By now most people in life know what a “Bucket List” is. That list you put either on paper, on your computer or maybe just floating around in your head of things you would like to do before you kick the bucket. I’ve been using Pinterest to add to different places I would like to see or projects I’d like to do. But there’s one thing that’s been on my Bucket List for a few years now and I finally had the opportunity to check that baby off the list!
Born and raised in Michigan I grew up with many beautiful sites around me. But there is one place there that not only stands in majestic beauty but also links the two peninsulas of the great state of Michigan together, the Mackinac Bridge or Mighty Mac!
Growing up, my big adventure of travel was always to our cottage on Little Bear Lake in Michigan. It was a short four hour drive to summer bliss. The tiny 3 room cottage overlooking the lake with no hot water still to this day is one of my favorite places in the world. Sometimes, we would make the trek a little further north, up and over the Mackinac Bridge, then ferry over to Mackinac Island.
The Mackinac Bridge was built finally in 1957 to connect the two peninsulas. And every year since then they have one day when they allow people to walk across the bridge, Labor Day. The governor of Michigan always leads the 5 mile walk across the straits of Michigan. The Mighty Mac is the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere. The weight of the bridge is carried by cables that suspend from towers along the bridge.
With this knowledge in my head, going up and over the bridge in our car has always been a slight challenge for me. Knowing that people died making the bridge and a few after plus knowing that a few cars have plunged over the bridge, makes me a little jittery. Part of the bridge in the middle has no cement road… just grates. My thought is: all that is needed is a slight breeze and my car will blow off the bridge. Well, the good people of Michigan have that taken care of. In windy conditions the bridge closes. Trust me I pay close attention to the weather when going over the Mac Bridge.
I was going to walk the Mac a few years ago to conquer my fear when I attended a class reunion. But became very ill and was barely able to get out of bed let alone walk over a bridge. But this year, I was back in Michigan visiting family and friends at the right time of year (Labor Day) and decided it was now or never.
I asked my sister Janice if she would pretty please come with me. I knew it would be a great time for us to just walk and talk about everything. We came with water, sweatshirts and a happy attitude that this was something very important to me. My brother in law Dennis and my sister Jennifer dropped us off in St. Ignace so that we could walk to Mackinac City. From there a bus would shuttle us back to St. Ignace so we could meet back up with them. Let me say this…. The walk across the bridge was glorious!!! It was a beautiful day and you could see all the way to Mackinac Island. But….
As we came off the bridge, Janice and I were so excited to get our certificate of accomplishment. With that in hand, we wandered off to find the busses to shuttle us back across the bridge to our ride. Well, we wandered and wandered and finally found a sign pointing us in the right direction. Then another sign. Past all the shops in town selling souvenirs, past a few more signs pointing us in the right direction, we finally decided to call Dennis to come get us. Well, Janice’s cell phone was dead from roaming, mine was international and the two phones we borrowed were having difficulty reaching Dennis who was now having a great time at the casino.
We finally found the busses and borrowed another phone to call my brother in law Larry in Nebraska to help us locate Jennifer and Dennis. We told him we had a slight snafu in our plans, we didn’t even know when or where we were meeting them. We finally arrived at our starting point with no ride in sight. So we decided.. Hey we have credit cards and cash! We called a cab and went to the casino. We figured someone would eventually find us. And they did! Jennifer and Dennis arrived five minutes later.
All in all, a beautiful day! I’m so proud of Janice and I for tackling the Mighty Mac and I’m so appreciative to Jennifer and Dennis for helping me check this off my Bucket List. I would definitely like to do this again!