I think I have been bitten by some kind of ‘bridge bug’, which began in 2009 when I was determined to do my first Mackinac Bridge Walk. Then I walked it again the next year, and from there, I had to walk the International Bridge. That time came in 2011, and after finding out when and where the walk would start, I got up early that Saturday morning and made the drive from Traverse City, Michigan to walk from the U.S. to Canada.
Being somewhat of a history buff, I drove part of old US-2 from St. Ignace to highway M-134, then onto the Sault. Upon arriving between 8:30 and 9 o’clock, I enjoyed talking with other bridge walkers, including letting some Canadian ladies know how much my wife Kathy and I enjoy watching the Canadian TV show, ‘Wind at My Back‘, and listening to the speeches given by the representatives of both Sault, Michigan and Canada, and the performing of ‘O Canada‘ and the ‘Star Spangled Banner‘. I am very impressed with the patriotism of Canadians I saw, too. Plenty of Maple Leaf Flags, and shirts and coats representing Canada. In the process of the walk, a lady who made the trip from Lansing, Michigan became my bridge walk partner, and we made the walk together.
During the walk, a lady was driving from Canada with a boxer dog tagging along, and had a chance to compliment it, as the traffic stopped waiting to clear customs in the U.S. My walking partner was kind enough to take a picture of me on the bridge with one foot in Canada and the other in the U.S. We went on to complete the walk, and was treated to the bagpipe [155 Borden Gray G.C. Royal Canadian Air Cadet] band that performed in Sault Canada, and was glad to learn that certificates of completing the walk were handed out to us who walked the bridge completely.
After clearing Canadian Customs, I made my way to the bus for the trip back to the U.S. The weather cooperated well, being a bright sunny day. Although I didn’t stay in Canada very long, I always enjoy visiting Canada whenever I can, probably because I have some Canadian descent within me. After returning to the U.S., in which I had to go into the U.S. Customs building for the first time (Kathy and I have vacationed at Batchawana Bay every Summer since 1986 and stayed in our car when returning), I stopped for some lunch before making the trip back to Traverse City.
I wanted so much to do the 2012 bridge walk, but Kathy had hand surgery about 2 weeks earlier and needed my hands to lift heavier objects for her. However, God willing, I plan on my second International Bridge Walk in 2013. Who knows, maybe the lady from Lansing will be there again, or even better, maybe Kathy will give the walk a try.