GRANDSON'S COLLEGE GRADUATION TRIP travel blog


Today Ross & Marge left Mackinaw City, Michigan around 0950 and re-fueled in Mackinaw City before getting on I-75 and crossing the Mackinac Bridge to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They traveled I-75 to Sault Ste Marie, Michigan where we crossed the International Bridge into Canada and the town of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. Both bridges were toll bridges and that surprised Ross as the toll on the International Bridge according to signs on the US side of the bridge say the toll is a Customs Toll. It was expected that they would have to pay a toll on the Mackinac Bridge but the International Bridge toll was a complete surprise as Ross has never had to pay a toll to cross from the US into Canada or from Canada into the US. This toll is imposed both ways and only on the US side. They did not have to pay a toll on the Canadian side. It was obvious that those travelers crossing from Canada into the US had to pay the toll because the same person was collecting the toll from all traffic passing her toll booth on both sides of the toll booth and the traffic backup coming from Canada was at least 1/2 a mile long.

The Mackinac Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world from 1957 to 1998 but is now the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere. Here are some of the bridges statistics:

Total Length of Bridge with Approaches 26.444 feet

Total Length of Steel Suspension 19,205 feet

Total Length - W. Approach 8,814 feet

Total Length - E. Approach 6,279 feet

Length of Suspension Bridge (incl. anchorages) 8,814 feet

Length-Main Span (between towers) 3,800 feet

Traffic was light and the roadway for the first half of the way from the Mackinac Bridge to the International Bridge was very good with the remaining half being good. Once they hit the International Bridge the roadway changed from good to poor but better than urban California roads. The Trans Canada roadway from Sault Ste Marie to Wawa is all two lanes and the road surface is rough in a large percentage of the distance. There are several bridges under repair and what was a real surprise was that no work was being done on Saturday as opposed to the US side in Michigan where road construction and bridge repair was ongoing because they only about 4 months of construction weather. The weather window is the same in Michigan as it is in this portion of Canada so it must take much longer to complete a road repair in Canada than it does in Michigan and most other northern US states. The speed limit over the rural roads traveled today was 90 kilometers per hour and that translates into about 55 miles per hour. That is the posted speed limit but like the US far more of the drivers are driving well above the posted limit than at the posted speed limit.

The weather has been really great ever since arriving in Michigan and today was no exception. The sky has been clear with bright sun and temperatures in the low to upper 70's with overnight temperatures in upper 40's to mid 50's which makes for good sleeping weather.

Here in Wawa the May flies have not yet hatched and the local money is that the hatch will start next week. Ross and Marge are hoping to be back in the US before the end of next week and with any luck at all maybe they can miss the May fly hatch.

Tomorrow they will leave for Thunder Bay, Ontario which is 282 miles from Wawa. This a longer distance than they usually travel so it is very likely that they will find a campground around the two hundred mile mark for a night putting them in Thunder Bay on Monday.

After Thunder Bay their plans are pretty flexible. They have plans to cross through North Dakota and Montana before turning north toward Calgary. Their friend in Calgary will not be there so they may head further north to Edmonton, Alberta where Marge has a couple of cousins she would like to visit. After which we hope to wind up in Kamloops, British Columbia where Marge has a niece both Ross & Marge would like to visit if they are going to be home at around the end of June or the first part of July.

One last note, Marge and Ross have turned off their cell phones while in Canada so they are requesting all non-emergency communications for them be made via email until they return to the US late next week.

That is all for now,

Ross & Marge



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