Day 1 Hot Dogging it thru Michlimackinac

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The Bone trekked up to GR to hand with Mike on the Thursday night for the tour to check out Mike awesome home. This positioned the Boys to start out early in the morning around 8:00, loaded with a faux "Hall of Shame", carrying delicious NA American hoppy IPA's!  Their objective for the day was to make it to Marquette, in order to be well-position to hike the iconic Porcupine Mountains the next morning.

Meandering M22 (Literally!)

The Boys took a leisurely drive along M22 up along the teal-blue Lake M coastline, stopping to tour a very high end Golf resort. As the Boys approached the town of Empire, they realized they were about two hours of course, turned left for Traverse City and boogied down M-72 to I-75.  Enroute, it was crystal clear how clean the lake they call Crystal Lake!

 

Crystal Clear on Crystal Lake

The Boys took a leisurely drive along M22 up along the teal-blue Lake M coastline, stopping to tour a very high end Golf resort. As the Boys approached the town of Empire, they realized they were about two hours of course, turned left for Traverse City and boogied down M-72 to I-75.  Enroute, it was crystal clear how clean the lake is they call Crystal Lake!

 

Weinerlicious is not (and let me repeat) NOT delicious!!

It was about 1:00, when Mike and Bone arrived in that tepid tourist trap called Mackinaw City. Hungry, the Boys thought they would check out the novel hot dog stand called "Weinerlicious." Unfortunately Bone did not do his research, a review on Trip Advisor stated "Take a picture, skip the hotdog Like many others, the reviewers were drawn in by the flashy building design." They, like Mike and Bone thought hotdogs were always a safe bet. They were all wrong! The dogs were not cooked through, lukewarm at best and overloaded with condiments (mainly the relish). As an added kick in the sear, the service was not visitor friendly. Totally unsatisfied, the Boys turned there attention to a very cool historical site a mere two blocks from them,,,,, Fort Michlimackinac!

Boys took a leisurely drive along M22 up along the teal-blue Lake M coastline, stopping to tour a very high end Golf resort. As the Boys approached the town of Empire, they realized they were about two hours of course, turned left for Traverse City and boogied down M-72 to I-75.  Enroute, it was crystal clear how clean the lake is they call Crystal Lake!

 

Mighty Mac: The Mackinaw Bridge!

 

The Pioneering Cross Roads of the Great Lakes: Fort Michilimackinac (1715 - 1781)!!!

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Back in the old days, if you wanted to control trade and access countries like France and Britain looked for control points in navigable waters. In 1600's it was in the area where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. Control that area that the Indians called "Michilimackinac," and your control the adjoining lakes. The name comes from the Anishinaabek Indian Tribe, which called this area and Mackinac Island, "Michilimackinac," meaning place of the great turtle. Why great turtle? Because the limestone island15 miles out looks like a green tortoise's shell! ort Michilimackinac.

Mike and Bone bantered (as always) through the Visitor Center to the path along the lake to the reconstructed Fort, they read how on these shores where the two great lakes, Michigan and Huron, meet, Frenchmen Constant Le Marchand de Lignery built a wooden fort in 1715. The Fort was established as a way station for a French expedition planning to return to the area after abandoning many Natives and traders to establish present-day Detroit. The expedition was to subdue the disgruntled Fox Indians north of the area, with part of the expedition returning to Quebec and part remaining to garrison the Fort.

The Fort was established on the site of a Jesuit Mission to help protect and facilitate trade throughout New France. When the fort was built, it originally stood 380 feet by 360 feet, and contained within its walls a parade ground, Commanding Officerís house, Indian Council House, traderís houses, and guardhouse. The French primarily used it for a trading post with Indians and French voyageurs across the northern plains and Great Lakes. Maintaining a wooden fort at the straights with the heavy winds, snow, and ice was not easy. Every new commanding officer at the Fort, found it in disrepair and in need of major renovations. By 1778 the Fort had expanded to enclose over 100 buildings.

 

Commanding Officers House

Fort Michilimackinac, while not directly involved in the French and Indian War (AKA Seven Years Wars) with Britain, from 1754 to 1763, it did change hands over to the British and was one of the bloodiest sites of the spin-off war, Pontiac's Rebellion. The  French and Indian War ended with the French telling the local Indian Tribes to not trust the English, they would not give them the "gifts" and favorable trade deals that the French had given.  In 1761, the French garrison left the Mackinac Straits after the French and Indian War subsided and British troops arrived.

 

Working Gardens in the Fort

Officer's Barracks

"Lacrosse, anyone?"

French had encouraged the Ojibwa Tribe to get rid of the English. The Indians had a brilliant plan of attack,  it was quite clever in itís design and was how many of the smaller Forts were taken. The local tribes would formulate some reason to get inside the walls of the Fort and smuggle in their weapons and catch the British soldiers and settlers by surprise. The Natives at Michilimackinac began playing what we would compare to lacrosse, where quite often the British Soldiers of the Fort would watch.

With that in mind the Indians asked the British soldiers if they would like to watch as the Ojibwa were to take on the Sauks. They were said to have mentioned the game was in honor of the British King George III. As described by Alexander Henry a British trader, who wrote a book on the attack, stated that the Natives began the game, while he was not at the game or the Fort, he was outside preparing a canoe to go to Montreal. He heard the battle cries begin and went outside to witness what he described as ďI saw several of my countrymen fall, and more than one struggling between the knees of an Indian who, holding him in this manner, scalped him while yet living.Ē Henry states that the French Canadians of the fort were left unharmed and did nothing to try to stop the Native invasion.

Henry managed to escape the ordeal by hiding in the basement of one of the French Canadians houses outside of the fort. This was actually very uncommon, most of the French Canadians did nothing to help any of the British settlers. Even the house where Henry took refuge in turned him away when he was looking for a place to hide out. In fact, the owner of the house did not invite him in. While Henry was seeking help, he ended up sneaking in with the assistance of the manís slave. The attack took many lives of the British soldiers and British settlers. The lack of French Canadian help during all of the different attacks on Forts was reported. They did not help the Natives attack or the British seeking refuge and were spared by the tribes that were raiding the Fort. As mentioned before the French and the Natives had a very strong relationship. Which was shown during the sieges on the various forts.

 

A View from the Parapets

As terrible as this attack was, there were warning signs that were ignored in the days and weeks leading up to June 4th attack. There were many fur traders that had warned Major George Etherington (the British commanding officer of the fort) of the increasing Native American activity in the area to which he ignored. Etherington became so annoyed with these warnings he threatened to have the next person who spoke of this to be sent to Fort Detroit and imprisoned.

Had he taken these warnings seriously this attacked most likely would not have been avoided but more casualties would have ensued. The fort was well armed and with taking the warning seriously the British garrison would have been prepared and could have prepared to defend themselves. Etherington would not have been caught off guard however A British victory would have been very difficult as they only had around 50 men and the Native Americans were said to have somewhere between 400 and 500. The attack would have cost the lives of many more Natives as they were armed with Tomahawks, which could not compete with the British muskets of the time. All in all the warning of the imminent attack may have helped the British defend themselves better, the outcome would have remained the same.

With the superiority of the British weapons they would have inflicted more casualties to the Natives, but they were so grossly outnumbered that eventually they would have ran out of ammunition and been overrun by the Natives. This attack, which was fifth in the string of attacks, in Pontiacís Rebellion. This attack was very successful as the British did not send reinforcement to the Fort. It took the British a year to reclaim the Fort.

 

A From the Ramparts, they watched..... the Mighty Mac!

The British eventually did retake the Fort peacefully the following year by offering gifts to the Ojibwa and agreed to treat them more like the French did before the Rebellion. Meaning that the British would not send as many settlers to their lands and they would do more trade with them. The outcome of Pontiacís Rebellion was that Pontiac surrendered in 1766 and while the British won on paper, they did not defeat the Indians. While the Indian uprising was very successful at first, where they took many of the smaller British Forts such as Michilimackinac and, although not taking over Fort Detroit, won many of the battles while surrounding it. The British did not necessarily beat them in many battles, they instead sought a political end to the rebellion. Pontiac eventually gave in to their peace offer as he was having trouble finding warriors due to disease that had hit the Natives hard during this time. Knowing that eventually the British would defeat them, The Indians agreed to the British peace terms. So the Native Americans did part of what they set out to do. Though, they did not completely drive out the British they achieved gaining respect from them. As for Fort Michilimackinac, the British regained control a year after the massacre.

 

The British Abandon the Fort (1783)

The Fort was a tactical nightmare to defend, although it was a great trading post, however the Fort's walls were made of wood and it was not strategically placed or properly built for defensive purposes. With the crazy patriots fomenting the American Revolution, the British came to the realization that they needed to move, so they relocated to Mackinac Island and made a much more reliable and defendable Fort. This included better walls that were constructed out of limestone. This island fort, they believed, would be easier to defend than Michilimackinac. The British took everything that would move out of Fort Michilmackinaw, then burnt the remainder to the ground.

 

The Ongoing Archaeological digs in Fort Michilimackinac

After the British burned the Fort, it was forgotten and presumed lost, until its foundations were "discovered" in 1931. In 1959 it became a State Park and in 1960 the Fort grounds were designated a National Historic Landmark. The grounds were then restored, through archaeologically-informed reconstruction. Today, the fort and grounds operate as part of Colonial Michilimackinac State Park. Interpreters, both paid and volunteer, help bring the history to life with music, live demonstrations and reenactments, including musket and cannon firing demonstrations. The site has numerous reconstructed historical wooden structures based on archeological excavations.

Fort Michilimackinac is considered one of the most extensively excavated early colonial French archaeological sites in the United States. When Mike and Bone talked to some students, since the archaeological digs started in 1961 only 60% of the Fort has been studied. For example, the location of where Alexander Henry lived and hid has not been uncovered yet.

As they were walking around, Mike noticed that some how the time had gotten away from them! The foray back to 1673, cost them two hours, since they had a looong way to drive to get to Marquette, it was time to drive across that Mighty Mac Bridge!

C'mon Bone! Time to Go!

As they were walking around, Mike noticed that some how the time had gotten away from them! The foray back to 1673, cost them two hours, since they had a looong way to drive to get to Marquette, it was time to drive across that Mighty Mac Bridge!

Go West Young,,,, er Old Men, along M-2!

As the Boys crossed the Bridge they headed to Escanaba where you catch the most direct route to Marquette. This route treated Mike and Bone to a delightful drive along the always picturesque Lake M!

C'mon Bone! Time to Go!

Mike and Bone made into Marquette just as the sun was setting. Marquette is the largest city in the UP. Named after the French Jesuit missionary and explorer, Jacques Marquette, the City is known for its scenic beauty, plus a160+ years of iron mining, forestry, and shipping. It is also a great college town, hosting  Northern Michigan University, with notable alumni such as Lloyd Carr. Getting a Hotel was a little more challenging then expected with the Covid-vacation scene, more Michiganders were staying in-state, fortunately getting a reasonable room (one place wanted $598 a night!), the Boys headed out to find some victuals to ease their hunger pangs. Once more fortune, smiled on Mike and Bone!

 

Table Stakes with a Coupla of awesome Steak's @ a Marquette Chop House !!

Mike and Bone have had more than their fair share of luck when it comes to cool pubs and restaurants. The Marquette Chop House was no different. Due to Covid, many of the restaurants and pubs were either closed, carry out only, or limited hours. Walking into the Marquette Chop House around 9:45 PM, they were told that the restaurant was closing in 15 minutes, by a snotty waiter, at which point the Bartender, said "Guys have a seat at the Bar, no rush, you will love it," and the did! Mike and Bone ordered two of their best Rib Eyes, where Mike celebrated with a great glass of Cab, and Bone with an "old-fashioned" old fashion, perfectly made.

The Bartender regaled the Boys with stories of meeting his wife in Brazil, their travels through California, Florida, and eventual back to his home town of Marquette!  By the time they finished dinner, it was pushing 11:00 PM, the Boys left a great tip and headed to the Hotel for some much needed rest!