Five Stunning Pure Michigan Instagram Fan Photos from September

As summer turned to fall, our Pure Michigan fans captured some absolutely stunning shots from around the state this September. From sunsets to skylines, the photos shared by our Pure Michigan Instagram community never cease to amaze!  Here are a few of our favorites from this month. For more fan photos, check out our June, July, and August roundups and follow us on Instagram.

A sunny day at the Fort Mackinac Tea Room by @mikeconnick:

 Waves crash at Pictured Rocks on Lake Superior. Photo by @tfeutz:

A spectacular orange and yellow sunset in Grand Marais, MI by @smilesbeek:

A nighttime view of the glowing Detroit skyline captured by @michaellaxphotography:

A fall breeze blows across Lake Michigan. Photo by @hansenca:

If you’re on Instagram, follow us @puremichigan! If you’d like us to share your photos from across the state, please tag them with #PureMichigan to give us permission to repost.

A Mackinac Island Family Reunion

Sometimes life gets so busy that it’s tough to take a timeout and just enjoy your surroundings. John Truscott knows that feeling well, but was able to take a break last summer and enjoy what Pure Michigan has to offer during a Mackinac Island weekend getaway with his family. Today he shares his experience with us.

When I get to Mackinac Island these days, it’s typically for work. A conference, a meeting, or something that keeps me from truly appreciating the beauty and tranquility of this jewel. While the ferry ride is always nice, once I hit the Island, it’s time to go to work. No time to ride around the island, stop for fudge, or just relax and enjoy.

Except for last summer. My family went to Mackinac Island like we used to – as a family. It was my parents’ 50th Anniversary; and I was a tourist!  What an incredible weekend. With my brother and sister and nieces and nephew, we enjoyed the Island like it’s supposed to be enjoyed.

The weather was absolutely perfect – warm sun and cool breezes. It was heavenly. One of the evenings, we just grabbed some pizzas and hung out in the park below the fort. Lying in the grass, appreciating the family time and letting the young kids run. This incredible memory will last a lifetime.

And I was able to ride bikes with my teenage nieces around the Island. When you don’t have time for that ride, it’s easy to forget how beautiful it is. The blue water was like a mirror and warm enough to wade in. It had been a while since I had skipped rocks in the big lake. I felt like a kid again.

But we surely didn’t miss out on some adult time at the Pink Pony bar, located on the water at the Chippewa Hotel. The Caribbean has nothing on this spot.  Better yet, we didn’t have to worry about driving home. The automobile was banned on Mackinac Island in the later 1890s.

That long weekend brought out the kid in me again. We used to take our yearly family vacation to the Island, and it was always magical. Unfortunately, the work of the real world these days had dulled a little bit of the magic. Until that one summer weekend. It was like the younger days as a family, but yet more fun because we had even more family to share this incredible experience. It just might have been the best family trip ever.And on the last day – I ran to the ferry, jumped in the car, drove straight to the airport in Detroit – to jet out for another conference. But I did it with a big smile on my face and great memories to cherish.

Go to mackinacisland.org to plan your next family reunion.

John Truscott is a President and Principal of Truscott Rossman, a bipartisan public relations firm, and a huge fan of Mackinac Island.

Sharing History: Summer at Fort Mackinac

By working as a soldier at Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island, Niall Farley’s summer job in Michigan is anything but ordinary. Today he shares a little bit about what this role entails.

I wake up a little before 8am, get ready and grab my bicycle for the short ride to work. Not uncommon for college-aged folks working summer jobs in Michigan, but my summer job is anything but common.

I am a soldier at Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island.

Now in my fourth season, I’m responsible for overseeing the daily interpretative programs as lead interpreter. Dressed as a sergeant in the U.S. Army in the 1880s, I lead tours through the fort, clean, prime, load and fire a model 1841 cannon and an original Springfield 45/70 rifle.

This is the 55th year of historical interpretive programming at Mackinac State Historic Parks. Each year, May through mid-October, we open our gates to visitors from every state and more than 50 countries. It’s one of my favorite parts of my job, seeing how much not just people from Michigan, but people from all over the world enjoy the view, the history and taking part in our interpretive programs

I was drawn to this job for a number of reasons–the chance to spend my summers on beautiful Mackinac Island, the opportunity to tell stories about this fascinating place, and of course, the hats.

During the winter, I study as an English major at Oakland University in Rochester Hills and live in my small hometown of Almont. While history has not been my area of study, I’ve become fascinated by the important events that have taken place throughout the Straits of Mackinac, and sharing them with visitors makes my every day at Fort Mackinac an enjoyable experience, it hardly seems like work.

Are you planning to explore the history at Fort Mackinac this summer? Share with us below!