Mackinac Part 2

I spent the second half of my summer on Mackinac Island driving tours. Halfway through the season, a couple of tour guides had to leave. So between being short-handed and all of the barn managers wanting to get rid of the girl amongst them, I was drafted to drive tours. Now when I say drive, I mean driving a horse drawn tour carriage of course.

I spent the first week of my new assignment riding shotgun to other tour guides who had been doing this all season so that I could learn the spiel. I tried to drag this part out for as long as possible. Anything to not have to actually interact with the tourists themselves. I wasn’t worried about driving the buggy, that was easy. It was delivering the exact same speech 20+ times a day to varying degrees of success that had me daunted. Some carriages were full of happy, laughing people willing to at least giggle at every little worn joke I threw at them. But more than I care to remember were full of tourists taking a tour simply because they were tired of walking and could care less what I was prattling on about.

Overall it was a good experience. I was thrilled when I didn’t have to do it anymore and would have gladly gone back to the barns and all of their ribbing, heaving of heavy tack and stacking of hay bales at any time. But I fell into a rhythm with giving tours that I never had with the barn work. My days passed relatively quickly and easily. I fell in love with my team of horses and even managed to secure a truce with all the barn men. By the end of the summer we had a healthy respect for each other.

The whole experience made me expand outward. Dilate my being so to speak. And I fell in love with the island itself. Once you get past all of the tourist trap crap, it’s such a beautiful place with such amazing history. Plus on one 8.2 mile round island you can find 27 bars and 19 fudge shops, what more could you ask for?

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