Last time we were in Mackinac, it was a Saturday night and a bit chilly in the straits. As it happens, it was the big night when scores of trucks, all their lights a blazin', cross the Bridge in a big old convoy. It is an annual thing, and alas, I have never timed it right until this past September. Actually, it was dumb luck, but that happens when you wander.
Taking pictures from a cheap phone, in the windy evening, did not bode well for many of the pics turning out well. Some are kinda creepy actually with all the blurred lights. It was cool though, from where we stood, right at the corner of the main drag near the ferry docks, we could see and hear everything. I say hear because we could hear the horns from the bridge and see the lights, then when the convoy circled around we could see em coming up the street near the shore. Great place to stand and watch.
Aint she a beautiful sight? The t-k loved it, we all did. Two hundred plus trucks, lighted up, air horns hootin, crossing the Mighty Mac and cruising down town Mackinac City for no other reason than to do it. People line up, travel vast distances to participate and to watch. You are asking your self why?
For us, it is in the blood. I worked in a truck dealership, did not drive for a living, but my father and grand father did. I grew up around trucks. As much as I have tried to stay away, it seems that love of trucks is buried pretty deep.
My grandfather's first job was driving a truck for the circus, a truck that had no doors, used kerosene lamps as headlights, and was almost as much wood as steel. It was driven by a chain(no drive shaft) and had two levers to shift gears, which basically was two forward and a reverse.My father's first truck had no passenger seat and the floor got really hot over the course of the day. Not much between your feet and the transmission. How things have changed.
The t-k has a love of all things truck. Typical little boy, but then again, it is more than that too. I think its part nurture, part nature. He has grown up with it but not as much as I did. I think its in his genes too.
I would say it is a part of our culture, as much a part as the intrepid colonists of three hundred years ago. Forged by the long drive west of the 19th century and tempered in the plains, the cowboy is not gone. That free willed spirit is still there, and we recognize it and glorify it.
Before you laugh, before you say I am being overly dramatic by romanticizing a simple thing as trucks, think about it. Think long and hard. It is in there, you just have to get past the office, past the unending days in front of a machine.
There is freedom in the soul of the people who cleared the land, the people who went west and rode the plains. Today it is not gone, there are remnants. One such place is behind the wheel, driving across the land. The magic is still there.
I see it, the t-k knows it, and if you let go, you can touch it too. That is why thousands of people travelled to a bridge to watch a bunch of trucks convoy across at night. The horns signaled look here, the lights showed the way. For a moment, everyone could see that long road and feel free.
This is who we are, this is why I wander.