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.
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.
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.
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