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Wildlifer
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Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Athens OH

PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 10:16 am    Post subject: Another Newcomer Reply with quote

Greetings from Athens, OH! I will be a retiree (eek!) as of July 1, and to celebrate my newfound freedom, husband Bob and I are planning to spend 2 weeks on the island July 23-Aug 5. I did lots of web searching to find a place off the well-worn tourist track, and BBI looked like the best choice by far. We are quiet wildlife-watchers who appreciate unspoiled places, and are excited about spending time in such a unique spot.

I have lurked and read a lot on this site, and picked up lots of good advice. We will be sure to pack plenty of bug repellant, a compass, and yes, both binoculars... and pick up a good island map as soon as we get there. Any other helpful tips for enjoying our stay would be very welcome.

I understand that there is a small store on BBI that stocks limited groceries and other items. We will "pack in" a lot of our groceries via the ferry, yet would appreciate knowing what basics we can get locally in order to keep shopping expeditions minimal (and to support the local economy). Also: I can't quite figure out if there is a restaurant operating on the island currently; I can see that there has been one in the past, yet can't be certain if it still exists. I read some 2005 posts about a local tavern; is it open in July and August?

Looking forward to a memorable vacation, and hoping we run into some of you (not literally, of course! ... watch out for two wide-eyed grayhairs and a bright red '98 Outback) while we're there.

Best Regards,
Gwyn (and Bob) Church Smile
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Gwen! (And Bob!) Very Happy Glad you are going to get a taste of our paradise.. Hawks Landing is a store and restaurant.. They have a great breakfast and the basic needs for everyday eating.. You could probably place an order to a store on the mainland thru them if you have a need they can't meet.. Very Happy The tavern is open and I hear, have expanded thier menu of goodies.. I doubt you'll go hungry! Enjoy your visit! Cool
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Dan Reynolds
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to our group of Bois Blanc friends! You have the place pretty well figured out... "Good" maps of the Island are few and far between, but you can learn a lot (and possibly find several willing tour guides) by chatting with the folks at Hawk's, or anywhere else you happen to stop. Also, if it's open when you arrive, stop by the Bois Blanc Historical Society. It's a short drive west of the dock. They'll give you a map showing some 20-odd points of interest around the Island, each of which is marked (although you might really have to look closely to see some of them).

Have a great time, and welcome!
Dan
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doug miller
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what you have already seen on this site and what islanders will tell you, I am sure you will get lots of helpful info.

I don't know if you are staying on the east or west end of the island. However, I think traveling out to the far west end of the island to watch the sun go down over the Mackinac Bridge is well worth the trip even if you are staying on the east end. Also, going to the beach on the north end of Bible Road, putting a couple of beach chairs in the water, reading a good book and looking out at the open water and Mackinac Island in the near distance is also a very pleasant activity.

My other thought--which might sound almost sacreligious in light of your goal to find something off the beaten track--is to consider taking a day to visit something that is on the very well beaten track, but still very worthwhile if you haven't done it. That is, take a visit to our neighbor, Mackinac Island. It is, of course, very different from Bois Blanc. But it has a rich history like few places in Michigan; it has lots of horses that are not just for show--they do lots of the work that cars and trucks would do; it has lots of undisturbed natural areas; quiet old military cemetaries, a big old fort; a golf course out of 1920; beautiful flowers, great views, and some pretty darn good places to eat. (My favorites are the Iroquois Hotel, the Astor Grill (?), and, of course, the Grand Hotel. Plus, you can have a cup of coffee in a quaint little coffee shop that sits on pilings over the water. And for a great spot in town, go to the Library and rock on one of the big rockers on the porch and watch the boat traffic in the harbor. All in all, it can be a nice contrast to the quieter pleasures of Bois Blanc.
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John Elmer Engel
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Joined: 05 Dec 2002
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Location: Bay City-BBI: East End

PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 10:53 pm    Post subject: visit to BBI Reply with quote

Wildlifer, you have picked a good place to "get off the beaten path." There are many "unspoiled" areas on BBI. In fact, there are many spots that are in their original natural condition. If you walk the shores on the East end or the North shore, you will see some of the wonders of the Straits of Mackinaw. The power of the water, wind, and ice and the incredilble flora is as rare as any national park.

I could not disagree more with Doug Miller. History is abundant on Mackinaw Island and BBI. The history Doug is talking about is the invasion of man. Unspoiled areas, areas not touched by man, are much more beautiful and incredible because MAN has not been there...yet. You, and many others, are seeking those rare, original, natural areas that only the forces of nature have visited. They are therapeutic. They are spiritual. They are exceedingly rare and valuable.

Hopefully sooner than later, BBI lovers will realize that preserving the natural beauty of BBI is the most valuable commidity that the island possesses.

Doug, you should live on Mackinaw Island. You love buildings, docks, people all over the place, and find that enjoyable. And that is fine. But please, don't send our beloved guest to Mackinaw Island to find relaxation and tranquility when places right here on BBI offer an escape from the hectic, capitilistic society that surrounds us.

Love ya Doug, but you really don't get it, you don't know what BBI is all about. But you are not alone. Sadly, I think a majority feel that bulldozing shoreline berms flat is ok.

And that is why I have the line at bottom of my post.....
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Dan Reynolds
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John, you're being uncharacteristically harsh on Doug there, and quite presumptuous about his feelings. You think BBI is unspoiled by man? What timber do you think built the Fort and many of the other buildings on Mackinac and the mainland? That's right, Bois Blanc timber. It's a young forest, anywhere you go on the Island. It was "spoiled" many times over as its timber was harvested at man's whim. You are not looking at unspoiled, untouched nature; you're looking at an area that has (luckily) been neglected for a long time.

To tell anyone "You don't know what BBI is all about..." is to take a rather arrogant stance. We all know what BBI is about. It's about what we make it for ourselves and for others. To infer that Doug is into bulldozing shorelines is positively rude.

Love ya, John, but climb down from the soapbox and let's all just enjoy what we have here.

Dan
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Rob
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Joined: 09 May 2002
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Location: Big Rapids, MI., but wishing I was on BBI

PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Dan.


Gwyn and Bob, welcome to the forum. Gwyn, congrats on your retirement. I'm sure the island will be what you're looking for! From what I hear the bar is or will be open this summer with an improved menu from previous years. A call to Plaunts will get you anything you may have forgotten. If you need to replenish your groceries, Glen's market will deliver to Plaunt's dock if you give them 24 hrs notice.

Rob
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Ron Petersen
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Joined: 22 Aug 2002
Posts: 471
Location: Tipton, Iowa

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm wth you Dan, It gets kind of old listening to our self appointed "Tree Cop" - It's tough to think it, but what the island really needs is a good fire in places so the junk forrest areas can grow back to a nice forrest!
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West End Piper
Pines Paramour
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Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 392
Location: Sterling Heights/Lime Kiln Point

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From previous "debates" that we have held in this forum, we know, that we have conservationists of varying degrees, who enjoy the beauty and splendor of the island. For the most part, I think we're all pretty much on the same page. (From what I have read on this site) The question is, "Do you practice what you preach?" I see the "ultra-conservationist" type, as the counterbalance to the less conservation-minded folks out there. A "check" in the system, such as the kind we used to have in our federal government. Sad It is the natural way of things, to have "passionate" folks on either end of the spectrum, and for us to find a "middle-ground" that is, hopefully, tolerable to the masses. Admittedly, I lean toward the "ultra-conservationist" side of the scale, and I like to think that I'm doing my part to preserve the island's natural beauty. However, I realize that there are those who would scoff at me, simply because I have built a cottage on the island......And, there are those who visit my cottage and encourage me to cut down more trees, to improve my view of the lake. You ain't gonna make everybody happy. As a professional firefighter, I have to say that implying that the island needs a "good fire in places" strikes me as a bit irresponsible. I realize that fire is one tool that is utilized in forest management, but it is by no means, the safest tool. Every year, a number of the "controlled" burns, that are set, become uncontrolled and travel far beyond their intended target areas. If the cedars on the island ever got going, fueled by a good wind...... it wouldn't be long, before we'd be looking at a charred chunk of limestone, jutting out of the straits. My point is...where fire is concerned, I feel we have to take an "ultra-conservative" stance on the island. We do not need anyone out there thinking that it would be a good idea to start a "controlled" burn in their "area".
To our soon-to-be-retired guest: Pay no mind to our bantering about. The island is as glorious a place to be, as any I have visited in my lifetime. It is the embodiment of peace and natural beauty for me and my family. There are those who are uncomfortable with the isolated conditions on the island. But, if you are a lover of nature and wildlife and beautiful views... you will find the island most accomodating. Very Happy
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doug miller
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John:

I will try hard to make this my last post on the 'unspoiled nature vs civilization' topic.

I think the flaw in the philosophy you advocate is a fundamental one in that it essentially has no place for man in nature at all. Applied consistently, I am not sure how that philosophy could justify a person even setting foot on BBI, let alone anywhere else on the earth.

We get to the island on a boat largelymade of iron ore taken from the earth and fuel derived from crude oil taken from the earth. The kayaks we use are crude-oil derived petroleum products. Not to mention the oil needed to make the fertilizer that helps grow much of our food.

I believe strongly that we have to cultivate and protect the earth. But I also believe the creations of man--whether it be a bridge or building, have a value and beauty themselves. (When I watch the deer visit my property on a harsh winter day, I am happy to be in a warm home protected from the elements and not out in unspoiled nature).

Concerning my post, I certainly wasn't presuming to tell our visitors what to do, simply suggesting that if they were coming all the way up from Athens, Ohio to visit, they might want to see other sights in the Straits area. And while you may not take pleasure in architecture and human history, many do. They may have no interest in such things, but thought I would inform them of the option in case they did.

As I have said, I am a great fan of Thoreau's Walden. But it is well-known, first, that his cabin in the woods was a short walk from his parents' home, where he often visited and, even, civilized himself, and second, that he only lived in the cabin for a couple of years. I think that well illustrates the nature vs civilization question that individuals and society have to face. I don't know what 'the answer' is, but for me the answer is to enjoy both.

I appreciate your strong feelings on this issue and, frankly, even if I don't agree with you, think your perspective is necessary to ensure that BBI isn't spoiled by inappropriate development.

Just to be clear on a few points:

As I have said in other posts, I don't like and in fact believe that bulldozing beach berms flat should be prohibited.

I do love Mackinac Island. For those who can see past the souvenir sales on the Main Street (which, given the numbers who participate, is not all bad either), its preservation of history in a natural setting is pretty wonderful.

Finally, I think what BBI is all about depends very much on who you talk to. And when you consider that almost everyone on the island has cleared land to build a cottage, I think at the very least what the island is about is altering nature to allow man to live comfortably there.

Anyway, no more from me on this topic.
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West End Piper
Pines Paramour
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Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 392
Location: Sterling Heights/Lime Kiln Point

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whew! I have to admit, I'm glad to see a little controversy on the site again. No offense to any of the recent posters, but you have to admit, the content has been a little dry for the past couple of weeks. I was even beginning to hope that 'ol Charlie Trie would toss something out there to get the hornets a'buzzin!!
Laughing
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Troy
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Joined: 07 Jul 2002
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan,
I don't think John was being uncharacteristically harsh on Doug and quite presumptuous about his feelings. He seems to do this alot.

I understand his feelings and want to protect the island also, but it does get old, watching him turn every discussion into a his crusade about how everyone else is destroying the island. He seems to believe he is the only one that wants to preserve the natural beauty of the island and the rest of us are, in John's words, "idiots".

John, there is a Conservation Corner in the forum, feel free to start as many threads as you like, but stop ruining other peoples threads with your preaching and arrogant attitiude.

Peace, out! Very Happy
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John Elmer Engel
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Joined: 05 Dec 2002
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Location: Bay City-BBI: East End

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"He seems to believe he is the only one that wants to preserve the natural beauty of the island and the rest of us are, in John's words, "idiots". "


Troy, I expect that even you may have called someone in your lifetime an idiot. I called ONE person an idiot in this forum based on his/her actions. I don't know you, Troy. Why would I call you an idiot? Doug is a big boy and he responded in a manner which I appreciate and respect. To print that I think people that don't see things like I do are idiots is just plain false.

Quote:
Tree cop


I have trees cut on BBI that constitute my porch. I fully realize that natural materials are part of what makes the world go 'round on BBI and everywhere else.

I lean hard toward preservation I am for open conversation. I am for growth on BBI. Compromise is the key word. To me, this word means 'what will I give up to keep this place as beautiful as possible.' For so many it means giving up nothing. And that is a problem in my opinion.

I am sorry that this is not in the conservation section. It should be. And I promise, from this day forth, I will not turn every conversation into conservation. Say that ten times fast.
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KELLY
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Joined: 04 May 2006
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Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW WHAT A WAY TO WRECK SOMEONES EXCITEMENT AND INTEREST IN THE ISLAND COULD YOU HAVE CHOSE ANOTHER FORUM TO ARGUE IN, ALL OF THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PERSONS ORIGINAL QUESTION.
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doug miller
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can only say that the various points of view expressed on this site will give visitors and others a realistic rather than stereotypical understanding of island life. In short, BBI is not a predictable tv sitcom or drama--it is a real place with real people with strengths and weaknesses. Its more like the old show Northern Exposure than the old show Ally McBeal (My apologies in advance to Ally McBeal fans.)

The nice thing on BBI is that it is very easy for islanders and visitors to avoid what they want to avoid and enjoy what they want to enjoy.
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KELLY
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Joined: 04 May 2006
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CANT WE ALL JUST GET ALONG LIKE THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON'S HA,HA
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Squeaky
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Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What in the world is wrong with Doug mentioning Mackinaw Island? Yes, BBI is a wonderful place to come to but why not mention these little day trips? That close to Mackinaw Island and not go there to tour the Island? So many other places to go while you are staying at BBI. Make the most of your vacation. There are many and I mean many who come to BBI that go to Mackinaw Island and other places too. Have a great summer all! Cool
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Wildlifer
Black Fly Bait


Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Athens OH

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 2:47 pm    Post subject: I'm still enthused! Reply with quote

Wow, what a great group! Plenty of variety here! #Fadeing color

Thanks so much, everyone, for your helpful and colorful replies. I feel reassured that we chose a terrific place for our vacation, and that BBI holds a wealth of interesting and caring people.

Not to worry, I can handle some controversy, especially when it comes to taking care of Mother Earth. I've been living in a college town for 33 years, surrounded by Appalachian foothills, coal miners, back-to-the-landers, conservation groups, and littering students with no appreciation for the town or the lush forests nearby. Over the years I have become a compulsive recycler and tree planter. I also see the conflict between the development necessary to bring more jobs to our region, and the need to preserve the natural beauty that draws people here in the first place. There are no easy answers; Bob and I do what we can when we can, and we keep most of our 1-1/2 acres untouched to provide wildlife habitat.

I appreciate the warm and lively welcome.

All the Best,
--Gwyn
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KELLY
Memory Maker
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Joined: 04 May 2006
Posts: 86
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree mackinaw island is a beautiful place. How wonderful to live or visit Bois Blanc and be able to go visit the wonderful places around them. Upper Michigan is so beautiful.
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Al'sOtherSister
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Location: Traverse City, Michigan

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Susie and I, as we have in the past, would like to welcome one and all to stop and say a Howdy-doo to us, when we are up there the last weekend of July.
We have a cousins reunion, usually at the firehall, and one year had a gathering of website folk on the North Shore.
Gwyn and Bob, please feel free to visit us, usually at Al's(little cabin across from school) or out to Sand Bay( Brother, Mike White) first house past the private road sign. Or at the reunion, usually on Sunday, at the fire hall.
Lisa (White) Ramsberger
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John Elmer Engel
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Joined: 05 Dec 2002
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Location: Bay City-BBI: East End

PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 7:15 am    Post subject: Welcome Gwyn and Bob Reply with quote

Again, welcome Gwyn and Bob.

The suggestions given in this forum for ways to enjoy the Straits of Mackinaw are all great.

I was way off base, way off base, making the comments concerning Doug Miller's post.

I was arrogant, presumptuous, and yes, an idiot to say such mean spirited things. No excuses. It won't happen again.

Being retired and having a spot on BBI is a gift that just keeps on giving. There is nothing like BBI, the center of the greatest fresh water watershed on earth.

Enjoy.
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bknoll
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Joined: 02 Oct 2002
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Location: Linden, Michigan

PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said John.......I respect your passion for the island and preserving its beautiful state.

Now....lets meet this summer and talk about the beauty of the Full-House T and the Wing T!!!!
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NJean
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Joined: 25 Sep 2003
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Location: Lapeer

PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Gwen and Bob. Your coming to the right place for all the right reasons. I have felt from the first day I stepped on the island that it was like walking back in time. BBI has the quaint little red schoolhouse like my mother taught in, several historical sites, the great outdoors with lakes, trees and trails, yet it is still civilized on a small scale with a store, post office, fire hall, real estate office, restaurant, bar, hotel, and the #1 Bed and Breakfast in the state of Michigan...etc. No one is in a hurry here and most come to escape the rat race, traffic and technology of the busy world. The only one in a hurry here is Curt Plaunt and crew trying to get everyone here that wants to escape the mainland and the rat race. And they do a great job. Hope you enjoy your stay!! Very Happy
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