The Mighty Mac is a 5 mile bridge connecting the two sections of Michigan. It crosses over the Straits of Mackinac – the water way connecting Lake Huron too Lake Michigan. Side note about the spelling- The city is spelled Mackinaw City with a W; the Island, the bridge and the straits are spelled Mackinac. When pronouncing , it is always MackinAW (not mackinAC).
We are heading for the Mackinac Bridge to officially cross our wake and close the loop we began on June 9,2016.
For readers that may not be familiar with Michigan, here are a few hints and tips for your next visit. This information can be obtained by googling “pronouncing Michigan Cities” or “how to speak Michigander”.
Look for descriptions of The Mitten state. On a map, the state looks like a mitten or hand, and if you live in the U.P, mittens are worn almost year around. Locals will hold up their hand like a mitten and point to where they live- the thumb being Detroit Saginaw area.
The state is divided into Upper Michigan and Lower Michigan – and connected via the 5 mile Mackinac Bridge.
A few more helpful terms:
U.P. (pronounced yoo pea, not up) Residents of Upper Michigan live in the U.P – referred to as Yoopers. Yoopers have a nickname for the residents that live in lower Michigan (below the bridge) – calling them Trolls.
A popular food item to look for is the Pasty- a meat pie, or turn over stuffed with spices, salt, beef, onion and rutabaga or carrots.
St Ignace is located on the northern side of the bridge. (Pronounced st. IG niss). There is one more group of islands we had hoped to visit in the area- Les Cheneaux Islands ( lay SHE no). May be on the next trip.
Lets back up a few days- where we crossed the border from Canada into the United States. Our friends stopped at Drummond Island to check in at Customs. We continued to De Tour Village to spend the night. A quick walk through town and it was apparent the town has seen better days. For Sale signs on many buildings, and vacant buildings on every block. We stopped for a celebration dinner at the nautical café called Mainsheet. We were the only patrons for the evening.
The following day we all met up and headed into the Straits of Mackinac for the final leg of our loop. The water is calm and the blue sky is looking to make for a great crossing. A major plus is to share this experience with our loopy friends on Sanctuary and Southern Cross. Along the way we checked in with Kurt and Patty on Enterprise; we had traveled most of the first 4000 miles with them. They had continued traveling west on the Erie Canal waterway finish their loop in the Detroit area. Even with the different routes we took, they crossed their wake just a day prior to us reaching the bridge!!
With anticipation, could see the bridge in the distance at about 6 miles. We passed by Mackinac Island and staged for photos in front of the bridge.
We raised our banners of state flags . Oh no, we forgot to order a gold flag – No worries, Steve offered to borrow his flag for the photos. Quick pass over on the water! The gold AGLCA flag is earned when you complete the loop; it will replace the white AGLCA Burgee that has been flying since Lake Michigan- as a sign of a looper in process.
Thanks for Steve and Teresa Lasher and Pat & Cathy Deadwiley taking photos!
Reminded me of passing by the Statue of Liberty and taking photos- both boats were with us then as well.
Our reservations were at St Ignace Marina. A surprise celebration dock party followed by dinner capped off a perfect wake crossing day. With mixed feelings, we were so excited to complete the loop and look back on the 14 months traveling around the loop. Sanctuary will cross their wake soon on Lake Michigan and Southern Cross will continue on toward Oklahoma.
We took picture of Southern Cross and Sanctuary as they cruised toward the bridge with us.
Officially “gold loopers”. Its been a once in a lifetime journey for us, and we want to thank everyone that has followed and supported us this year. We couldn’t have done it without the support of Mike – who ran the business and took care of our house while we were out cruising.
Next up, we look forward to heading home, and getting acquainted with our granddaughter Ella who turned 6 months recently. Stay tuned and we will continue our journey toward Lake Superior. Thanks for reading.