May 11-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: May: May 11-05
Overhead    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Barbara Bremigan
Below the grates    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Stanley Spruce
Over the railing    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Rebecca Jennings

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 06:04 am:

If you've done any traveling between the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, you've seen today's first scene as you cross over the Mackinac Bridge. Barbara Bremigan captured this uplifting view of one of the spans as she made her own crossing, hopefully snapping it from the passengers seat! The next shot is a point of view that you don't often see. Stanley Spruce found his way 'down under' to get a look at the bottom portion of the five mile stretch connecting the two peninsulas. Our mini tour of the Big Mac wouldn't be complete without a trip over in the wee hours of the morning. No need to worry about getting up before the crack of dawn to make that drive, thanks to Rebecca Jennings' expert eye and steady hand, we view the beautiful sunrise. Quite a unique trio of perspectives!

By smf in troll land on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 06:21 am:

Thanks for the pictures of the great bridge!

By Mary, NWOh on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 06:31 am:

Thank you for the terrific pictures. The Mackinac Bridge is my favorite place so you've started my morning off on a great note. Have a nice day, everyone.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 06:49 am:

It's just like getting up in the morning and taking the "bridge expressway" to work. Thanks a lot. Like I've said before, without the pasty cam, life would be pretty boring down here in TX.

By Joe on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 07:02 am:

My favorite view i get goose bumps everytime I
see the bridge . A few more weeks and I will see this site for the second time this year . My better half says that im like a little kid seeing it for the first time. Thanks go out to all the labor's and engineers that made this happen. The best part of michigan is north of this bridge and my second home Copper Harbor

By Barb, GR MI on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 07:11 am:

Thank you so much for the picture of the Mighty Mac. My mom always has said she is not on vacation until she is north of the bridge. My parents are unable to travel any longer and miss the UP the most.

By JBM CenterLine on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 07:12 am:

Every time when I see this view, when I'm heading to the UP. I put on Seals & Croft song about Take me home. It is a perfect song for crossing this bridge.

By kosk in Toronto on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 07:16 am:

My route home next weekend and I can hardly

By Roudy Mi on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 07:26 am:

I'm partial to Frankie Yankovic for traveling music.

By sandstone princess on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 07:36 am:

Love the bottom photo. Am UP here for a short visit, however my only complaint is the weather! Gives new meaning to the words "dress in layers"...just how many is personal choice and how long you are going to be outdoors. Beyond that, it is soooo good to be in the fresh air and to see the lake. Ahhhh. Sorry to see so many "landmarks" for sale or going out of business. Lack of vision, but that is just my opinion and I don't live here 24/7.

By Kathy from Whitmore Lake/Cheboygan on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 08:12 am:

O now you're in my stomping grounds. We can see the pillars (and the bridge lights) from our place on Lake Huron near Cheboygan, and visit Mackinaw City a lot. Mom and Dad (retired)are on their way up today to do some spring chores--wish I could be there!

By Tyler in GR on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 08:30 am:

Seeing the sunrise over the Great Lakes reminds us that there is a one true God.
Have a great day.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 08:36 am:

This presentation is too awesome. It makes me ask the question... Am I really worthey of seeing this? :)

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 08:37 am:

... I did NOT place an "e" in worthy!

By Uncle Chuck, LB & Commerce Twp., MI on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 08:37 am:

I'm headin that way today for work. Able to be in the U.P. and get paid for it, nothin wrong with that!

By joe on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 09:01 am:

Kathy from whitmore lake , I'm looking at property in cheybogan area any tips . We stay at the wallmart on our way to the upper . Cheybogan is our travel base camp before and on the way home love it there.

By MB in MI on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 09:10 am:

What a fabulous picture of the towers! I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to the top of the north tower a few years ago. One of the coolest things I've ever done.

By Lori, Ohio on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 09:42 am:

What a great picture! I always felt that as the cable rose while going over that beautiful bridge, it it was welcoming me to the land of beauty!

By Jim Pykonen/Vancouver-Wa on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 09:44 am:

Mackinaw City and the bridge marked the beginning of our adventure to the Copper Country. I recall as we neared "the bridge" seeing the two towers dominating over the treetops. Mackinaw City always left me with the impression of what life had been like in days of yore: a busy hub for trade.

By MissingdaUPinMN on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 10:14 am:

Great Pictures!! Brings me back to the days when I took an eigth grade trip with my Stanton class mates to Mackinaw! I have the same picture as the top one. Thanks for bringing back the great memories!

By Tim, Boston on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 10:25 am:

Wal-Mart has a hotel?

By Dave in TC on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 10:25 am:

Nice photos! Two years ago, I was aboard "State of Michigan," the training ship from the Great Lakes Maritime Academy (Traverse City). We went west to east under the bridge early in the morning with clear skies and flat conditions. What an amazing structure, and what a view!
Mackinac Bridge

By Selma on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 10:42 am:

Tim in Boston, Walmart allows RV's to stay overnight in their parking lot. Not sure if there are any criteria that a person must meet in order to park the RV overnight.

By Kalle - Chicagoland on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 10:48 am:

I remember the Big Mac being built. I believe the price tag was about 100 million. Being in the construction industry I have since noted the prices of various river crossings. I have seen price tags of over 100 million on some structures where you could almost throw a rock over to the other side. Well I guess you can't buy a Chevy for $1600.00 anymore either.

By Kim, Alto, MI Near Grand Rapids on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 10:50 am:

Awesome photos. We're heading UP for Memorial weekend and can't wait. My five year old loves going to Upper Michigan to see her Grandmas. And always refers to going home (to GR Michigan) as going back to Downer Michigan. Hmmm...does she have insight beyond her years? Thanks again for the fabulous view.

By Dennis, HI on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 10:59 am:

My dad had the honor of bringing back the last Class D State Basketball tropy over on the ferry in '57 and the first Class D State Basketball trophy over the "Big Mac" in '58 to Chassell.

Great memories !!!!

By Paul Roberts, Mohawk on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 11:05 am:

Just seeing the bridge brings back a flood of memories! It's my second favorite spot in Michigan (the first being the Keweenaw of course) Great shots!

By ed/LL'55 on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 11:10 am:

We were all proud of the accomplishments of both Chassell and Houghton in those years. If i recall correct in '55 Houghton, Mass City and Stephenson all won basketball state titles in B, C, & D classes.

By Janie, IA. on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 11:40 am:

Have heard that it has been known for cars passing over on extreme windy days, actually have been blown off and over this bridge? Any truth to that?

By Barb, GR MI on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 11:45 am:

As far as I know since its opening only one car has blown off the bridge and there is a question on the drivers following the rules.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 11:46 am:

WHOA! That picture above is so awesome. Ever wonder why that bridge just does something to us? It's so unreal!

By Charles in Adrian, MI on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 11:54 am:

In regard to the bridge views, as wonderful as it is, I always
regret a little not having the state ferries to cross the Straits.
That was a fun trip -- except when you had to wait quite a while
for the next boat to come to your dock.
I have a comment on that 1955 Stephenson BB team too.
They had a guy, Mel Peterson, who was the first truly exceptional
athlete I ever saw. When that guy jumped over in the corner for
one of his jump shots, he just kept going up and up and up! I
had always thot that hard work was the big difference between
good athletes and the rest of us. That illusion ended after
seeing Peterson.

By fy on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 12:27 pm:

The one car (Yugo) to go over, didn't blow off. Going too fast, wind caused her to lose control, hit the curb at a steep angle, lanching the car onto the guardrail, slid along the rail, the backend of the car was over the rail, caught a cable and spun the car over the rail.
I believe a Blazer or Ranger went over, but was intentional.

By Kathy from Whitmore Lake/Cheboygan on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 12:34 pm:

Joe, if you're in Cheboygan on a Friday, the local paper puts out a real estate section. There's also a neighbor a bit up the coast who is a realtor, but I don't know how good he is; his name is Frank Jancovic [not sure at all of the spelling, that's what it sounds like].

Janie IA, the first case of someone going off the bridge was in the 90's (if I remember right); the driver was speeding, and driving a vehicle with a higher center of gravity than was around when the bridge was constructed. After that incident, they started escorting high profile vehicles (semi trucks, motorhomes)during high wind conditions--in part, to make sure such vehicles drive extremely slowly. In my opinion, as long as you follow the posted speed, it's a safe structure with gorgeous views.

By Kathy from Whitmore Lake/Cheboygan on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 12:36 pm:

FY, you're right; I was mixing up the Yugo and the Blazer incidents.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 12:53 pm:

"I'm looking at property in cheybogan area any tips."

Kathy from Whitmore Lake/Cheboygan says:
"if you're in Cheboygan on a Friday, tthe local paper puts out a real estate section."

No need to be there though, check it out, here's a link to the
Cheboygan Daily Tribune (Once there, just click on the the Real Estate under Classifieds on the left side of the page.)

By Joe Finn, Rhinelander, Wi on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 01:15 pm:

Well my memory is probably no better than most. But, what I remember was the only car(tin can) to go over the side of the bridge was a Yugo. When the driver's family sued the State of Michigan they got a large amount of money. There was no mention of driving too fast. I think she was blown off the bridge. Yugo was not sued because they had left North America in 1991. Does anybody know where you can get the real facts?

By Jim, Houghton, MI on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 01:42 pm:

Hello from Houghton,

Here is a link from the Detroit News that has some "Mighty Mac" history, including the Yugo incident.

BTW: It just snowed here in Houghton. I knew April was too nice.....


By Joe Finn, Rhinelander, Wi on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 01:57 pm:

Thanks Jim, that was a very interesting, informative article.

By LZ, MI on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 02:05 pm:

Thank you Pasty Central and Dave in TC for the great pics. Loved to hear from others how they feel about seeing Big Mac. I thought I might be alone in that fact that after all those times heading north and all those years, I always felt a thrill to see the bridge. Mean't I had come home.

Crossing the bridge concerns? I have crossed in all conditions, many times and even in a Yugo and a Blazer. Mind your conditions, your manners, and the bridge postings and you will be fine. :)

By Therese from just below the bridge on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 04:29 pm:

A friend of mine was driving across in high winds and the semi upwind of him got blown over. It crushed the front of his car but everyone got out unharmed. Years later he was visiting a friend downstate and went with same to an insurance office. There framed on the wall was a photo of his car under the semi with the caption "We'll Insure Anyone". The owner, when told he was the owner of the crushed car, gave him the photo to keep.

By Downstate Helen on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 05:48 pm:

I always loved crossing the Mighty Mac Bridge at night time when the lights are lit up!! It is just gorgeous! Just as nice during the day when you can see ships pass under the bridge also!It is just a great time crossing the bridge period! If you ever get a chance to do it, go for it.

By Karen, Springboro,Ohio on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 06:57 pm:

This is my families bridge..:) It has such a speical meaning for us all. My grandfather thought it could never be built. He died before he could see the finished Big Mac. I dedicate these photos to him..

By Janie, IA. on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 07:19 pm:

Thankyou all for your responses to my question about car(s) going overboard!!! I think it was the caption for the last pic, "over the railing" that made it come to mind.

By WCW, WA on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 09:05 pm:

I also remember Mel Peterson. He was quite a show.


By downstate don on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 09:47 pm:

Will be going over the "Mighty Mac" in a couple of
weeks. Will be heading home for a few days. Sure
hope it is warmer by then. Looking forward to it.

By sur5er on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 09:57 pm:

I have driven over the Mighty Mac at all times of the year...and in all kind of weather...and at times pulling a camper or a trailer. As long as you obey the speed limit and drive slower when need be, due to conditions, you are fine.

To me, the Mighty Mac is the greatest 'welcome home' sign,when traveling north on I-75. Once, we went to da UP via Wisconsin...and without going over the Mighty Mac, it wasn't the same at all.

By copper country resident on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 10:28 pm:

Great pics of the Mighty Mac

By Bob Tiura, Michigan on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 12:13 am:

Regarding the windy conditions and escorting vehicles across the bridge, they were doing that in the 1960s when I went MTU. In high wind conditions any empty truck, travel trailer, etc. was taken across the bridge beside a loaded semi truck to make the passage safer. They also have rules regarding extremely high winds and have closed the bridge to all trucks or high center of gravity vehicles at times. We once were blown from the left lane to right lane while crossing NB when returning to MTU after Christmas break. We were in a 1956 Ford station wagon and had just passed the south anchor pier with its solid concrete walls. Luckily the driver, Peter Gaines, Salutatorian, class of 1967, had a steady hand and we barely noticed the lane shift (another reason why you got a well rounded education at MTU!).

By fy on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 01:53 pm:

Actually, some mention of the high speed by witnesses prior to the accident was in the papers.
Couldn't prove speed at the time of the accident, so the State couldn't disprove the claim of the wind causing the accident. The car sliding along the rail and hitting one of the cables was in the papers also, though not widely reported.

By Dave of Mohawk on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 05:52 pm:

Beautiful pictures of the bridge, I'm old enough to remember when it was built.

By Mike Mehrman, MI. on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 04:50 am:

I can remember leaving Detroit by 2:30am so we could make the first ferry across in the morning. My Dad would fill the Ford Country Squire with all of us for the all day ride to the Keweenaw. Of course now we could leave at any time of day because the bridge is open 24/7. Beware!! Friday the 13th is today!

By Stan Spruce, L'Anse, MI on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 10:14 am:

I too have many memories of crossing the "Worlds Largest Big Mac" waiting for several hours before riding the ferry across the Straits. In regards to high winds, I remember the Bridge Authority having my father wait until they drove a double decker bus alongside our high camper and boat so we could safely cross. But for all of you, the best way to see the bridge is to do the Bridge Walk, and just remember, its actually about 7-8 miles, walking to where you start the bridge walk from your car, walking the bridge, walking through Mackinaw City to see if you've won a prize from the local businesses and to get to the buses to ride back across the bridge and then walking back to your vehicle, then you will get some awesome views especially when a freighter passes underneath!!! By the way, I am the one that took the underneath the bridge shot from behind the Fort gift shop.

By Helmi Beck, MI on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 10:34 am:


By Gail R. on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 10:43 pm:

One of my favorite views of the bridge is from Mackinac Island. When I was working on the Island in the summer of 1958 a few of us went up the stairs of Fort Mackinac after dark, ducked under the gate and sat on the wall of the fort for a view of the town & straits. The town was so quiet except for the clip clop of the horses and the straits were so calm that the reflection of the bridge lights spread all the way to the Island.
I agree on the bridge walk. It's a great way to extend your crossing. A few years ago we spent so much time in Mackinac City afterwards that we missed the last bus back to St. Ignace where our cars were parked. We, along with a few other people, had to call the Bridge Authority for a ride back. It cost a little more, but was fun anyhow & we got to walk across the top of the toll booths to the parking lot.

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