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A Trip Back In Time

The first thing tourists need to know about a trip to Mackinac Island is that cars are not allowed.

It's not that there isn't enough parking, or enough gas stations, or there's terrible traffic on Main Street. Cars are not allowed. Period.

If you visit Mackinac Island, you leave your car on the mainland and take a ferry over. And once you're there, you rent a bike — or take a hike. If you're feeling lazy, you hop on a horse-drawn wagon. Skateboards: yes. Motorbikes: no.

Chris Shepler and his family have been on the job for three generations. They run the ferry boats. Dave Price asked Chris why his family has stayed there for so many years.

"I think just the beauty of it all," he said. "The people in northern Michigan make it, Mackinac Island makes it, Mackinac Island's a great place to hang out, to vacation and, you know, to live in as well."

There are 600 horses and 800 bikes on Mackinac; cars were banned in 1898. When Dave came to visit, he rented a tandem bike. Though it took a while for him to find someone brave enough to ride with him, one woman was happy to hop on board and she took Dave on a tour of the "downtown," such as it was.

They shopped till they dropped, took some photos and ate some of the justifiably famous Mackinac Island fudge. In fact, tourists here are called "fudgies" because the first thing you do on Mackinac is try the fudge.

And once their sweet tooth is satisfied, tourists can go hiking, boating, horseback riding — or just lounge around and look at the water and the sublime sunsets.

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