Mighty Mac

We just returned from a few days in the Michigan Upper Peninsula (which accounts for my nearly total neglect of this blog this past week). Easily, the very first landmark that comes into sight on that trip is the Mackinac Bridge joining the Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. I had told the kids that the bridge was huge; the size of it still astounded them when they first saw it.

(Click on any picture for a zoom-in view!)

The bridge spans the Straits of Mackinac between Mackinaw City and Saint Ignace in Michigan. The bridge runs north and south; the waters of Lake Michigan flow from the west through the straits and into Lake Huron. The bridge is five (5) miles long and is currently the fifth or third longest suspension bridge in the world depending on which reference you read (my research shows more votes for ‘fifth’). It opened to traffic in 1957. For me, one of the most amazing facts is that if one laid each wire strand in the cables that suspend the bridge deck end-to-end, the total length would reach 42,000 miles.


It is a photographer’s tradition to get a picture of an iron ore ship passing underneath the bridge; I managed to meet that goal despite visiting at a time when shipping schedules are down – this particular ship hull is red except for a white and blue stripe forward at the bow.

Another traditional shot is the night shot. I came out to the Bridge View Park after dark and worked on this one. One thing I had forgotten about Michigan – gnats and mosquitoes. They are gigantic and they do not simply attack you – it is more like an all-out assault! We fought passed them and got a few shots during the night!

A small museum stands at the Bridge View Park describing the history and construction of the bridge. Outside the building stands this depiction of a typical bridge worker from that era.

Visit the Mackinac Bridge Web Site for many more facts and figures about the bridge.

More posts on this trip will follow over the next week or so! Stay tuned!


  1. I love the Mackinac Bridge and have taken all of the requisite photos that you prescribed, although I’ve never heard there were requisites. I have also walked the bridge twice (on Labor Day), but my most amazing bridge experience was running it- early in the morning on Memorial Day Sunday, with a staggered start, so you feel like you are the only person in the world on our amazing bridge. Thanks for sharing your photos.

    Liked by 1 person

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