One of my fears is crossing bridges in windy weather, an artifact of the sway accident last year. Which did not happen on a bridge, but try telling my lizard brain that. Bridges + wind = nervous me. So we changed plans to stay a night at Petoskey State Park and wait out the windy/stormy weather one more day. The Mackinac Bridge is one to respect: five miles long, crossing the straits between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, looking on the map like a funnel for any winds in the area.
As it turned out, the crossing was (whew!) uneventful. Except for the construction, which stopped me dead in the middle. So I took a photo since I was literally in Park mode with my rig.
Best SIte So Far
Back in, uh, January, when my friend Karen and I were booking sites for this trip (yes, six months out, because everyone is traveling these days), we decided to go for the view sites without electric hookups for our short stay here.
It was definitely the right call. We had 24/7 views of the Mighty Mac bridge as well as the sound of waves on the shoreline most of the time. I can’t say how much I enjoy looking out my window and seeing a massive body of water.
And when I say these sites were close to the water, this is what I meant…
The Mighty Mac
That bridge is endless and endlessly fascinating when it came to photographing it. I probably took over a hundred photos of it in the three days we camped by it. Yes, the truck noise was sometimes a bit much when the waves were quiet, but it was still worth it for the view. And for being able to walk on the beach and stick my feet in the water whenever I wanted to.
One of the fun photos was this one, lining up my window reflection with the bridge and horizon. I didn’t realize when I bought my Alto how fun it is to take these kinds of photos. Bonus!
I did take the ferry out to Mackinac Island, but it was overrun with hordes of tourists. After getting an ice cream and doing a bit of shopping, I hopped back on the boat to the mainland. I’ll be honest, most of the time I enjoy the ferry ride more than the actual destination because it’s a great way to be out on the water for a while and experience the Great Lakes in a different way. Now I can check “On the waters of Lake Huron” off my bucket list.
I can also check the St. Ignace lighthouse off my list of Michigan lighthouses. I didn’t start “collecting” them but it’s hard not to when you’re touring around the lake for weeks.
Sometimes it pays to stay up past my bedtime. I was reading when I heard some bangs and pops and thought to myself, “wow, that sounds like fireworks.” It was, and I stood outside at 10PM watching them till the show was over. That the bridge was lit up like a Christmas tree was the icing on the cake of that night.
Every year on Labor Day, St. Ignace hosts a walk across the Mackinac Bridge. The bridge walk has been an annual event since 1958, with the exception of 2020. It’s now on my bucket list of things to do because it would be hella cool to walk across the Mighty Mac.
STRAITS STATE PARK (MICHIGAN STATE PARKS)
- Two loops near the beach, one up the hill and closer to the park entrance. Reserve at Michigan State Parks. Nearest boat launch is downtown St. Ignace, a half mile away.
- Services: 30 amp and 50 amp. Sites next the beach on the two beach loops are dry (no hookups). Potable water at the dump station or at water fountains around the campground. Each campground has a bath house with showers.
- Good Verizon and ATT, fair T-Mobile.
- Groceries at the store on the campground road. Gas at the I-75 exit or in the town of St. Ignace. Sadly, good pasties were hard to find (don’t get the ones at the store near I-75, they were horribly dry and the crust was sad.)
How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.