Why not here
I know that some of you already had their first taste of it. I hadn't yet, escaping it with trips to places like Virginia and South Carolina.
But it has a way of creeping in. On its own terms of course, and timeline. Yet, just as inevitably. Nothing you can do about it. You can mentally prepare yourself by checking things online or just by listening to the good old radio, but you still can't stop it.
However, if the previous day would have been anything to go by, we were still all good. A bit windy maybe, a few clouds, but otherwise lots of blue in the skies and lots of sun. Perfect driving conditions coming up on I-75 on Michigan's Lower Peninsula.
The Mackinac Bridge pilons contrasted spectacularly against that sky. What a fantastic bridge and what a privilege to be driving here. Even though I wouldn't be seeing much of Michigan's awesome Upper Peninsula this trip, going straight to the border to unload in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and park there for the night. I was happy to be here nonetheless.
To the left: Lake Michigan, to the right: Lake Huron, underneath: the Mackinac Straight, up ahead: Michigan's awesome Upper Peninsula.
Back to the US
Today, after a night at one of the Soo's truck stops, I got a new dispatch to go back and load at the same place where I unloaded the day before. Since this load is bound for the US, after picking it up, there is still time for a shower at that same truck stop while my border crossing is being set up by our excellent dispatch back in Saint Stephen.
Not much later, my ACE shoots out of my printer. Outside, low and horizontally flying flakes of that white stuff are now blowing wildly over the mostly deserted parking lot. It is nothing less than an actual reality check. It has started. Not viciously, not immediately blanketing the whole place with inches of it. But we're not going back to summer, that's for sure.
I feel glad for having a heavy load. It is bound for Des Moines, Iowa, which takes me straight back into Michigan. However, as opposed to yesterday, today I will see a good deal of the Upper Peninsula, the UP. The weather seems to be clearing up a little as I cross the International Bridge, clear customs and take the exit from I-75 to Highway 28 only minutes later.
In the sky, though, all kinds of ominous looking clouds keep moving along briskly at low altitudes. The UP is of course a place that sits right in between Lakes Michigan and Superior, with Lake Huron looming at its eastern tip. If there's ever a place where there could be 'lake effect' squalls, it must be here, I realize as I bring the truck back up to speed on Highway 28.
And lo and behold: soon the surrounding landscape tells me exactly that story. It is white everywhere. Tree branches bending with loads of it on them, freshly fallen, fresh out of the sky. The road itself seems relatively clean for the moment but the world around me tells me it is happening.
Suddenly, it is white everywhere.
Winter is coming. It is poking its head through the door, introducing herself again. Interestingly, the UP seems to be happy to receive her again. They're old friends of course, they don't mind each other much, I would imagine. I love the UP though. It is stunning, I am happy, lucky and privileged to drive here sometimes. If there was ever a place to get this season's first taste of what it will have in store, why not here.
A quick peek of the sun and a magical UP afternoon soon comes to an end.