“Let’s walk The Bridge,” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said. “Are you kidding? I’m not walking five miles,” I said.

Well, I lost out.

Many, many moons ago, I had the experience of walking the Mackinac Bridge one Labor Day morning and it was something I still remember to this day, sort of.

The older we get, us old folks know how our recollection goes, it’s a wee bit fuzzy, but I still recall my version of Bridge Walk 1.

I had a Ford pickup with an extended aluminum cap on the back, and my wife and I decided we could make a few modifications and ended up sleeping in the back of the truck instead of forking out big money for a motel room or a camping site.

She found some sort of curtains to have over the windows for a bit of privacy (you know how girls are) and we had an inflatable mattress and sleeping bags. It was home for a weekend.

We had made the five hour trek up north with family and stayed on the St. Ignace side.

After enjoying our Saturday and Sunday in the U.P., that included a trip over to Mackinac Island, Labor Day morning came really early.

Alarm clocks started going off at 5 a.m. and we hustled around to prepare for our first adventure across the bridge.

I could not believe what I saw when I first arrived at the starting line. A sea of people, as far as you could see, lined up to make the five-mile trek across the bridge. Some held spots in line while others headed for coffee for all of us.

Was this really going to be worth it? I remember thinking twice about doing this, but who was I to chicken out?

I didn’t care about being up towards the front of the line. I just wanted to get on with it and get my five mile jaunt in.

Once we began moving like a herd of turtles, the excitement grew. We eventually got to the “fun” part of the bridge where you could literally feel the bridge swaying side to side, it was noticeable.

Near the middle of the bridge, a portion of the roadway is made of heavy-duty metal grating.

Much to the chagrin of the girls, the guys all decided we would spit through the openings of the grating and see how long it would take for it to hit the water.

Hey, it was great entertainment and it caught on with those around us. Little kids loved it and had to try it too! Our wives were so proud of us (not!) as they rolled their eyes and told us to keep moving.

We were quite proud of ourselves completing the hike and crossed the finish line walking on to I-75 (the closed portion) and in to Mackinac City.

It was there I learned that we once again had to wait in gigantic, long lines to board a school bus and catch a ride back to St. Ignace.

After waiting for what seemed like a near eternity, we made it back to the other side of the bridge, back to “God’s Country” as Yoopers call it, and promptly napped after our rousing morning.

All in all, it was a good time, nice trip up north but for me, it was not something I had circled on my calendar for every Labor Day weekend.

We did end up doing it again, a few years later. The second time, we stayed in a pop-up camper on the Mackinac City side, at a campground nearby and did enjoy the camp atmosphere.

But again, morning came awfully early as we had to board buses on the south side of the bridge and get bussed to the starting point on the St. Ignace side.

The walk was fun, thousands of people took part. And yes, we did our spit experiment again.

And again, our wives shook their heads and wanted to disown us.

Boys will be boys, even Up North.

Contact Dave at editor@pageone-inc.com