Are you bored yet? We’re just about at the end of the story….
Dan and I met in 1980. A couple of years or so later, we felt it was a relationship that was headed somewhere…how about “it” (the relationship) is headed up north? We packed Dan’s two boys, my daughter, ourselves and all the luggage in my Dodge Daytona. It was like packing sardines in an even smaller can than what they normally come in. We toured the whole U.P., or at least the highlights of it; Ontonagon and Lake of the Clouds, Copper Harbor, various waterfalls and all the usual things a tourist sees when taking a couple of weeks to see the U.P. We scheduled our vacation to include a stay in Mackinaw City so we could participate in the annual Mackinac Bridge walk. This was something I had always wanted to do…well, at least since I realized that the bridge really didn’t just disappear into the water.
We thought since we caught one of the first buses from Mackinaw to St. Ignace (in order to walk back to Mackinaw) that we’d be near the front. HA! People as far as the eye could see! Of course there would be! People also stayed on the St. Ignace side of the bridge! DUH!!! Before the walk commenced, Dan’s youngest son asked me if I had any gum. I said I did and asked him if he thought his ears were going to pop and was that why he wanted the gum. “Nope”, he said, “When we get on the grate, I’m going to spit it out into the water below! I want to see how long it takes!”
I can’t tell you how many feet it is from the span of the bridge where the grates are to the Straits below, but it is quite a good distance. And for those of you not familiar with the bridge, about half way across the bridge, the road is grated to let wind flow through (so the bridge doesn’t sway in high winds and to allow for expansion). For some people, just driving across this part of the bridge is unnerving so I’m sure those same people wouldn’t be caught dead walking across the bridge. I was kind of surprised that Dan’s son wanted to even attempt this. I didn’t tell him that most likely the flow of the foot traffic would not allow him time to watch his gum disappear as it fell hundreds of feet towards the water. Turns out it wasn’t necessary to tell him anything….he was one of the people who should not be walking across the Straits on a grate! He forgot all about spitting his gum out. He just wanted to hurry along.
We had a good time on that 5 mile walk and it was about another mile before we actually got off the bridge, walked to downtown Mackinaw City and went to the Pancake House for breakfast. We all thought we had done pretty well and ordered a big breakfast. When it came time to leave, all of us had a hard time getting up and none of us wanted to admit it…and we still had to walk the 5 blocks (or was it 7??) back to the motel! Talk about sore muscles!!! Would I do it again??? Yep! But I wouldn’t stop for breakfast!
OH, I almost forgot to tell you about our first stop on the way up north! We stayed in Petoskey the first night. The motel we stayed at had a very low hanging roof line; kind of like the architect thought he would make it an A-frame but not quite. Dan’s youngest son and my daughter were playing outside and the son came tearing around the corner of the building and caught the top of his head on this roof line…fortunately, he only took out a handful of hair and not his entire scalp. To try to make him feel better, we teased him about his bald spot.
When we returned from our trip and the kids were trying to tell Grandma Luvetta about the trip and the fun things they did, my daughter blurted out to Grandma, “Ben got bald in Petoskey!” Dan and I almost collapsed laughing at how that sounded and the expression on poor Grandma Luvetta’s face! We had some explaining to do!
To be continued!!! STILL ON DIAL UP!
- Cathy Clementz
- A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!