Travel forecasters say highway travel will be way up this Memorial Day weekend after restrictions have been lifted, so I would hit the road early Friday.

AAA says they anticipate over one million Michiganders to travel over 100 miles this holiday weekend, an increase of 57 percent from 2020, when restrictions were tight.

Even with the sharp increase in gas prices, I would anticipate a mass exodus starting early Friday, as the northbound traffic in particular will be thicker than usual.

That's because most travelers, according to the Washington Post, are headed back to nature, with searches online and AirBnB bookings indicating that rural areas will be the travel destination preferred by most this weekend.

With all of that being said, it's no secret that starting at about 4pm on Friday, things will get a little bit thick along US 131 Northbound on Friday.

As a state trunk line highway, US 131 picks up flow from the Indiana line all the way to Petoskey. This is nothing new, as 131 is built along an old Native American trail, called the Mackinaw Trail, that was also used to traverse north, and just like us, the lakes and rivers of northern Michigan were a prime summer stop even back then.

It then was made fit for the stage coaches and wagons of earlier settlers by placing planks across it to make it a little more tolerable, but barely.

Mark Twain once commented, "The road could not have been bad if some unconscionable scoundrel had not now and then dropped a plank across it," after he took a trip from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids back in the 19th century.

So plan on getting out early and may you have safe travels this weekend.

And please, don't be like the idiot below:

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