I See the Bridge First




When my brother and I were kids, we had a game where we’d try to see who would be the first to spot the Mackinaw Bridge on our way to Wisconsin. We’d try all sorts of dirty tricks to distract the other as we approached the Straits of Mackinaw, hoping that the other would glance away at just the right time so that we could claim the victory of spotting the bridge first. Well, today, as John and I headed up to Mackinaw City, as we got close, my brother said, “Hey, look. There are some windmills.” Like an idiot, I looked, and just that quickly, he shouted, “I see the Bridge!” Curses, foiled again!

We located our motel and checked in. It is probably one of the few remaining old family-run motels in the city. The décor is straight out of the 50’s/60’s but it is clean and near the water and downtown, and the price is much more reasonable than most of the other motels in the area. We’ll do just fine tonight.

Let me backtrack just a minute. On our way up to Mackinaw City, we were able to stop enroute to have lunch with a dear family friend who had also been a former co-worker of our mom and dear friend of hers, too. It was just great to be able to spend a bit of time with her and to trade stories about times spent traveling with Mom. Dorothy and Mom traveled a lot together and she had also made the trip out to Minnesota that we are currently taking so she was quite familiar with all the landmarks (and relatives) that we were describing. By the way, did you notice that even in Michigan, we aren’t that far from Texas. Do you see the hat the gentleman is wearing in the background?

All too soon, it was time to say goodbye and head back out onto the highway. But first we wanted to gas up the Prius. Now, with my brother driving MUCH faster than I did out from PA to Michigan, we aren’t getting the wonderful 60+mpg that I was getting. We’re only getting between 46-52 mpg. However, we had quite a laugh when we pulled up to the pumps and waited and waited for a car in front of us to finish. That lady just kept pumping gas so we finally pulled around her and found another pump. After filling up our car with 4 ½ gallons, we looked around and everyone we had originally been waiting on was STILL pumping gas. We actually drove next door to an empty parking lot and sat there and computed our mileage and as we drove off, those unlucky folks were STILL pumping gas. Ah, you have to love a hybrid vehicle.

Back in Mackinaw City, we put our things in the motel room and decided to drive around town and check out how things had changed. As we drove through the town, John braked hard at one intersection. Something hard banged into the console divider between our seats. “Yikes, what was that?” I yelped. John turned around to take a quick look.

“It’s Mom,” he said. We started to laugh.

“She doesn’t want to miss anything,” I replied.

We parked and got out and walked down by the entrance to Ft. Michilimackinac. On the way we passed this old lighthouse. The only thing that marred our evening stroll were the many mosquitoes that were out.

Back towards our motel, we parked again and walked over towards a Coast Guard ship to take pictures and then took the time to stroll through the grounds of an arts and crafts fair.

We couldn’t resist standing next to these buoys. Since they are on dry land, you can get an idea of the size of these things, since much of each buoy is hidden below the surface of water. Then we did some investigating to see where we wanted to eat supper. We settled on a family diner a bit aways from downtown. The line was out the door. It was all good though because we struck up a conversation with a nice couple from Colorado and the time passed swiftly.

It was time to enjoy the bounty of Michigan’s Great Lakes….fried whitefish and homemade mashed potatoes. But let’s not forget the one thing that you HAVE to get when you go through Mackinaw City…

Fudge! Goodnight all! Next stop – Wisconsin!


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