Fargo to Saratoga: Day 2, Ironwood to Port Huron

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Today involved driving, trees, driving, a giant bridge, driving and even more trees. If you haven’t already figured it out, Michigan has a lot of trees.

I also learned a very important lesson: feeding seagulls is a bad idea.

But I’ll get to that in a moment.

My mom and I departed from Ironwood bright and early, and drove across the upper peninsula of Michigan to the Mackinac Bridge. This is the 16th largest suspension bridge in the world, and it’s more than a mile long. It also happens that my mom and I are not big fans of bridges.

Prior to crossing we stopped at a lovely viewing park to take photos and build up our courage for the crossing.

There was a wind advisory on the official bridge information radio station, which didn’t help our nerves at all. But with my mom behind the wheel and me with a camera in hand snapping photos right and left, we made it across in one piece.

The view was well worth it, with the sweeping vastness of Lake Michigan on one side and Lake Huron on the other.

The water was dotted with sailboats and a large ship.

Heavy cloud covering added a gray hue to the picture, but it was beautiful, no doubt.

We spent about two hours in Mackinaw City, stretching our legs and sampling the local cuisine. Apparently ice cream, fudge, and pasties are a big deal in this part of Michigan, because nearly every shop marketed one or the other.

Pasty rhymes with the word ‘nasty’ if you want an idea of how to pronounce it. But contrary to how you might think it would taste, it was actually quite enjoyable. I would describe it as a pie crust baked around a mixture of meat and vegetables. I ordered a vegetable and cheese pasty while my mom ordered chicken, which was mixed with potatoes and rutabaga.

Enter the seagulls.

We walked to a park to enjoy our pasties and the nice afternoon. A lone seagull eyed us from 50 yards away, pretending he was pecking at the ground while watching us with one eye.

“I bet if you threw him a piece he’d fly over here to get it,” my mom said.

I tossed a small piece of the breading about 10 feet from our table. The seagull screeched and flew over … along with 25 others apparently watching from afar.

They swooped down and dive-bombed our table as they chased the seagull that had captured the bread. Thankfully, neither of us were pooped on, but I learned that feeding seagulls is a poor life choice.

After escaping the run-in with the seagulls, we found a quiet shoreline to wade into the cold water of Lake Huron before climbing back into our car. We trekked onward to Port Huron, which borders Ontario. We’ll pass through Canada tomorrow before entering New York!

Annise Monplaisir, a management communication and international studies student at North Dakota State University in Fargo, will intern this summer at The Saratoga Special. Fargo to Saratoga is a daily update about her trip from the upper Midwest to upstate New York and it appears on her blog, Annise’s Anecdotes.