The winds are strong as we head toward Mackinac Island (38NM) blowing 15 to 20 knots with a 4 foot chop but we make the trip in about 5 hours and pull into the East Dock Marina. The marina here is tiny but sufficient and gives us access to this amazing state park. Mackinac Island (pronounced Mackinaw) was first used as a summer fishing spot by the Great Lakes American Indians. They called the island Michilimackinac which meant ‘place of the great turtle’ because of the hump-backed shape of the island. Later the name was shortened to Mackinac. Much like Sault Ste. Marie the island was then further established by European settlers creating missions followed by forts, war (site of the first battle of the War of 1812), fur trading, fishing and then tourism. The island was declared a U.S. national park from 1875 to 1895 (the second national park created after Yellowstone). In 1895 the park was then turned over to the State of Michigan, becoming Mackinac Island State Park, the first state park in Michigan. The majority of the buildings and homes on the island date to the mid 1800’s and are kept in near perfect condition with meticulously manicured gardens and flowers everywhere. Cars are not allowed on the island as when they first arrived in 1898 they startled the carriage horses and were banned by the Village Council. So without cars you then have horses doing all the work...and bicycles...thousands of bicycles. The main streets team with bike riders of all shapes and sizes, ages and capabilities. The bikes, combined with horse carriages and drayage, results in an overwhelming effect on the senses...especially your sense of smell! During our first foray into the town we have a beer at the renowned ‘Pink Pony’ bar and on our return to the boat Larry meets the owner of a bike shop (Jim Fisher of Mackinac Wheels) and they arrange to do a ride the next day. On his return Larry is ecstatic to have finally gotten out on the trails for a 13 mile ride. I jog around the island (8 miles), just me and hundreds of bike riders. Later we toured Fort Mackinac and then had a beer on the famous porch of the Grand Hotel. The following day we go for a 16 mile bike ride around and up and over the island to visit Fort Holmes, the airport, and the art museum. Dinner at the Grand Hotel that night was a fabulous end to this great day.