Friday, July 11, 2008

Mill Creek Discovery Park

As the hosts of the WIN gathering here in St. Ignace, MI, we scheduled an activity for each day. Yesterday's activity was our big surprise and, although the entire group didn't participate, the 11 of us who did had a wonderful time. We headed south across the bridge and three miles past Mackinaw City to Mill Creek Discovery Park. This is a Mackinac State Historic Park and, except for the ticket purchasing process, is very organized and nicely maintained.

The original sawmill was built here in 1780. This is a recreation of it, built as authentically as possible according to all the historical information available and artifacts from the site, as well as the teeth marks on timbers from buildings of the time.

There was a demonstration of the process of sawing logs into boards. I believe the statistic was that two men could saw 14 boards a day. The lower man actually worked in a pit (and was not a member of the audience with safety goggles.)

Then we saw the automated process which could produce 200 boards a day. It was really interesting to watch. The water quickly spun a wheel that was only about three feet in diameter, which powered the saw.

After the demonstration, a naturalist gave an informal talk and pulled this snake out of his shirt. Yuck. He did admit that was probably why he was still single.

All that was very interesting, but not what I came for. For $5 more than the regular entrance fee, we had ourselves an adventure! First was the climbing wall. Ron passed this challenge with flying colors as he fairly flew up the wall.

I had to post this shot of Nancy because she was just adorable. Not everyone can climb and look good at the same time.

Here we are all suited up in harnesses and helmets. It always makes me a little nervous when you have to sign a liability waiver to have fun.

Next we crossed the Forest Canopy Bridge. Although it wasn't exactly in the canopy of the forest, it was up pretty high as it crossed Mill Creek from bluff to bluff. Here's Ron, still smiling.

Then for the finale, what I really came for - the zip line. This is something I've wanted to do for awhile. And where else can you experience it for $5? Since I went first, there is no picture of me, but here's Ron!

Arlien had the best style. She could be on the advertising brochure (except for the mosquito netting over her face.)

And the funniest was my sister Diana who managed to take a movie on the way down and still smile for the camera.

Diana has that video on her blog, click here to see it.


  1. Great shots and write-up! And a fantastic shot of me! Sooooo sorry I didn't get one of you.

  2. I am so glad you got such a great shot of "Fred". She was very photogenic. Glad you had you a good time.

    Gary Kendall
    Mill Creek Naturalist 2001-2009