double in which I participate.

Final Jeopardy works the same as for me as it does for the other contestants. I see the category, bet my money, and guess after the commercial break.

The system isn’t perfect. I and another contestant can both get money from a question.

Also the betting on Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy isn’t ideal. The contestants can bet based on what the other two contestants have, but not what I have. I get to bet based on what all of them have.

I get first or second place most of the time. I feel like once I can reliably get first I’ll be ready to be on the show.

The show has tryouts online every year, but I haven’t made it through yet.

I just hope I can get on the show before Alex Trebek leaves.

-Mister Ed