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How 500 horses get to Mackinac Island each spring

An evening pause: As noted at this website:

The island was America’s second national park (after Yellowstone National Park) for 20 years and has been the state of Michigan’s first state park. The island has had a ban on automobiles since the earliest days and still has the only highway in the nation where cars are banned.

Apparently, during the winter the horses are taken to the mainland for their benefit, and then returned in the spring in preparation for the summer tourism season. As this is the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, the start of the summer season, this seems most appropriate for tonight.

Hat tip Wayne DeVette.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • wayne

    MGM Presents: James A. Fitzpatrick’s Travel Talks
    Mackinac Island (1944)

  • Col Beausabre

    So what did the horses do before there was a park? Winter over on the island like nature intended? I thought the NPS was trying not to interfere with nature. Silly me

  • Shadow Merchant

    @Col Beausabre: “So what did the horses do before there was a park? Winter over on the island like nature intended? I thought the NPS was trying not to interfere with nature. Silly me”

    These are working draft and saddle horses that carry goods and people around the island, in place of cars and trucks. There were no horses on the island before they were brought out there for this purpose, and they were never allowed to wander around like wild horses. They all live in corrals and livery stables when they are not hauling wagons or carrying riders..

  • Bugs Cawfey

    End of the clip, that’s why the trucker’s union is called teamsters. Those who control a team of horses.

  • wayne

    You’re thinking of the “Chincoteague Pony Swim,” where the NPS forces the horses to swim across a channel every year, then auctions off the ponies above the number they determine the Island can support.

  • wayne

    97th Annual Pony Swim & Auction:
    Chincoteague Pony Swim – July 27, 2022

    “On the last Wednesday before the last Thursday in July, the wild Chincoteague Ponies are herded across the Assateague Channel in order to auction the foals to maintain the herd size at 150 adult ponies.”

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