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Full Report: Day 21, Oct 10: Ironwood, MI – Gaylord, MI

Day total: 374 miles
Trip total: 6566 miles

Ok. I’ve now had it officially with cheap hotels. Again, I have a shower that sucks. But the worst was that my waffle got stuck to the waffle baker… So here I was, getting all tempted by the smell of the fresh waffle, with a nice fresh strawberry dip. The next moment I found myself scraping off pieces of waffle and having an amount of loose pieces that would even make a 1000pc jigsaw puzzle jealous.

I finish breakfast as quickly as possible and get to my Trophy that’s been awaiting me outside. The route today will take me to one major highlight of the trip: the Mackinac Bridge, connecting Upper Michigan with Lower Michigan. Originally, I wanted to go straight to Chicago from Ironwood. Would have saved me a couple hundred miles and a day. But as soon as I learned about this bridge, I had to ride it, even if it meant getting an iron butt on the motorcycle.

But before I got there, the road took me along the Southside of Lake Superior. The route carried me through several large forests, but it never got really exciting. I wasn’t too excited about Lake Superior yesterday either. But that was about to change…

I decided to give the lil’ lake one more chance. I exited Hwy-28 to take a look at the beach. Beach?!? Yes. Beach. I was just as surprised as you. This is the place that accumulates just about the most snowfall of the entire United States and they have a beach… And I was even more surprised to find out it was a beach that wouldn’t look bad between a couple of Caribbean beaches! I almost fancied having a Bounty there…

After getting back to the real world, I continued my way. More forests, little hills, but nothing too exciting… I was about to fall asleep (not literally…), until I was roughly woken up by a lot of sirens. They were all over the place. Then police on the middle of the road… I quickly found out there had been some kind of car crash up ahead, claiming two fatalities. That’s never good.

I continued my way towards the Mackinac Bridge. I crossed over to the Southside of Upper Michigan, reaching Lake Michigan for the first time. Somewhere, at the far, far other end, lies a city by the name of Chicago. I’ve been to the States many, many times, but I never got to this city. So I was kind of excited to reach it tomorrow. But for now, I could see the Mackinac Bridge for the first time!

Me as I am, I wanted to get a close shot of the bridge with my Canon camera. So of course, I had to go off road… There were huge potholes in the road but it wasn’t too bad after all… And there it was!

What a huge bridge it is! Golden Gate, eat your heart out! It is the third longest suspension bridge in the world, but the longest on the Western Hemisphere. It was envisioned since 1880, but wasn’t completed until 1957. To show you how huge it is: there’s 42.000 miles of cable used for this bridge. To build it now, it would cost you just under $750 million! The towers are 168 meters above the water, and another 64 meters below the water. Its length is just over 5 miles (8km). And the road hovers about 200ft (61 meters) above the surface of the water… Now, that is what I call a bridge!

As it is a toll road, I had to pay $3,50 to cross it. I felt discriminated, as I had to pay as much as a normal 2 axle car… Anyhow, once riding it, you realize how huge it is. And here comes the crazy part: in-between the two towers, the center lanes don’t consist of nice regular tarmac or concrete… No, it is a metal grid! An open see-through grid! Yes! In a car you don’t realize it that much, as you don’t look straight down. But, on a motorcycle… You could look straight through the grid, and see the water 61 meters below you! One of those so-called ‘WTF’-moments to say the least. I look down again, and am just as much amazed by seeing the water as I was the first time. Insane.

Once I reach the other side, it is only a boring freeway ride to my hotel. A Hampton Inn today again, and I am looking forward to some luxury, after all those wonderful (that was sarcasm) hotels I had the lasts couple of nights…

I got so confident on my motorcycle, that I was playing around with the camera again while riding the freeway… After an hour or so I reached my destination, called Gaylord. I challenge you to make a joke about that…

One Response to “Full Report: Day 21, Oct 10: Ironwood, MI – Gaylord, MI”

  • Marion:

    Erg gelachen om de 1000-puzzelstukjes-wafel! Bijzondere brug, die Mackinac Bridge, 61 meter naar beneden kijken door een metalen rooster lijkt me een zeer speciale ervaring. Maar ja, daarvoor moet je dus wél op een motor zitten! Of mag je ook lopend over die brug :) Foto’s geven een goed beeld bij je verhaal. Leuk!

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