Last Sunday and Monday I fulfilled a bucket list item. We drove our son back from his college in Southern Wisconsin (just north of Chicago) by looping up through Green Bay to Marinette and on into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
I, who grew up in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, drove US-2 along the north shore of Lake Michigan until it hit Lake Huron in the Straits of Mackinac, then took the Mackinac Bridge down to visit my parents. What a rush!
I thought I had only been to the Upper Peninsula (U.P., the people there are called Yoopers) once before. I went straight up I-75, across the Mackinac Bridge and through the middle of the U.P., when I went to summer camp at age 13. Hiawatha Baptist Youth Camp is still in the center of the U.P., on the way to Sioux Ste. Marie on the border with Canada.
However, my parents told me this week that they took me up to the U.P. when I was about two years old and my brother was an infant. We went across when the Mackinac Bridge was first built and, having paid our toll, which was a dear expense to my dad as a young professional just starting out, we reached our campground and found we had left the center tent pole home!
We ended up all sleeping together in the back of our station wagon, which was probably just as well, as it was so cold that my dad got up once an hour and ran the car engine to warm us up as we slept that night. In the morning, we packed up and returned to the Lower Peninsula!
I love that mental image–Dad, Mom, Tom, and me all cuddled together in the station wagon, trying to stay warm. How fun and what a sweet memory. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. You have always made things fun!!!