Postcards from the Perimeter
The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan States’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas.
It was built 1954-1957 and stretches 26,372 feet long. It’s the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world, and the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere.
Under it flows the Straits of Mackinac which runs between the Great Lakes Michigan (on the west side of the Lower Peninsula) and Huron (on the east side.)
I first learned of Mackinac bridge while pre-planning my route. I was excited I could go north over Lake Michigan instead of all the way under.
I don’t know why, but I really looked forward to experiencing the Mackinac Bridge!
Maybe it’s because the Straits of Mackinac link Great Lakes Michigan and Huron while separating the upper and lower Peninsulas. Then comes along the Mackinac Bridge, joining the Peninsulas together. It’s like a great soap opera, what’s not to love!
Michigan is a strange piece of the country, perched on Indiana and Ohio with that top part not even connected to the rest of state. I mean, was the Upper Peninsula (aka U.P.) stolen from Wisconsin? To find out why the U.P. is part of Michigan and not Wisconsin, click here.
In any case, the Mackinac Bridge is beautiful, best seen while on the bridge. I thought about taking a picture as I drove over it but I was white knuckling it most of the way! The lanes are narrow, winds strong, and there’s hardly any kind of railing to oppose a vehicle from flying. The dogs were glued to the window.
Michigan has lots of shore line, which I loved driving along, both along the U.P. and the NE side of the lower peninsula. The Great Lakes are almost like oceans: vast and moving, providing breeze and relief from busy lands.
These shorelines are not particularly crowded. Just small towns and trees and summer homes and the Lakes. Lovely and I’d come back to spend more time.
About 1/2 way down the state, I got on interstates to get past a few bigger cities like Detroit. It was culture shock from meandering back-highway to noisy, bumpy, crowded and fast! interstates. And not much to see that way. But I took them down the rest of Michigan and 1/2 way across Ohio, stopping briefly to breath at a quiet little campground nestled among corn fields and pumpkin patches.
Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York
And grapes! I didn’t realize grapes were a crop in northern Ohio. And Pennsylvania (which we drove through a tiny piece) and into upper New York state.
I’m moving too fast. Not absorbing enough.
Stopping for a Moment
Stuff to Do
We’re spending a few days to relax and play a little catch-up with motorhome care at Lake Erie State Park, New York:
- Someone (we won’t say who) got nervous when I went to the bath house to take a long shower … and he peed on the carpet. Sigh.
- The awning got stuck then didn’t roll back all the way. I have to crawl on the roof and hang over the edge and pretend I know what I’m doing …
- I want to give Betty a good cleaning (beyond the pee spot) because I need to take her to a maintenance shop (routine oil change and a few problems to fix). First I have to find a shop that will take us …
Not Enough Sleep
The dogs don’t often sleep well though the night, therefore neither do I. I suspect nocturnal critters are demanding their attention. At first I thought they needed to go out and do their business, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Especially since we have the same schedule (for sleeping and eating) as at home (except now we get at least 5 more walks a day) and they sleep fine there.
Anyway, I don’t function well with little sleep. I may have to start stopping more often.
Sometimes I feel I’m doing an injustice to the whole country by speeding right around it.
A better way would be to take at least a year. Visit communities, attend festivals, luxuriate in back country. I can totally see doing it that way! Unfortunately, I can’t this time around. Plus, quite frankly, I wouldn’t mind having another human along sometimes.
Where to Next?
Boarding Minnesota, Wisconsin <– Previous
Next –> Betty and the Dogs