Road Trip

Special thanks to Kendall Newberry for finding this piece he wrote in 2006 and sharing it with us.

What does a three day weekend and a rental car equal?  ROAD TRIP!  As my girlfriend and I prepared to celebrate our birthdays (mine was a few weeks earlier), we had a map of Michigan between us and our adventurous spirits awakened.  My girlfriend, Melodee, is a native California girl, so any where we decided to go would be virgin territory.  Being a native Michigander, I was more than happy to show her the beauty of our great state.

As we pondered our many routes and final destinations, we decided to check out the Mackinac Bridge via route 23. The last time I saw this part of the state, I was knee high to a grasshopper, so I didn’t remember much – in a way it was all new to me too. So with a full tank of gas, we ventured down the highway. Passing the many cottages and year around lake homes, we both envied the people that called these places home.

A picnic along the lakeshore was on the agenda so we stopped at a Walmart in East Tawas along the way which had a spectacular view of Lake Huron right out its front door.  We paused to enjoy the wonder of it all, thinking of how many local residents take for granted seeing this every day.  Back on the road, we enjoyed the warm sun splashing in the car – since this was still early spring, it felt great to have a nice day. I have to admit it was a great drive as we slowly counted down the miles to the Bridge, taking advantage of the roadside parks to enjoy the goodies we bought earlier. The emerald green waters mimicked the pine trees along the road as we wound up and down the hills and
curves anticipating the view around each corner (breath taking was an understatement).  I had my camera along and didn’t hesitate to turn around for photo ops.  Some pics we laughed at saying only in Michigan, like a bike with an old fashion push mower for handle bars and front wheel.

At last, we saw the bridge in sight and beheld its beauty.  The green waters and blue bridge was a sight for sore eyes since I hadn’t seen the bridge in over 17 years.  Granted, this was the off season for up there, but we had to hunt down a fudge and souvenir shop.  And there it was, welcoming us with colorful signs and the smell welcomed us at the door. And after catching a beautiful sunset (spectacular as usual) we gassed up the rental car for the trip home. On our way home we both reflected on our adventures which led me to write this story for us and others to enjoy for years to come. So the next time you have a weekend not knowing what to do, consider a road trip to the Mackinac Bridge, you won’t regret it.

Have you taken a special Pure Michigan Road Trip?  Send us your story and pictures, and we’ll publish it right here on our blog.

  • Kerri Tang

    Every fall my sister(s) and I take a road trip. We’ve gone up along the west side of the state, and the middle, taking 75 north. We’ve got our favorite spots, like Sleeping Bear Dunes, Petoskey, Tunnel of Trees (hwy 19 north out of Harbor Springs), and Mac City. The past few yrs we’ve taken our first 3-4 days out and gone straight to the U.P. We end our wk with 3 days on Mackinac Island. A tradition we started in memory to our mother, who loved fall and Mac Island, we’ve been going up there since 1995. The jewel of our state, Mac Island holds many incredible sights, smells (fudge & great food) and hospitality like no where else. So much history here, and miles of paths to hike. My advice to newcomers~~get away from the 3 downtown blocks, and explore the REST of the island. It’s so much fun. We will be there in mid-Sept this yr (2010), and can’t wait! See you (all) there!

  • Jen

    My family has been going to the UP across the Bridge since it was first built! We vacation up near Cederville on one of the Les Cheneaux Islands, which are beautiful. We love the bridge! It is fantastic to look at at night as well, lit up and magic.

  • Patti

    The Mighty Mac is by far my favorite feat of civil engineering. And I am fortunate enough to be crossing it tomorrow on my first (of many) trips north this spring/summer season. (Coincidentally, I too am headed to the beautiful Les Cheneaux Islands area.) I’ve crossed that bridge hundreds of times and it still inspires awe each time.