Straits of Mackinac
2021 Trip Report

Day six: Little Stone Church
& self drive carriage

Days 1 & 2   Day 3   Day 4   Day 5   Day 6
Day 7   Day 8   Day 9   Day 10

Previous Page                                      Next Page

Linda Stokes - Mackinac Island, Michigan
Linda driving a horse & carriage
Fort Mackinac - Mackinac Island, Michigan
Lilacs and Fort Mackinac during my early morning walk
After enjoying an early morning walk and photography along the shore, I changed and we walked to the Little Stone Church for the 10:30AM service. The seasonal Congregational Church is served by retired pastors. When we attended a few years earlier, it was a United Methodist pastor and this year it is Rev. Dr. Dan Hans, who is ordained in the Presbyterian Church. 

The music was fabulous. The Music Director, Karen Hughes Beacom, is a professor at Lake Superior State College and has performed in operas around the world. She played piano and organ and was joined by Alan and Lori Jacobus on bassoon and flute.

Following the service, there was a reception on the grounds behind the church with some nice treats, but we assume that most people were visitors like us and everyone was in little clusters, making it hard to start a conversation.

Little Stone Church - Mackinac Island, Michigan
Little Stone Church

Karen Hughes Beacom and Alan and Lori Jacobusv- Little Stone Church
Lori Jacobus, Karen Hughes Beacom, Alan Jacobus

We went on to lunch at Kingston Kitchen at the Village Inn, a wonderful restaurant which Chef/Owner, Jamaican born, Shawn Fearon opened two years ago. Shawn's culinary career began on Mackinac Island twenty years earlier and he also has Kingston Kitchen in Okemos, Michigan. 

A staff shortage made service suffer a little, but everyone in the restaurant worked hard to cover for each other and do as well as they could. I had the Caribbean Classic (Sautéed chicken, shrimp, onions, tri-color peppers tossed in a zesty boom boom sauce and served with seasonal vegetables and red beans & rice) accompanied with ginger beer (soft drink), while Linda had a Tomahawk Pork Chop (Berkshire heritage breed tomahawk cut pork chop topped with caramelized walnuts, mango & liquid gold sauce and served with seasonal vegetables and homemade smashed potatoes). 

I loved the flavor of the spicy boom boom sauce and how it went with both the entree and the red beans and rice. After more than 70 meals over the years on Mackinac Island I think I enjoyed this dish the most! Linda's pork chop was also great and her leftovers made a nice breakfast the next morning. Linda had requested that the liquid gold sauce be left off. While I am sure she enjoyed the dish much more without the house made mustard based sauce, I suspect that I would have found it to be heavenly.

Kingston Kitchen - Mackinac Island, Michigan
Kingston Kitchen at the Village Inn

Tomahawk Pork Chop and Caribbean Classic - Kingston Kitchen
Tomahawk Pork Chop and Caribbean Classic

After a return to our hotel and a change of clothes, we walked to Jack's Livery Stable where they set us up with a self drive carriage and a Percheron named Bill. The staff are very accommodating and gave us extensive info on the routes we could take and specific details about the individual horses, such as Bill would try to graze on the tall grass along M-185 and how to overcome that.

We were going out along the lake shore and another party was just leaving to go that way, so they had us wait 15 minutes, to allow for separation between the carriages. When we left, Adam took the reigns and walked beside us through the first two turns giving instructions and tips for driving the carriage. Only one person drives and Linda generously took the reigns so I could take photos during the entire trip.

Percherons are gentle giants and we were hardly a load for Bill, but he knew he was in charge and was in no hurry. He walked at a leisurely pace and wouldn't speed up to even a fast walk for more than a couple of seconds, not matter what we did. It was a little frustrating, but still fun and the slow pace let me see things along the shore that I have missed while bicycling the route at a much faster pace.

Bill was so slow that the carriage behind us caught up to us before we went the three miles to British Landing. The couple in the carriage behind us apologized that no matter what they did, their horse went faster than they wanted and they stayed close behind us.

After passing through British Landing and speaking briefly with Mike, who was stationed there to assist people who had rented  carriages, we found a quieter, wider spot where we could pull to the side and let the other carriage go by. Seeing that carriage pull away inspired Bill and he kept up with them for the trip back through the interior of the Island and that part of the ride was more fun. Our route went through the 1814 battlefield and part of the ride was on road I had not been on before.

Back at Jack's Livery Stable, we had a chat with the couple who had passed us, who we learned were on a long road trip from (I believe) California and that they had become engaged earlier in the trip. Their horse was named Belle. We gave them my card and they emailed a couple of days later so I could send them photos of them and their carriage.

The ride took nearly two hours, though the nice people voluntarily took a little time off the rental when I mentioned Bill's speed. This was a lot of fun and something we will do again.

Jack's Livery Stable - Mackinac Island, Michigan
Jack's Livery Stable

Adam and Bill from Jack's Livery Stable - Mackinac Island, Michigan
Adam and Bill

Driving along the west shore on M-185, the only Michigan State Highway where cars are not permitted.

Newly engaged couple on Mackinac Island
Anne Hildebrand and her fiancé Chris Severino with Belle

Bill the horse and Linda and Keith Stokes
Bill, Linda and Keith

Back in town, we walked Market Street, the somewhat quieter street, one block off Main Street, with more galleries, public buildings and year around businesses like a bank and the post office. We window shopped at the real estate office, which had the fewest listing we have seen in years of checking it out. We also visited the Biddle House, a museum in an 1830 merchants house. It has recently been redone to tell more of the story of Agatha Biddle and the indigenous people on Mackinac Island. There is also a blacksmith shop where that craft is demonstrated. 

Biddle House - Mackinac Island, Michigan
Native American history exhibits in the Biddle House

Mackinac Island has many more museums including Fort Mackinac, which was built during the American Revolution, but we have visited all of them several times and didn't return to them during this short two day stay.

After coming back down Main Street, we stopped for an early supper at the new Great Turtle Brewery & Distillery in the old Goodfellows location. We had BBQ chicken flat bread and whitefish, which were both good and we decided to return in the evening to try some of the great looking appetizers. 

BBQ chicken flat bread and whitefish at Great Turtle Brewery and Distillery

After a relaxing evening at the hotel (much of it on the porch) we returned to the distillery just after 9PM, only to learn that they closed at 9. Not wanting to end the evening this early, we walked down to the Pink Pony for a second night. We enjoyed another set by Myk Rise, while having baked whitefish dip, deep fried whitefish fingers and Blake's Hard Cider, which was available on draft.

.Days 1 & 2     Day 3    Day 4    Day 5    Day 6 
Day 7    Day 8    Day 9    Day 10
Previous Page                                                                  Next Page
Keith's other trips       Mighty Mac Home

copyright 2021 by Keith Stokes