Mackinaw Crossings

Speaking of Bridge Walks, Governors, and statues

September 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL For the ninth year in a row your locally owned and original hometown newspaper, The Rockford Squire, was present Labor Day morning to participate in the 54th annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk. Wanting to be in the first wave of walkers on Labor Day morning, we awoke at 4 a.m. in the middle of the night to drag ourselves out of bed, shower, down ½ a bagel (Herman’s Boy, of course) with ½ cup of bad motel coffee and head off to the bus staging area to grab a seat on the first group of 5 buses to transport walkers across the Mighty Mac to the walk’s origin in St. Ignace in the U.P., eh. A throng of 36,000 people was on hand to walk the bridge that morning, down from 42,000 in 2010. The lesser number perhaps, was the result of the poor economy, high gas prices, unseasonably cool and windy weather, or a combination of all three. Never the less, the traditional bridge walk faithful always show up, some year after year, to participate in what for many is an event on their “bucket list”. So promptly at 7 a.m., following a select group of Michigan runners, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, along with an entourage of 100+ staff and supporters, headed off over the bridge towards the finish line in Mackinaw City aided by a strong wind at their backs. This wasn’t a political event, but never the less, the Governor and his party all sported lime green t-shirts with a sprinting dog and the words, “We work in dog years.” For the uninitiated the analogy was meant to convey that the Governor and his party had accomplished more in one year than previous administrations had accomplished in seven. You know the old expression; “a dog lives the equivalent of seven human years in one year of its life”. Shortly after the start of the walk, your reporters overtook and worked their way through the governor’s party. Being very competitive, we found ourselves with a select few people striving to reach the walk’s finish line in their personal best time. Toward that goal, we achieved admirably, finishing the 5-mile walk in 59 minutes, 36 seconds. Our bridge […]