December 28, 2015
on the road again – the drive homechristmas 2015 – 7th entry
click to read the christmas 2015 posts
Section One – 52 miles
Sault Ste Marie to St. Ignace
Crossing back into the US is always a struggle, not as bad as the Peace Bridge in Buffalo or the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit. But the International Bridge on the American side has no NEXUS lane and a weird plaza design.
Section Two – 66 miles
St Ignace to Gaylord
This includes crossing the Mighty Mackinac. The Bridge is beautiful, however the railings are very low and it’s easy to feel like you’re floating above the Straits. I have to keep my eyes straight ahead, because looking around me is terrifying. And to make the crossing even harder, the inside lane is a grate and driving on it is even more disconcerting than the outside lane with its almost absent railing.
Section Three – 28 miles
Gaylord to Grayling
This is a winter nightmare and a micro-climate. The weather in this section can close I-75. There have been years where I waited at Rose-and-Derrick’s for the snowfall and forecast to shift up here in the snow-belt before I headed up I-75.
Section Four – 42 miles
Grayling to West Branch
I stop at West Branch and gas up. In the spring and summer, I even stop and shop at the Eddie Bauer outlet.
Section Five – 65 miles
West Branch to Saginaw
The is the last section of I-75 with two lanes. And as I get closer to Saginaw, the rural, farmland begins to shift to light industry and shopping centers.
Section Six – 39 miles
Saginaw to Flint
This is the northern boundary of greater Detroit. The highway is now 10 lanes wide mainly because of the huge outlet mall – Birch Run. And I-475 is the beginning of the eastern direction of the trip.
Section Seven – 21 miles
Flint to Lapeer
Where I-475 goes through crumbling Flint, I-69 to Lapeer goes through suburban sprawl. The farmland has been converted to track-housing and strip malls.