Saturday, April 9, 2011

Roamy on the Mackinac Bridge to the Land of the Yoopers

Because he is interested in becoming a bridge building engineer, Roamy spent a lot of time exploring the Mighty Mac (as the 5 mile-long suspension bridge connecting Michigan's two peninsulas is fondly called). The bridge connects the city of St. Ignace on the north end with the village of Mackinaw City on the south.

"Mrs.  Zoey,"  he asked before we crossed the bridge, " Could we stop here and get out of the car so I can check out the substructure underneath the bridge?"  He is such a precocious little gnome

"Impressive," he said as he inspected every little detail. "I wonder how long it took to complete this bridge."

 I informed him that the building began in 1954 (waaay before Mrs. Zoey was born) and the bridge opened to traffic on November 1, 1957.

"Amazing," he replied. "Mr. Zoey, Could you please drive across the road to the lighthouse?"

How could Mr. Zoey  resist a sweet face like that? 

As all with  most young boys, Roamy loved this cannon near fort Michilimackinac. (I know some of the  native American words are tough to pronounce - Mish-el-mac-a-naw)

We drove through Mackinaw City (the city ends in a "w", the bridge and island end in a "c"--yet both are pronounced the exact same - mac-a-naw--very confusing, I know).

"Mr. Zoey, why are there so many fudge shops in Mackinaw?" Interesting that Roamy should notice the overabundance of fudge shops.

Over the years the city has become known for its fudge. Tourists are referred to as "fudgies" because they buy so much of it.
Roamy talked us into buying 4 different kinds before he was finally ready to jump back in the car and cross the Big Mac.  I told him he was now an official "fudgie".

Roamy seemed a bit agitated as we drove up the slow incline to the halfway point of the bridge. I noticed a few sweat beads on  his brow as we drove along the outer lane (next to the water).

 I informed Roamy that we were now 199 feet above the water.

"How deep is the water below us?" he asked. Did I detect a tremble in his voice?

"250 feet," I replied.

PLOP! The noise startled me.

Poor Roamy passed out cold from fright!

 There are many people who fear crossing this bridge. Some absolutely cannot drive themselves across. The toll takers call them "timmies" -- people who have to stop and ask for help in getting to the other side of  the bridge.  It is said that many timmies have to get in the backseat and close their eyes as one of the bridge workers drive them across the Straits of Mackinac.  Even some big  burly truck drivers have to have the Mackinac Bridge Authority take the wheel of their rig to drive them across. 

Luckily we had all that fudge. I waved a big hunk of chocolate almond across Roamy's nose and he woke right up! 
Within 60 seconds he was all better and able to stand as we approached the toll booth to enter Michigan's upper peninsula.

It was an enjoyable honor to host Roamy.  I hope he had as much fun as Mr. Zoey  and I had introducing him to Michigan's Mighty Mac and taking him  into the land of the Yoopers (residents of MI's upper peninsula are referred to as Yoopers---it comes from the abbreviation UP for upper peninsula).

Tomorrow I will pick another destination for Roamy. I will email the person selected. 

P.S. Roamy has decided that his vocation may not be designing bridges. He says that perhaps a florist would be his true calling.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Roamy sighting in Michigan!

 Roamy showed up on the doorstep of Zoey and family in  lower Michigan...

Zoey says:  "In our get-acquainted chat, Roamy told me that so far he has been to these starred states:
Through chattering teeth, he said that so far Michigan is the furthest north he's traveled. 

I think he enjoyed Missouri's weather last week a bit more than he likes the still freezing temps in Michigan.  He was not really dressed for temps in the mid 30's, so I took him over to the sunny side of the garden so he could warm up. 
 He thought the garden was a playground and seemed to have a lot of fun running around and climbing on pieces of garden junk art.
He was pretty tired after the long journey from Missouri so he had a quick dinner, asked me to notify his family that he was in good health, and went right to bed.
This weekend we are planning to take him to visit the Mackinac Bridge (where the arrow is pointing on the map). He's pretty excited about that. He said he once dreamed of being a bridge engineer. He's pretty young, so his dream may still come true.

Roamy only sticks around a few days and then gets the itch to move on. He will be looking for a friendly place to visit next, preferably in a state he has not yet seen. If you would like to host Roamy, please leave me a comment and I will let let him choose his next state later this weekend.

Update on the ATV win:  It's been sold already. I never even saw it.  I guess I will have to haul rocks my usual way -- in a wheelbarrow. :)
Zoey, thanks for the update on Roamy!
We look forward to your excursion with him...