Longest Suspension Bridge With Two Towers Between Anchorages in the Western Hemisphere


Welcome to the start of the 51st annual Mackinac Bridge Walk. Wow…the bridge looks really far away in this shot. In fact, when we were bused over I kept thinking the whole way as we slowly creeped along, “Woah..this is one long bridge. I mean, we’ve been driving over it for five minutes now and we haven’t even gotten to the bridge proper. Ima gonna die!” Of course traffic was unusually slow because they had narrowed it down to one lane each way (usually there are two north and two south lanes) so the walkers could walk.


The National Guard and some Army Corps of Engineers were hanging out both at the catwalk side as well as the traffic median side so that the walkers wouldn’t stray. You would think that most people could obey a simple rule like “Don’t walk into the oncoming traffic” but you would be wrong. By the time we got there, these dudes had already spent two hours yelling at people to quit being dumbasses. What’s up with that?


TheMan and I started out at a good clip (top speed 5 something miles per hour) and kept pace with this semi for a little bit. Poor fella was hauling something heavy and the stop and go traffic was killing him.


I have a weird fascination with expansion joints. When we got to the chapter about metals and coefficient of expansion in high school physics I was clam happy to be doing the homework. How much room did you need for a bridge to expand? Let me show you! Naturally I took pics of some real live expansion joints when I got the chance.


The awesome thing about walking the bridge is that you have plenty of opportunity to set up for the money shot. This is not it. Neither is the next shot. Or the next. In fact, you may have too much time to wait while you are plodding along to get the second tower perfectly framed in the eye of the first. On the other hand, when traveling 45mph in a car you have to time it juuuuust right to get your pic. I’m still working on that.


Buuut while waiting for the towers to line up just so, you can take other pics like this one. It was crazy the number of times the buses and trolleys went to and fro hauling people to the start line.


I’m not sure how these buses get all wedged in those tiny little spaces but you couldn’t pay me to do that. Bus seats are taller than the guard rails and it’s a long, long way down.


This poor person either fell over from exhaustion or they had them park one of the tour buses out on a bridge wing.


See? Loooong way down. This is over the grating which makes up the middle two lanes. I thought it would be really freaky walking over it (because driving over the grate is hella weird yo) but not so much actually.


Still waiting for my awesome bridge shot, I have time to snap some pics of this kayak guy. He was exceedingly hard to find in the viewer because he was tiny and the light was hitting the view finder dead on. I had to sight him through parts of the bridge work and then quickly find the bridge bits in the camera. Only then could I find what I was trying to shoot. I have a lot of pictures of the water, sadly.


Here’s the Coast Guard zooming around. Not surprisingly, there was a lot of boat traffic out.


AhHA!


On the trolley ride over, the driver said that the halfway point was when the cable met the bridge. Huzzah! TheMan and I met up with the Qs sometime just before tower one and then zoomed past. I think we were on the fast side of walking as for every person who passed us by, we passed maybe six others. Somewhere around the middle of the walk we began playing “passing tag” with a Mennonite family. Ultimately we wound up staying ahead of them for good but it was really nip and tuck. They were right quick with the walking.


So I’m looking around, because there’s not much else to do while you’re walking a five mile bridge, and I look up to see these fellas. Woah! That’s like the tippy top of the second tower. We must look like ants.

They’re like…way up there.


One hour and twenty minutes later we crossed the finish line. YAY!


2007: JSFR: Mini Crisp Wafer Roll

2006: Oh hey, I just realized something: My cat’s gone hillbilly

2005: Trying to walk faster than the Mennonites and not updating.

2004: Longest non-updating period from Monday to Tuesday in the fall season.

2003: “Hey, hibiscus don’t have wavy antenna!”

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