2009 color tour day 1: Home to Mackinaw City, MI

For the second time in as many years, I’m taking a fall color tour through the U.P. This time, however, I intend to finally get the two western U.P. counties to finish off my native state. I also intend to hit a couple places I missed last year.

The route today:

M-66 north (you don’t need to know how I got to 66 :p)
M-21 east (to not be stuck behind a manufactured house)
BUS US-127 (St. Johns) north
US-127 north
BUS- US-127 (St. Louis) north
M-46 east
Meridian Rd north (gains M-30, which I clinched in one fell swoop, at M-20)
M-55 east
M-65 north
Kokosing Rd west
South Branch Rd north (becomes Curtisville Rd in Alcona County)
Bamfield Rd west (becomes Curtisville Rd in Oscoda County, designated as Oscoda County 604 mostly)
M-33 north (including M-72 and F32 triplex)
M-32 east with a brief stop in Hillman to clinch BUS M-32
2nd Ave through Alpena’s Old Town
Wessel Rd north
Hamilton Rd west
US-23 north
Huron St north to the motel

*It rained pretty much from home until I got into Oscoda County, so obviously no pictures until that point.
*Meridian Road from M-46 north has quite a bit of traffic. I’ll also note that M-30 is now signed from M-20, and the new bridge over the Tittabawassee in Sanford looks quite impressive.
*Was rather surprised to see M-55’s intersections with M-33 and M-65 both signalized. I guess traffic warrants them.
*It was interesting to see CR 604 marked along Curtisville Rd in Oscoda County using the black-on-white squares. This road also had a couple paved sections between dirt sections. But then I saw CR 604 signed with the standard blue pentagons west of Au Sable Valley River Rd, and there was an eastbound reassurance marker on that road. From there to M-33, CR-604 was in excellent condition.
*There were a couple C32 markers where F32 markers should have been the first couple miles north of Mio.
*The State Highway Department (sic) garage in Hillman still lists Murray Van Wagoner as State Highway Commissioner (sic).
*It looks as though the camelback in Hillman is getting bypassed. Hopefully, the camelback there gets preserved as one did in Mottville.
*A repaving job on US-23 heading west out of Cheboygan was ongoing.
*In a few minutes, I’ll see that the Mackinac Bridge still looks wonderful at night.
*With this jaunt, I now have all of the L.P. counties clinched. I’ll have the whole state on Sunday.

The Flickr photoset for this trip is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/rawmustard/sets/72157622551689736/

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