This week I had the opportunity to participate in an event that has long been on my bucket list.
Bucket list…we hear a lot about it these days. Now, I am not one to go for the idea of “once in a lifetime”, since I plan to experience many wow moments before I actually DO kick that bucket. But I digress…we all have that little list in our heads of things we wish to do or see. And I finally took the steps to do this particular event, this year!
You all know I was raised in Michigan. Every year since the Mackinaw Bridge was built they have closed it on Labor Day to allow the public to walk across the five mile span. Its something I always hoped to do. Its a perfect activity for me, what with my borderline obsession on walking.
So this year I did it!
We spent the night in Mackinaw City on the south end of the bridge. At 4am we heard rain on the roof. I was sure we were going to be walking in the rain, but by the time I got up it had passed, leaving just the cloud cover behind. In the end we only had a brief shower right when I started.
Hubby accompanied me to the line for boarding the busses that would take us to the St. Ignace (north side) of Big Mac. What a line! Due to some changes this year nearly everyone walking the bridge would need to board one of the school busses taking us across the bridge spanning Staits of Mackinaw. The line was incredibly long, and if I hadn’t befriended some Michiganders in line I am sure I would not have made the time cutoff to get on the bridge. (we had from 7am to 12 noon for our walk before the highway was reopened to I-75 traffic). We decided to jump the line and join others in their party at a shorter version of the line. All in all it was 2 hours – including the 30 min bus ride – to get my feet to walking. Well worth the wait, as you will see in the photos.
It seemed to me that most of the walkers were from Michigan, and were repeating their experience each year. That was the case with the group I met. There were old folks, children walking and in strollers or wagons, and family groups. Not many singles like me. I did meet one young man that was walking with headphones like I was. We exchanged phones to shoot pics for each other and he said this was only his second time walking the bridge.
When I first stepped on the pavement I was struck by the sea of people and all the talking around me. I slipped on my headphones and started MY walk. Feeling seperate, yet part of something too. The cool air around me, the dim morning light filtering through the clouds. The bridge has a gentle incline that wasn’t difficult, but you could definitely feel it.
The beginning, in St. Ignace Michigan.
Earlier I said I was solo on my walk, but I did bring some company in my backpack.
She seemed to enjoy the ride!
Of course, the walk was my reason be there, but I am never without my camera – to capture a different point of view, the details and the people. I relished the chance to get up close to something not everyone gets to see and share it with you.
Of course the bridge is the star of the show ….
But this day is about the citizens that love and celebrate her. From the Michigan State troopers that insured our safety to the children making memories with their parents. Shared xperiences make strangers friends, after all.
In the left of the photo above a state trooper is bending to speak to a boy.
No Stopping! (above)
When I passed this trooper (above) and thanked him for his service he replied “it was worth it” with a grin!
Below is my favorite people shot from the day.
We were almost done, and pace had slowed quite a bit.
And almost as soon as it began, the walk was over.
Walked 10,000 steps in about an hour and a half. For the experience of a lifetime!