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 Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk

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PostSubject: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:31 am

On Monday September 1st (Labor Day), I plan on participating in the Mackinac Bridge Walk.  I know, I know... that's seven months out and I shouldn't even be planning such a thing with so much time in between... but this has been something I've been wanting to do for quite a while, and by gawd I'm gonna do it!

The walk begins at about 7a (Michigan's govenor has to go first); you cannot start after 11a.  The walk takes approximately two hours, and there will be buses on the other side to drive you back, withbuses stopping at 2:30p.  Oh, there are no porta-potties on the bridge, so you'll ave to hold it untl you finish.

For more information, you can check out the official link here.

If anyone is interested, we can easily carpool.  Just keep in mind it's a four hour drive.  Oh, now I wonder if I shouldn't just get a room up there the day prior?  Food for thought.


Last edited by soothsayer on Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:25 pm

Tonight I am (hopefully) going to be making a reservation for a motel room for the evening of Sunday August 31, with a check out on the 1st of September. The place that Steve and I will be staying, if all goes well, is the Driftwood Motel, located in St Ignace... just a third of a mile from the Little Bear Arena; the arena is where the shuttle will be picking people up for the bridge walk.

According to their website, a two person / two bed room costs between $50 and $70 dollars, depending on the season... I'm going to assume that this date would be an "on" season, so will cost more. I was originally thinking of doing a two person / one bed, seeing as how I have all these air matresses and what-nots, but that type of room is only four dollars cheaper.

This is going to be a four hour drive. Since I'll be wanting to arrive in plenty of time to get a decent night's sleep before the big walk (and so that we're not driving in unfamiliar territory at night), we'll probably want to arrive at, ohh... 4 o'clock, maybe 5. Means we'll be leaving at noon, thus allowing time for pit stops or flat tire.

Starting next weekend, the boy and I will begin "practicing" for this walk. Well, it really wouldn't be just for the walk, seeing as how we're doing the Devils Lake thing in July (I will make it to the top of the bluffs! I will I will I will!) Five mile walk, estimated two hours? The walking isn't going to be a problem. Five miles? Big deal! I think the problem's just going to be from Steve becoming tired from non-walking.

...

Okay then, there you have it, my planned itinerary for the bridge-walk. Anyone else making plans yet? Anyone? Anyone?
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:20 pm

MAJOR EDIT

Wasn't able to get the room I wanted... they were booked. So were the other five places I contacted; two additional places were closed for the winter season. A couple other places were outrageously priced... oh dear lord.

But I found one. I got us a room. A bit more than what I would have hoped for, but it has a nice selection of "extras". Seeing as how this is a rare opportunity, a lifetime event, I figure why not, right?

The room has two queen sized beds. There is the standard fair: wifi, cable, HBO, breakfast. But there's also an indoor pool, a whirlpool, free laundry.

With the size of the room, there is plenty of room for others to come with, if they'd like; I'd just ask that you'd be able to pay a little for the room. I've also changed my departure time so that we can better enjoy the comfort that is being provided.

The place we're stuck staying at? America's Best Value Inn - St Ignace.
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:35 am

I've changed the title of this thread to simply read "Annual", instead of the previous numbered walk. And here's why.

Bridge Walk 2015

Yes, I'm already planning ahead for the next bridge walk. I'd like to make this an annual event; it was enjoyable and fun. And knowing that there is a lot of activities going on before and during the walk, knowing what to expect and what to see, things won't be as rushed and might be even more enjoyable.

The 58th Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk will be on September 7th. Labor Day. I'm hoping and planning to get up there for the weekend, and not just the day prior. We'd be coming back that afternoon, only because Crivitz school starts the next day, and the mrs doesn't want the youngest to miss the first day of school. Let's see... we left at around 2p, I think (eastern time), and got back into Crivitz at, oh, 5p or so. It was a long drive back. I know some of you have off that day, and there's a chance that one of you might have off that day as well... hint hint.

So yeah, just putting the word out there that we're doing this walk again, and that people are more than welcome to join us. I'm trying to convince Gail to come with. She almost did this last one, but had a conflicting work schedule which should not repeat for next year, so there shouldn't be any problem. All of us wouldn't be able to share a room this time around though, unless Gail decides not to go, but we can figure that stuff out later.

I know it's early. I know there's nine months before this event, and we can't even organize something for next weekend, let alone months from now. But it'd still be fun to do, yes?
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:38 pm

All set up for this year's bridge walk. I've reserved a room at the Voyager Inn for that weekend... arrive Saturday September 5th and depart that Monday September 7th. Staying two nights mainly because there's a lot of stuff going on those weekends; art shows, festivals, general celebratory stuff. Hoping to convince the wife to join me, but who knows. As such, I've booked a room with two queen beds; in the least, there's plenty of room for me and Steve.

If anyone is interested in joining us, just let me know and we can work something out. If you want to book your own room, best do so now; most of the cheaper hotels are booked, but some of the name brand stays having limited options. This one cost $400. There are cheaper, but they are on the lower Michigan side (Mackinaw City); keep in mind that the traffic back over the bridge after the walk is bumper-to-bumper.

Let's see, I think there was something else, but I can't remember. Oh well.
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:05 pm

Looks like we might be heading up there on the Friday instead of the Saturday; I took a vacation day for that Friday as a prep day, to make sure everything was packed and in order... but if it means a bit more vacation away, then why not take it as such?

Regardless, depending on the departure day, that day will be the drive recovery day; just relax, eat, and swim. Checked out St Ignace's calendar of events, and they've got a "movie in the park" going on Saturday night, as well as fireworks, so that'll be a nice little treat I suppose. The first full day after recovery day will be a trip to Canada; it's only about a 45 minute drive from where we're at, so why not? I know, big deal, Canada, our 51st state... but I figure the boy will like it.

The extra day departure is pending on Gail, if she wants to come along or not. Her work was doing an every third weekend rotation; figured it out, she was off. Within the past month, they added another part-timer and so moved to an every forth weekend rotation; she still has off. But, out of all honesty, does a married mother of two really want to take a weekend vacation just to walk a few miles... or would she rather have that time to herself? If she joins us, we'll be leaving on the Saturday, but if not, we'll leave on the Friday (she still works that Friday, which explains the departure difference).
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:00 pm

Did you know that you can go into Canada without a passport, but should you want to return to the United States, you do require one?  But you don't need a full fledged passport, no no no, all you need is a passport card... that is, if you are arriving via land or sea.  The passport card is good for North America travel, such as Mexico or the Bahamas, but if you are traveling overseas or by airplane, a regular passport is required.

All you need to do to obtain a passport or passport card is fill out form DS-11 (Application for a US Pasport), and call an authorized local passport agency to set up an appointment, such as the Marinette Post Office or the Marinette Clerk of Courts.  Note that if you do not have a full front image of your face picture that measures 2" by 2", my suggestion would be to utilize the Post Office, as the Clerk of Courts does not take pictures.  There are some odd questions on the form, so be prepared to call your parents.  The cost of an adult passport card is $55.

Children under the age of 16 do not require a passport to return from Canada; if you bring a young one, bring along either their birth certificate (with raised seal), or a certified copy of the birth certificate (notarized, raised seal), but I would double check that requirement just to be certain.  If you decide to get your children a passport or passport card, you will also need to fill out form DS-3053, or rather the Statement of Consent: Issuance of a US Passport to a Minor Under Age 16.  This passport card will cost you $40.  **Just verified: someone 16 years old or younger only needs a birth certificate to return to the States.

In either case, when you go to the Post Office, you will need to bring your birth certificate (with raised seal) and the appropriate forms.  The passport will be mailed to you, and should arrive in about four weeks or so.

Seems like it's a lot of hassle just to go to Canada for the day, ehh?  But at least now you know (and knowing is half the battle).

{EDIT}

Here's a link to the types of documentation that is acceptable. This pretty much outlines some of the things I wrote, but includes pictures.

WHTI Fact Sheet
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:26 pm

Passport information, part 2

Returned from the Marinette Post Office about half an hour ago, after having completed the passport application / picture / and so on.  Though this post has nothing to do with the Mackinac Bridge Walk, I thought it best to continue my previous post for any interested parties; I know some of us like to go hunting or fishing, or just getting the hell away, so who knows if this information will ever become important.

First and foremost, bring your own picture!  The Post Office charges $15 to take a photograph; I don't know how much it costs elsewhere, but that is a ridiculous amount.  Just make sure your picture is clear and crisp, shows your face in it's entirety, and is on a two inch by two inch square.  Follow the passport requirements precisely, so that they can't say they have to redo it.  Oh, a white background would be preferred as well.

Secondly, the payment for the passport has to be done with either a check or a money order.  The Post Office gets to keep $25 as a service fee (this is legit, even says so on the passport fees website page) and the $15 picture fee... but the remaining $30 needs to be mailed off, along with the application AND your birth certificate with raised seal (more on that in a bit).  They do not accept credit card or debit card payment, although you can use the card to pay for a money order.  That all seems bass-ackwards as well; you're paying for the money order with a card, so why not just charge the card directly?  So yeah, bring a check with you, unless you want to pay a little extra for the money order.

All told, the amount was $71.25.  $25 for processing (kept by Post Office), $30 for the passport card (increase amount if getting the book), $15 for the picture (bring your own!), and $1.25 for the money order (bring a check!).

Now then, about the birth certificate.  The original (or original copy) is mailed along with the application.  But don't worry, it is mailed back to you along with your passport.  The return on this is four to six weeks, or you can pay extra to have it expedited.  I figured that, since I wasn't leaving for another five months, a one month wait was no big deal.  A copy of your birth certificate that has been notarized will not work; it has to be an original copy, with the raised seal... not a notary raised seal.

Oh, of course you will also need to bring along a photo ID, such as a TWIC card, driver's license, or state issued ID. My official Avenger's membership card would not work, nor would my Exo Squad ID.

There you have it, all the passport information you would need to get things started!
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:09 pm

I've still been asking Mrs Soothsayer if she'd like to join me and the youngest for this year's bridge walk, but so far it's been a no; I have reminded her that, because of the time needed for passports, she has until the end of June to respond (if she wanted to also come along to Canada).

So right now, the offer still stands. I've got a room reserved, two queen beds / four adults; I've also got air mattresses in the ready (well, not so much in the ready... they aren't inflated). If you'd like to join me and the youngest, let me know. Even if you can't ride up with us, you can still come at a later time or day!

I've the room booked from Friday September 4th (check in) through Monday September 7th (check out). If Gail joins, we'd be departing on Saturday since she still works that Friday; if she doesn't join, Steve and I are leaving on Friday.
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:12 pm

For the sake of completeness... last call, last call! Last call to participate in the 2015 Mackinac Bridge Walk!

You do not have to ride up or down with me if you so chose. I am leaving Friday morning, departing Crivitz at 9:30a; it is a four hour drive, check in time is 3p EST, so we should arrive at about the right time. Again, you can come up by yourself on a different day if you chose, or save yourself the money and ride up with me.

My itinerary:

FRIDAY - drive, check out Castle Rock, and enjoy the fireworks display later that evening.

SATURDAY - going to Canada, ehh? Going to the Cambrian Mall, and possibly eat at Giovanni's Italian Restaurant. Depending on the time we return, perhaps a run out to Fort Michilimackinac.

SUNDAY - Enjoying the local Arts & Crafts display along the waterfront, maybe head out to Mackinac Island and check out Fort Mackinac and other rumored haunted locations.

MONDAY - Bridge Walk. The earlier the start, the better; extra time at the end means we can check out all the stores at the walk's end. Oh, and possibly bring home some authentic Mackinac fudge for the mrs. Leave St Ignace at some point in the afternoon.

IF one of you wishes to join me, great! Steven doesn't really want to go (teenagers, pft), and I sure as hell ain't going by myself. If someone joins me, Steve can be spared the embarrassment of having to hang out with his dad all weekend. Call or text me if you want to join up.
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:21 pm

Bridge Walk 2016

Yep, already planning for next year's trip. From all indications from the 2015 walk, I will be without the youngest... which means that chances are high that the mrs won't be going either. What does this all mean? It means I am going to be family free, company free, and probably bored out of my mind.

I have already reserved a room at the Huron Inn (which can be found by following this link. I was able to get a double sized room / two beds that are said to be queen sized. The room includes cable, wifi, air conditioning (the normal stuff); unlike other rooms I've rented in the past, this one comes with a microwave and a fridge. As a side note, unlike other rooms I've rented, this does not have a pool. I can live with that... the fridge and microwave will definitely keep costs down, as I can always hit the grocery store prior to the trip.

I've reserved the room for three night, Friday September 2nd through Monday September 5th (Labor Day, duh), for a total cost of $433. Not too bad, the cheapest place so far (probably because there isn't a pool).

So! As has happened twice so far, if anyone would like to join me, by all means! Even if you wanted to come up the day prior, not a problem! And, as always, if there are to be more people coming than planned for, I can always bring an air mattress.

Think it over, you've got a year to decide.
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:31 pm

Bridge Walk 2016 is officially a go. Somewhat.

Between the last post and this one, there was a change; it seemed that the oldest boy was going to be coming home for vacation "sometime around September", and as such, it was... requested... that I not go on this trip because the boy might be coming home. I didn't cancel my plans because "sometime around September" covers a lot of ground, and with the boy being in the service, you really can't plan vacations more than a year out.

As luck would have it, the boy screwed up. Or he learned one of life's lessons: always get it in writing. I won't go into details here, but suffice to say, everything that he was planning and working towards was wrong, off by a few months. It now seems he won't be planning to take vacation until December.

I've submitting my vacation days for Friday September 2nd and Tuesday September 6th. I may cancel the Tuesday's date, but regardless, my vacation has already been approved.

Six months and counting...
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:28 am

Talked to the oldest yesterday just so I could get information straight from the source, and it's a good thing that I did. He is taking vacation in September, at least planning to, but not until the 9th; that works out fine, as it's a week from my return date.

All told, I will still slowly plan for this trip. If it is to be cancelled, then it better be a known and definite thing a month prior to check in time... if not, I'm stuck paying for the room.
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Wed May 25, 2016 9:24 am

Here it is, 100 days until I head up to St Ignace to participate in this year’s Bridge Walk, and as always, I am extending an invitation to you guys first to see if you’d like to join me.

I am heading out on Friday September 2, no earlier than 11a or noon. With the construction going on along 180, the two recommended routes (through Marinette or up past Wausaukee) takes roughly four hours; hotel check-in time is 4p Eastern.  I definitely don’t want to be on the road while approaching sunset, no no no, so I guess I could always head out by 4p or 5p if someone needed a ride.

Anyway, arrival on September 2, and will be checking out on the following Monday morning (check-out time is 10a).  If you are unable to come up with me on Friday, you are more than welcome to come up on a different day, even if it’s the night prior.

Here’s the big thing that people always wonder about: cost.  If you are riding with me, I will not ask or request gas money.  I was already planning on heading up, so why charge you for something I was doing anyway?  If you’re spending the night(s) up there, chipping in for the room cost would be appreciated but not necessary; I’m not going to make you sleep in the van if you don’t.  The only reason why I reserve a double is because the hotels book up quickly for this, and I place the hold usually within 24 hours of the previous bridge walk, so I don’t know who’s all coming or not (better safe than sorry).  So no, I won’t have you pay or split the cost of the room, but I wouldn’t turn down any donation.  The only cost I ask you cover would be for your food or expenses; I am putting enough aside to cover the expenses of two people, so there will be enough if things get short, but beyond that?

Regarding expenses, if you’d like to come, let me know and we can plan accordingly.  If there were places you wanted to go see, we can figure out the costs (or, you know, check out their respective websites).  If you want to go to Mackinac Island, the restaurants (hell, even the food vender carts) are pricey, so I’d recommend not eating there and pack your own stuff, including a water bottle (or jug).  The hotel room does have a fridge (probably mini) and a microwave, so that’ll help keep costs down.  I’m planning on hitting up the grocery store before departure, grabbing some minor food stuff, snacks, and beverages, just to help keep costs down… not to say I wouldn’t be eating out, hell no, Big Boy’s buffet is too good to resist!

Oh, and don’t forget, if you wanted to go to Canada, if you wanted to see the locks, a passport will be required.  You’ll want to get one no later than the end of June, as the passport can take up to eight weeks to arrive.  Look at an earlier post on this thread regarding passport information.

This invite is open to you guys until mid or late June, to which I’m then going to post it on Facebook just so that, should someone come, they can get a passport if needed.  If more than one of you wants to come, not a problem: I’ve got cots and air mattresses aplenty!
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:48 am

I have cancelled this year's bridge walk festivities. While it pained me to do so (seriously, I was looking forward to it), the thought of spending four days / three nights away by myself just wasn't appealing... when I schedule for next year, I'll probably depart on Saturday. Saves a vacation day, saves on expenses. If it's by myself, depart on Sunday. Can't book a room for next year right now, latest it goes out is July 2017, so I've got time to figure things (then again, book for the most, and then make changes as needed).

I'm not just doing this because I was going by myself, that's secondary and I could have easily just reduced my stay. No, the big major reason is that I really want that box truck I almost got this spring. I mean, I really want it. I tracked it down... it wasn't sold, it was moved to the U Haul storage facility on Packerland in Green Bay. I can always save money over the course of a year to go, but to get this truck?
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:47 pm

Mackinac Bridge Walk 2017

I know, I know, it's only been a week since the 2016 Bridge Walk, but I thought I'd make the announcement now.  *ahem*  Now taking bids for those interested in joining me on the 2017 Mackinac Bridge Walk.

My every intention was to book the Huron Inn for this coming event, seeing as how it has a microwave and mini fridge.  I so wanted that, as it would have reduced costs... but that place is already booked up.  Yes, the motels and hotels do book that quickly!  Then again, I also tweaked my reservation dates: instead of leaving on a Friday and then spending three nights, I decided to leave on a Saturday and spend two nights; saves money on room reservations, and I don't have to take a vacation day.

Even though I missed out on the Huron Inn (and the microwave and mini fridge), I did manage to land a reservation at the Super 8 St Ignace.  This is one of the motels I've been trying to land every time I've gone up for the Walk.  It's (relatively) cheap and conveniently located.  Hell, just look at the map below to see what I mean.



Souvenir shop, gas stations, McD's, Burger King, Subway, the Truck Stop (diner) and Big Boys, all within a couple blocks on the Super 8. That isn't bad at all, not in the slightest. Talk about convenience! Plus, the motel has wifi (I think that's pretty much standard now, isn't it?) and a pool. Now, for you smokers, please note that the room I reserved has a balcony... no need to go outside into the parking lot!

The room, with a Saturday check-in of 3p (ET) and a Monday check-out of 11a, is going to cost $323.66. I went through Booking.com and checked the price against the Super 8 website: if booked through Super 8, it would have been $14 cheaper, but I then forgo the option of making adjustments / changes and cancellations. I'd have to have paid in total right now, with no chance of refund should I cancel... $14 is a small price to pay all things considered. I have until midnight on August 31 to cancel without a fee; any time after that, and I'll be charged $148.

So there you have it. A day to drive up and relax, a day to sight-see, and a day to walk and drive. No days off of work, no vacation time required, a savings of $100+. I could have reserved the room for just Sunday night, but believe me when I say that that is too much; driving all those hours plus the time change plus trying to get back up early the next morning plus driving back down is rough, especially considering the need to go back to work the next day.

The next post will be covering... not the details of the thing... but fairly close estimates of costs and times.
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:52 am

Alrighty, here are the estimated (but fairly close) details.

Between room, gas, and food... which is based on two people if I drag Steven along... I'm looking at $565; this leaves no money for extras like car emergencies or souvenirs or the like.  But, that's really no concern because there are 51 Fridays from now until then.

Oh, important side step here.  Because my company has merged with another (not my client / your company, just my company), my paydays have gone to every other Friday to every Friday.

Okay, anyway, there are 51 Fridays between now and the day of the trip.  I just need to put aside a minimum of $11 a week to do this, which is not a problem at all.  Additionally, it wouldn't be hard to set aside extra money for whatever, not at the minimum weekly deposit amount.  I only mention this and break it down for those who are interested but feel that it'll be too expensive... ten dollars a week may be hard pressed to do, especially if you have extra expenses at home (been there, done that).

But, as with other trips in the past, I am not going to ask for gas money; same excuse, too: I'm going anyway.  If you want to contribute, that's cool, but it isn't asked, requested, or required.  If you do decide to come, all I ask is that you have enough money for food / beverages, and contribute something to room costs.  Not even asking for a split of the room, because once again I was going anyway, just pay whatever you think is fair.  Of course, nothing can really be said until we get close to the departure date, so there's plenty of time.

Now then, estimated departure time.

3p check in , Eastern Time.  I really hate using google maps to determine drive time when crossing a time zone.  I have no idea if the time figures in the time change or not, so I'll just base it off of mileage.  If I go the normal way, 214 miles... go through Marinette, 220.  Either way, it should be about a four hour drive, so to make things easier, should anyone want to come, I will go through Marinette.  Why should you waste gas coming out to my place?  Then your vehicle would be left behind.  At least this way, your vehicle stays put, and you'll save gas.  Okay, so then, 3p ET is 2p CT... four hour drive (not counting stops)... we'd be leaving Marinette at about 10a, to get to the motel at check-in.  Sure, we could leave later, that's always open for discussion.  Check out time is 11a, but we'd be checking out before we head to the bridge.  Departure time is dependent on when we actually get back to the parking lot, but I have never gotten home later than 5p (or was it 6?)  Either way, at the latest, there is plenty of time to get home, relax, and be up and ready for the next day for work or school, case may be.


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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Fri May 19, 2017 9:18 am

Bridge Walk 2017, a change

Due to security issues... nothing found by Homeland or anything, just general concerns, what with all the recent automotive attacks / driving into massed people... it has been decided that the Mackinac Bridge, in its entirety, will be closed to motorized traffic (with the exception of buses and emergency response vehicles) from 6:30a until noon. Because of this closure, the walk rules have also been changed: walking starts at 7a (or 7:30, I forget which), with the last of the walkers being able to start no later than 10a; at 11:30a, buses will begin to pick people up from the bridge itself... ie, you will not be able to finish if you are still on the bridge at that time. Traffic will open on all lanes promptly at noon.

Having done this walk, I can attest that yes, it can be completed in 1.5 hours, but, in taking the buses back over the bridge to return to my car, there have always been massive amounts of people still on the bridge between noon and 1p, meaning a lot of people usually didn't start until after this new proposed end time. With that said, the bridge is going to be packed.
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:10 am

Bridge Walk 2017, new experiences

Officially, as of yesterday, Vader has announced that he would like to participate in this year's bridge walk, thus freeing my youngest from another horrible ordeal (as far as teen opinions go).

In case previous posts aren't read (but people just keep up-to-date on the newest posts), we'll be staying at the Super 8, from the check in date of Saturday September 2 to checking out on Monday September 4.

As a good portion of the day Saturday is going to be focused on driving, I still don't foresee too much going on that evening; this is all new to Vader, so if he's up for something, that's his call. With Sunday, could always take him over to the colonial forts, or one (or more) of the many tourist attractions about the area. But again, his choice. We'll just see what happens.

And remember, due to heightened security, we'll have to cross the bridge before noon, which isn't a problem: From doing this in the past, I figure as long as we can get to the loading site between 9a and 9:30a, we'll be good. Ten minutes to drive to the bridge unloading zone, ten minutes to walk through the check point (police check any bags you might be carrying) and another five to get to the bridge. I do expect larger early crowds because of the security concerns, so getting to the bus loading area at 9 would probably be a little better. Of course, getting there much earlier would be even better, but again, we'll just wait and see.

Regardless, if we cross the bridge at the latest time (noon), we still have a twenty minute walk or so to get to the return buses. A nice chunk of time to cross back over the bridge, get dropped off, walk back to the other buses that'll take us back to the car... figure we get back to the car at 1:45, give or take. From there, clear sailing with plenty of gas station stops to stretch legs and get caffeine. Four hour return trip, but with the time change, we'd be back at roughly 5p Central Time.

I'm rather looking forward to this. Not because it's another bridge walk, nor because it's the 60th, but I get to share the experience with someone new.
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PostSubject: Re: Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk   Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:40 am

Preparing is half the battle

I’m just writing this up to offer some advice from a “been there, done that” perspective, as it relates to preparing for a Bridge Walk.

Right now, this very week, makes a good time to start preparing. Last week may have been better, but as long as you start in July, you’ll be good. And with that, what I’m talking about is pacing, gradually building yourself up to walk 5+ miles at a time. We have eight weeks between now and the week prior to the walk, so if you were to start walking one mile each day, and then bump it up by a half mile every week, by departure time you’ll be at 4.5 miles. I know this sounds silly, but here me out: this is where the been there / done that comes into play.

My first bridge walk, I didn’t physically prepare. By the end of the walk, or rather by time I returned to my car after the walk, my knee was swollen and squishy. Even Steven experienced some joint discomfort… while I walked or stood the entire walk, Steve had to stop and sit, stretching his legs and knees. I have learned since then, and that’s why I do this gradual increase.

With each subsequent bridge walk, I have improved. I didn’t improve with each walk, just an overall improvement since the first one. My second bridge walk I plotted a course throughout Crivitz as my walk route: 3 miles. Set forth, and by time I returned home, I had blisters and a knee that twitched with a life of its own. By time I did my third walk, I perfected my route and routine (and thus, the gradual build up). Not everyone is as big as I am, and I am certain that strains on my knees will be more problematic than, say, Vader. There’s a lot of weight on my joints. But, keep in mind that the boy had issues as well, and he’s a lot younger than we are, plus more physically active.

Another thing I’ve found out is that it’s good to have pacing. While you’re in the early stages of the prep, there is no pacing other than what you can do. What you want to work towards is an average walking speed: three miles an hour. A lot of factors will play into that, if the speed is higher or lower, but you want to shoot for three miles in an hour. So, in the early stages (miles one and two), just walk. Flex those joints, get your feet and legs moving. Breathing will get easier, heart rate, though elevated, won’t be dangerously so. It’ll get better.

By time mile three arrives, what you’ll want to do is play the same music selection at the start of each walk. You’ll begin to note what features go with what song, and you can quicken or lessen your pace accordingly. If you don’t want to listen to music, but rather the sounds around you, that’s fine.

As long as you walk three miles at a time on a regular basis, you’ll be fine. Seriously. Even if you hit the three mile mark and just do three miles each day for the remaining weeks, you’ll be good. The idea is to just get the joints flexible and moving, to prevent leg muscles from cramping, and to essentially toughen your feet.

With me, I would (and will probably again) walk two miles during my lunch break and another 3+ when I got home. Which reminds me, I should probably reactivate my Ingress account.
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