Crossing the Bridge
I’m a temporary “Yooper,” aka Upper Peninsula Michigander.
The trip up from West Branch, Mi was longer than expected. As I hitched up, I found my tongue jack (the part that raises and lowered the hitching part to the truck hitch) had failed. I knew the day was coming. Since last spring, the hitch was missing through a cog in the mechanics. Then, it started missing two cogs. When I hitched up that day, I could lower the jack but not raise it.
I called, in panic, some RV shops to the North. On the drive to one, I saw a sign for a Camping World. If you’ve been reading long enough, you know I’ve sworn off Camping World, but when I saw the sign I knew they would have a better chance of having a tongue jack. I drove in and asked about it being put on, and I got the reply I knew I’d get. “At least a week and a half out.” Then the salesman said, “It’s and easy swap out, you can do it yourself.” So, I bought an electric tongue jack and when I got to the campground in St. Ignace, I proceeded to replace it. It was a breeze. Luckily, I had the right socket, but I had to borrow a crimper from the campground to connect some wires together. I tested the light then raised the tongue off the hitch, no more cranking for me.
I’ve crossed the Mackinac Bridge before, and it’s always an amazing sight from on top. You can see the ferries heading to Mackinac Island, folks parasailing behind boats, and of course the sailboats.
St. Ignace is the first town on the U.P. and it feels touristy. The ferries leave from town, and the parasailing boats are ready for tourists at the harbor. It’s not a big town, but has quite a few motels and campgrounds. The big draw to the area is heading over on the ferries to Mackinac Island. The island is actually our second National Park, in 1875, after Yellowstone. The island is car-free, and the only way around is on bicycle or horse drawn carriage. As with most National Parks in the early years, railroad magnates built a hotel as destination resort. So it is with Mackinac Island. The Grand Hotel is the place to stay. Soon, business owners were building “cottages” on the island for family get-aways in the summer. From what I’ve heard, it sounds Disney-like. Maybe someday I’ll go over.
Being back in the Midwest is giving me a constant buzzing in my ears. It could also be the cicadas are all about. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard those loud buzzing insects. There is no other sound like it. It starts off low, then gets louder, then low again and stops. Then another cicada starts up. In the end, it’s a drone of buzzing in your head until nightfall.
On Thursday I moved near Rapid River, Mi which is just north of Escabana. Rain started as I left St Ignace and is due most of the weekend.
One thing I’ve noticed being in the East is, I don’t sleep as well in the higher overnight lows. Most nights, it never really gets below about 65º. Living in the West the temperatures often drop in the low 60’s and even lower in the mountains. I am definitely a low temp sleeper. With the rains here in the U.P., we’re due for overnight lows in the 40’s. My kind of sleeping weather!
Thanks for joining the road trip.