Mar 07-07

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2007: March: Mar 07-07
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Photo by Doug Smith

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 10:02 am:

Of course most regular visitors will recognize this photo from Doug Smith as the Mighty Mac. I can also tell you that the red thing in the photo is a buoy marker, but I certainly don't know if it's one from somewhere around the Mackinac Bridge. I'm guessing it is though and perhaps they decided to retire it to the area surrounding the lighthouse there in Mackinaw City, so that folks can see a channel marker up close. Speaking of the Big Mac, did you know last Friday, during the blizzard, the high winds we were experiencing caused the bridge officials to ban tall vehicles from crossing the Straits for about nine hours, until it died down and was safe for the taller vehicles to make it across. If you're interested in the current conditions for crossing over from the Lower Peninsula to the Upper Peninsula, check out this link: Mackinac Bridge conditions. Then if you'd like to really "see" what the weather looks like, you can click here to go to the Big Mac Cam. Enjoy!

If you haven't already visited Kevin's page, please check it out. I hope to have an update on the progress toward his bone marrow transplant soon.
Anna Roehrich (Updreamer) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 10:07 am:

Good Morning from snowy NJ! Yes, we got about 1/2 an inch this morning, which, of course, turned a 20 minute commute into an hour and 1/2. Go figure! I would much rather be in Mackinac, or anywhere in Michigan for that matter.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 10:16 am:

That is a very pretty area to be! I have the same shot, but taken in August.

By Janet Boatman (Janetnwohio) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 10:27 am:

We also had snow about 3 inches and it was enough for them to cancel school and I think the kids will be going to school much longer for make up days but would rather they thought of the safety of the kids.

By Smfwixom (Trollperson) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 10:36 am:

My favorite bridge any time of the year! I check the bridge sites daily & see all kinds of weather, some of which I wouldn't want to be crossing the bridge in.

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 10:40 am:

My daughter made me wear my pajamas inside out and backwards in the hope that it would bring a snow day in Lansing. No such luck.

By Ken Scheibach (Kscheibach) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 11:03 am:

Mary, Thanks for the bridge links. It's a rather ominous warning for today. 20 mpg speed limit. That makes it a 15+ minute crossing. I once crossed the bridge with a bunch of guys on our way UP north for a week of fishing. One of the guys, that I had known for years as a rough and tough guy and not afraid on anything, revealed to all of us that he had a phobia. He had to lie on the back seat with his head covered. This was on a beautiful June day. I felt sorry for him because he was missing all the beauty that surrounded us. I've heard that this is not uncommon and that someone from the bridge authority will drive you across if you have such a phobia.

Nice album, Doug.

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 11:09 am:

My sister doesn't like to drive across the bridge either. When I was a kid I used to worry that the car would slip like Jello through the grating in the middle. I don't mind driving across at all. It is so majestic. Some day I'll have to do the Bridge Walk.

By Shirley Milford (Grannymim) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 11:20 am:

Mary, thanks for posting the pic and info about The Mackinaw Bridge! The history is so interesting and the 50th Anniversary Bridge Walk is coming in Sep this year. WOW. I was amazed at the number of people making the 5 mile walk across in the pic. (I thought I had seen pics posted here before and tried to post it but it didn't work - is there a way to post pics?) But I was glad to see the walkers don't have to walk back across the bridge but can ride in the school buses. ha
grannymim in Memphis

Mary says: I'm sure there are others with pictures of the bridge walk, but here's a link to the year my hubby and I walked it: Sept. 1, 2003. If you'd like to view it in a slideshow, click here: Labor Day 2003 slideshow. I have to add, it was really a neat experience and I'd love to do it again some time!

By Musicteacher (Musicteacher) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 11:21 am:

I've walked the Mighty Mac. It is an experience that we
should all have in our lifetime. You cannot feel and
smell the air in a car and you get a real "feel" for the
bridge on foot.

One year, on a trip downstate, my wife, kids and I
waited for HOURS to get on the bridge. Traffic was
slow because of bad weather. When we finally made it
onto the bridge, we heard on the radio that the
Mackinac Bridge was closed to all traffic. What? We
were going across it!! Looking in the rearview mirror
we discovered that there were no cars behind us. We
were the last to cross. Later we learned that
the winds were 80+ mph that day. I guess we were

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 11:36 am:

I love the mackinac Bridge, it is always a great view. Also one of the few places on earth where you can have pea soup fog combined with high winds. Too bad you can't see the view when that happens, its my favorite in sunshine.

By Helen (Heleninhubbel) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 11:58 am:

I have allot of fond memories of that bridge....every summer we would go up north to see it's progress............wish I could jump on it from here and go home to visit

I see a Kevin can turned up at Louies ....quickly I deposited what I had ..... are they all over the area???? I was glad to see it
Mary says: Yes, they're in many area businesses now and thanks for your contribution Helen!

To all of you I wish a wonderful day ....God Bless

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 01:00 pm:

I love crossing the Mighty Mac, although I must admit the first time I crossed it I was hiding under the dash of the truck. My Mother's cousin helped build the bridge and used to work for the Bridge Authority. He once took us all on a tour of one of the towers; quite fascinating and what a view!!!

The state of Texas is replacing the bridge across to Galveston Island and they are trying to make it "artistic" by shaping the cement sidewalls, making a wavy pattern. It looks pretty, but I don't think they consulted anyone on the effect it would have on certain people. By the time some people cross the 3 miles to the Island, they are completely seasick from the wavy pattern of the barrier......

By Kathyrn Laughlin (Kathyl) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 01:04 pm:

That is a familiar view. When we go on our anual winter trip to our cabin outside of Cheboygan, we usually also go to Mackinaw City. It is de rigeur to visit that little park; I have several photos of that same view, documenting our presence ;>) .

By Jacobsville (Barb) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 01:54 pm:

My daughter (39) is also afraid to cross the bridge. She waits until
they escort cars and trucks across and joins in the line. They only
go maybe 15 or 20 mph, and she was comfortable with that.

Heleninhubbell, I deposited my money into a Kevin Can at the
hardware store in Lake Linden too. I think it's a GREAT idea!!!
Mary says: Thanks to you too, Barb! :->

By Michele Maatta (Mrmaatta) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 02:34 pm:

Oooohhhhhhh as one who studied civil engineering at a point in my life, I love the Mighty Mac! Thanks for featuring it.

By Stefany L. Palosaari (Stefany) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 02:35 pm:

I have walked the bridge every year for the past 5 years since I moved to the Soo. I used to be afraid to drive over it... but since I've walked it, it's not so bad!

By Marge Roberts (Fluffyyellow) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 02:52 pm:

Did you know there are two Big Mac bridges? We Cincinnatians call the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge the Big Mac for short. (That insults MY sensibilities, as a daughter of the U.P.) When you see the picture, you know where it got its name.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 03:12 pm:

I can hear it now......

Two all steel arches, special steel, cement, paint, cables, lights over a not-so-clean river ;-)

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 03:17 pm:

I have taken one poor out of state person over that bridge, I said "you have to see it". They actually responded that they had seen bridges before. As if the Mac is any Bridge. I was quite satisfied when the jaw dropped.

By paul (Pungvait) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 03:33 pm:

buoy, what a neat picture

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 03:47 pm:

Very good Capt Paul...I'm lovin' it!

By Happy to be in the U.P. (Lahelo) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 03:52 pm:

Paul, I agree with you about buoy, what a neat picture. That is a BRIDGE to cross for sure! Done that too many times to remember.

By FJL (Langoman) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 04:13 pm:

From the Mackinac Bridge Authority......Our most common closures are for high winds. However we have closed the bridge to falling ice (from the cables three times and poor visibility 3 times in the past 49 years) Wind warning mode is issued when wind speed averages 20 mph. During wind warning mode, high profile vehicles are advised to reduce their speed to 20 mph or less, use their four-way flashers, and travel in the right hand (outside lane). We begin the escort mode when wind speed averages 35 mph. During wind escort mode, all high profile vehicles such as box trucks, motor homes, and vehicles pulling trailers are escorted across the bridge in groups by Mackinac Bridge Authority vehicles. The partial closure mode is put into operation when wind speed averages 50 mph. Only passenger cars and pick-ups are allowed to crass during partial closure mode. We close the bridge to all traffic when wind speed averages 65 mph.

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 05:21 pm:

Or you can just bypass the bridge altogether. I went to Roscommon and back today. I flew over Beaver island. No bridge toll either.

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 05:47 pm:

Happy 50th Anniversary to the Mighty Big Mac! I love the Mackinac Bridge. This is a great picture for today! We have a number of pictures of it from the Mackinaw City side near the old lighthouse.

Speaking of bridge closings & reduced speed limits, etc: over the years, we have been subjected to the 20 mph limit crossing the bridge a number of times. The reduced speed limits have normally been for high winds, with wind speeds that we didn't even think were that high. Brooke, we have even run into one of those thick pea soup fogs, with high wind warnings, too. That was my first experience ever with thick fog & high winds at the same time. Prior to that, I had always been taught that the winds keep the fog away, but not at the Mackinac Straits. When the Mich. Tech kids came home for Thanksgiving 2006, there was a reduced speed limit and/or escort required in effect because of high winds. My son is coming home from Tech for Spring Break on Friday. I always watch the bridge conditions when he is enroute.

A guy that coaches a local youth hockey league here made it home from a tournament in Canada a day early because his team lost, a few years ago. The ones who stayed for the rest of the tournament were out of luck, because the bridge closed shortly after he crossed it for several days because of high winds & heavy snow. That would be fun explaining to your boss that you could not get home in time to get to work because the bridge was closed. Better safe than sorry. :-) I also know of school teachers who have gone to the UP for long weekends, & then had to miss an extra day of school because of the bridge’s being closed when it was time to go home.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 05:48 pm:

Great shot! We'll be down there on the 28th and 29th of July! Absolutely can not wait!

By Alex J. Tiensivu (Ajtiensivu) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 07:20 pm:

Buoy oh buoy! What a nice photo. (Don't worry... I intend on keeping my day job!)

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 08:09 pm:

Bridges, bridges, bridges -- lovely to look at, scary to cross! I love the view but the IDEA of crossing just gets me so uptight. I do better driving than riding. Go figure -- I know it makes no sense. Someday I hope to cross this one again, somehow or other.

By Pennie (Trolldiva) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 08:24 pm:

My favorite place in the world! There is no where else I would rather be. Only 139 days till we go. Anyone else going up for the anniversary in july? I can't wait to see the fireworks over the straights!

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 09:34 pm:


When exactly is the celebration?

By Ken Scheibach (Kscheibach) on Thursday, March 8, 2007 - 05:11 am:


By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Thursday, March 8, 2007 - 06:28 am:

Thank you, Ken!

By Former Yupper (Carol) on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 02:02 pm:

Hi Guys,
I remember when there was no bridge, had to cross on a ferry.We waited in long lines for hours to get our car on the ferry to cross. Took forever to get down to the lower "state". Hawkers used to walk up and down the lines selling drinks, food etc. I enjoyed it as a kid, but my Mom complained mightily about the delay. Showing my age, I'm sure. It was tough finding a bathroom!!

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