Posted in Life, photography, travel

Both Sides

The Mighty Mac – Mackinac Bridge

I’m not a fence straddler – really. But I do manage to often see both sides of an argument. Or an issue. I can see your point and I can see another’s as well. Both sides of the coin.

Sometimes that puts me in a quandary because seeing both sides can tend to make me a little indecisive. (Just ask Papa about how vacillating I become when we discuss where to grab a bite to eat.)

But often, I think there’s an advantage seeing both sides because it helps me understand the issue better. It gives me perspective as to why people choose one way or another to follow, to support, to believe.

I’m not convinced that a lot of folks look at both sides anymore. It seems we, as a society, are polarized and don’t want to calmly discuss our different points of view. And the media…well, don’t get me started on that. I truly do not believe they tell both sides of a story.

As happens more often than not, a photograph leads me to thinking about all of this. Pictures I captured on our autumn trip to Michigan did just that, giving me the inspiration for this post.

To get to the Upper Peninsula from the Lower Peninsula, Papa and I traveled across the Mackinac Bridge from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace. Unfortunately, that crossing occurred in the dark, so I didn’t get any photographs.

But upon leaving the UP, we once again crossed that amazing structure – daylight this time –  stopping at spots on either side of the toll bridge so I could capture some images of this eye-catching structure. 

Notice how massive it is by the size of the trucks and cars

The Mackinac Bridge is touted as being the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world (the suspension is 8,614 feet long) and has a total span of about five miles. What’s truly awe inspiring is the engineering it took to construct this bridge sometimes called the “Mighty Mac.”

Because there are high winds over the Straits of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron, as well as significant temperature and weight changes, the bridge was designed to accommodate those aspects.

I’m not an engineering expert but the fact that the bridge’s center span deck can move up to 35 feet east or west because of the force and direction of severe high winds amazes me.

And windy it is as you drive across this bridge; that’s why the maximum speed limit is 45 mph for automobiles, 20 mph for trucks, and there is also a weight limit. Over-sized vehicles must have a bridge escort. If you fear driving across, a Mackinac Bridge Authority employee will drive you.

As we approached the Mighty Mac from the north, we noticed Bridge View Park, so we stopped there. It proved to be a marvelous spot to photograph the bridge. Windy, yes. Chilly, certainly. But so very worth the stop.

Mackinac Bridge from north in Bridge View Park

Once we crossed the bridge, we again found another area to visit to view the bridge from the south side at Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse.

Mackinac Bridge from south at Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

Two views. Two perspectives. It reminds me to always listen to both sides of a story.

“In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story.” ~ Walter Cronkite




Mama of this empty nest, I’m content to live a quiet, country life with my husband of 40+ years and to view gorgeous sunsets off our own back yard deck. Mama to three adults and Nana to adorable grandchildren, my empty nest fills up again with noise and laughter when they all return 'home'. A former English teacher, reporter/editor, education director for a non-profit organization, and stay at home mom, I retired after a season of substitute teaching at a private academy. Now I enjoy time spent with my grandchildren and family and writing words that seem to pour out of my soul or wandering around the countryside with my camera. Foremost, my faith sustains me as I meander through the empty nest stage of life. My favorite scripture is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

27 thoughts on “Both Sides

  1. Another wonderful post. I don’t think I’d be able to get across that bridge; I have an aversion to driving over bridges that span water. I love the idea that there’s someone who will drive FOR you if you need to get across. I wonder what their job title is?


    1. Thank you, Margo. Apparently, a lot of people have that phobia of driving over bridges. There’s even a name for it – gephyrophobia. So it’s a good thing there are folks who will do that for you – the Mackinac Bridge Authority just calls them bridge escorts, I think.


  2. Oh Walter Conkrite! A real, objective journalist without an agenda. Where have they gone?! There are not two sides to stories in media anymore and it breaks my heart. I’m glad I got out of reporting when I did. Gorgeous photos of that bridge! The view is amazing but I think i would probably pass out crossing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder the same thing! It just seems to me that objective journalists like Walter Cronkite don’t exist any more. I too was once in journalism, although not on the hard news side, and I am just appalled at the media today. On a lighter note, that bridge is amazing and beautiful but not for the faint-hearted!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d never make it across that bridge with my eyes open. Someone else would have to drive! Haha!

        I was in hard news, features and obits – I did a little of everything because that’s what you do at a small town papers. It’s all such a mess right now it makes me want to cry some days and, in fact, I have a time or two!


      2. Even our small town paper prints stuff that is so biased, it makes me want to cancel my subscription. Back in the day (before children), I was a reporter/assistant editor for the arts and entertainment section of a city daily newspaper that had both a morning, afternoon, and Sunday edition. I wrote lots of feature stories and reviews, but was surrounded by the hard news reporters. I’ve lost track of almost all of them (and of course, most of them are retired or even deceased), but I often wonder what they would think of the “news” as it is today.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m pretty sure they would be horrified by the news of today. Our one local paper isn’t biased, our other one is. But the weekly paper that my husband is the editor for tries to keep their opinions out of news stories as much as possible. They are a tiny, community paper like you read about it books that covers hard news but is heavier on the fluffy features. After 22 years of the harder stuff my husband doesn’t mind the fluff (even though he will admit he’s not a fluff writer like I am! Haha!). I hate to say it but I don’t think mainstream journalism or even journalism as a whole can gain the trust of the public back again. They’ve gone too far over the line and blurred the line between objective reporting and editorializing so much they don’t even know how to be real journalists with an objective view anymore. It’s sad.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It has taken me many years to finally find my own points of view. Love your post on the ability to see two sides. It does give us the advantage of understanding. But now I see there is freedom in knowing where I stand so I can make clear decisions. I would ask for help in driving a ross that bridge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to agree with you. Even though I do listen to both sides to understand, I still do have clear convictions on many of my beliefs. Civil discussions are what I hope for with those who don’t agree with my stand and the ability to see where someone else is coming from. Yes, that bridge would be pretty scary for some folks! I was glad my hubby was driving. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a well-explained point about listening to both sides – using a perfect illustration of the bridge! I appreciate your writing! The details of the bridge’s design are remarkable. Terrific photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Another great perspective. I am much like you and try to hear both sides of a story and often it makes me understand a lot more of a situation. Sometimes that is just what is needed. Thank you for another wonderful post, my friend.


  6. Beautiful bridge. Thanks for all the different views of this bridge. It is good to weigh both sides or points of view on most things you encounter in life. I agree that the media does not do this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Or every side — sometimes, there are more than two! Your photos are lovely. I was amazed to read that a Bridge employee sometimes helps fearful drivers get across. It would be unfortunate to get onto the UP, but be paralyzed with fear when it came time to leave.

    Liked by 1 person

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