Thursday, August 29, 2019
A MIGHTY MAC ADVENTURE
Last week two friends and I took a day trip to Mackinaw City. We planned to shop at Mackinaw Crossings and have a whitefish lunch at Darrows. When we’d finished those activities, our focus turned to The Bridge.
My first sighting of Mighty Mac always takes my breath away. It is such a magnificent structure! As an eleven-year-old child, I remember taking a ferry ride with my family in 1957 across The Straits as the bridge was being built.
One of my friends was from Mississippi and had never been across The Mackinac Bridge. I hoped to change that on our trip. As we began the crossing, clouds were heavy in the sky, but there was no rain in the forecast. I explained that Lake Huron was on our right and Lake Michigan on our left. I said the Straits area is where the two Great Lakes merged.
As we neared the end of our crossing, my friend asked if we’d be in the Upper Peninsula when we left The Bridge and I said we would. We drove for a while along Highway 2, which borders the northernmost end of Lake Michigan. We stopped at a lookout so we could get a view of the bridge from the U.P.
We didn’t have a lot of time to explore the U.P., so we headed south back across the bridge. I handed my iPhone X to my friend and asked her to document our crossing. Here we were driving on the gridded surface and were approaching the first tower. I love this image because it shows the second tower through the lower opening of the first tower!
Here we are at the center of the bridge approaching the second tower. I cannot help but marvel at the engineering that went into building this structure, especially how the huge main cables anchor the suspender cables to the towers and the deck.
I wanted to take a few more pictures, so we pulled into the Michilimackinac State Park. Here is another view of Mighty Mac. I find it interesting that the bridge, straits, and island are all spelled with the “ac” spelling, while the city retains the “aw” spelling. All are pronounced Mackinaw!
This image is of the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, which was built in 1889. It is a guiding beacon that helps passing ships navigate through the treacherous waters of the Straits of Mackinac. Not for the faint of heart, physically fit people can climb the 51 narrow steps and an 11-rung, eight-foot ladder through a tight hatchway to the top. What a view!
I wasn’t surprised to see Mackinac Island off to my right but I was amazed to be able to pick out The Grand Hotel so clearly.
We had a pleasant day, but we were all tired and ready for the drive home. Too bad we couldn't take a route as eagles fly...or gulls, in this case.