June 25, 2013

Mackinac Bridge & Lighthouse : Straights of Mackinac, MI

I strayed from my photos of our New York & back trip last month. 
Summer is booming, life has been busy, and I completely left off during our day of NY State Parks..
We hit three of them: Buttermilk Falls (wonderful cascades, seen here), Taughanock Falls (tallest single-drop waterfall east of the Rockies, seen here), and finally, Watkins Glen.
Sometimes I have so many photos of a single place, posting them can become overwhelming. Watkins Glen was one of those times. It was outstanding and I'll definitely get to it.
For now though, a shorter, easier stop to share was in Mackinaw City, MI.
We had started our day at Niagara Falls, NY, driven until dark, and decided this would be a good place to stay for the night.
This area has landed on the small list of places that I could adjust to calling home.
I definitely hope to go back some day and visit Mackinac Island (there are no cars or motorized vehicles allowed there!)

We made right away for the park with views near the bridge (which ended up being the site of the Old Mackinack Point Lighthouse.) 
I had crossed this bridge before when I was 16 with my mom, and remembered that it was special. I was excited to be back all these years later with camera and an opportunity to photograph the bridge while it was lit up at night.  (I don't do a lot of night photography - this is a good challenge for me.)

It was chilly, the winds were blowing strong through the Straights of Mackinac. Mitch was a fairly good sport waiting for me as I made several attempts to photograph the bridge, in the wind, in complete darkness, without a tripod, using makeshift props & guesswork with my settings.
The photos, for the most part, all look the same, but it was crispness & star bursts I was aiming for that varied.  All things considered (no tripod or remote shutter release especially).. I was happy with my shot in the dark.

The Mackinac Bridge opened in 1957, spanning the Straits of Mackinac (with Lake Huron to the East and Lake Michigan to the West) and connecting lower Michigan to the U.P. It is the world's third-longest in total suspension and the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western hemisphere.
The total length of "Mighty Mac" is five miles.

We had the place to ourselves again in the morning, to admire the Old Mackinac Point Light Station.  (It was overcast, chilly, windy, and foggy.)
A beauty, it was in operation from 1890 until 1957, when the completion of the bridge eliminated the need for the light.   Since the bridge has lights on it at night, it became a much better aid to navigation than the light.
Since then, GPS has phased out lighthouses in general as navigation aid.

The junction point of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and the Mackinac Bridge, hidden in morning fog:

On the road again.. crossing the "Mighty Mac" toward the U.P. and, eventually, home.
(sorry for bugs on windshield.)

This trip was one of waterfalls, Great Lakes, and many big bridges - this was the grandest. 


  1. Great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  2. A lovely set of shots!

  3. Sad that the lighthouse is no longer needed. It's lovely.

  4. Beautiful pictures, I especially like the ones with fog, and of course the first night one. :-)

  5. I also love that lighthouse.

  6. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos. I'm from Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and I've crossed this bridge many times. You've brought back some wonderful memories.

    Have a wonderful day. ☺

  7. you did well with your night shot! beautiful! love the foggy ones, too!

  8. I think you did a great job of photographing the bridge at night. I find it hard to get crisp night photos even with a tripod. I also like the foggy morning photos.

  9. I particularly like the shots that include the bridge. Wonderful and so atmospheric.

  10. Awesome photos! I really like the one of the bridge in the dark and the foggy bridge photos. The water is a really pretty shade of blue.

  11. I like the bridge in the fog picture, Amanda. There is so much History all around us.

  12. Really nice shots!!! That first shot of the second bridge is really good!!! Bugs and all!!! I like the fog and the perspective!
    The lighthouse is wonderful too! I think one of the saddest losses from the advent of technology is the lighthouse!!! I wish they were kept active, even though they're not used for navigation...there's almost an aura of sadness surrounding them, because they'r no longer working and have been "put out to pasture"...

  13. These are such fabulous photo. I really enjoyed them. I would love to visit there someday. The bridge fading off into the fog needs to be framed. I LOVE it.


  14. I like those misty shots - you can see too many clear blue skies sometimes! Theses have a good atmosphere.

    I do know very much about the rest of Western Australia apart from a few trips to Perth - better get a plan together!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  15. The bridge looks beautiful - both in the dark and also when misty ... with the beautiful turquoise Water beneath! Your trip sounds really nice! It must have been a very special experience for you, having hte memories from for far back since you were there last time.
    ENjoy the Holidays :)

  16. Great photos of the Mackinac Bridge at night and in the fog. Love the lighthouse in the fog too. I was there several years ago and stayed in Mackinac City but never crossed the bridge. I don't like long bridges. I did go under it in a boat though. :0)

  17. The bridge takes were great! Visited many years ago and have always meant to go back. My Catching the Light: http://lauriekazmierczak.com/ahh-summer/

  18. The bridge looks wonderful.
    Best whises.


  19. The bridge is really impressive, and you got some great shots of it. The night shot came out pretty well considering no tripod and 'guesstimating' the settings. Love the little lighthouse station :-))

    I'm visiting you via 'NF Inspiring/Catching The Light'.

    You were saying about sometimes having so many photos of one place it can be overwhelming posting them? Why not do what I do....choose half a dozen favourites for the main blog, then put the rest in a slideshow at the end of the post.

  20. love all bridge shots :) Especially the misty ones.

  21. Beautiful shots. My favourites are the last two - so delicate!