Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

The mighty Mackinac Bridge

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Pronounced Mackinaw, the Mackinac Bridge was finished in 1957, and it connets the lower and upper peninsulia of Michigan.

My first evening at the Straits State Park.

It’s just about 5 miles across, and once a year, on Labor Day, they close one side of it to traffic and let people walk across. I’ve done that once, and it was amazing.

The bridge lit up for the night.

This past week I booked 3 nights at the Straits State Park which is located just over the bridge, on the UP side of the water, hoping to practice some night photography. I booked three nights because you just never know about the weather. Would there be a clear night to shoot? Or would we have cloudy skies and rain?

I has lovely campsite, a grassy spot right on the beach with my own private path down to the water. That, of course, aforded me numerous opportunities to run out there and shoot an image. Or a dozen of them.

Lots of people around, but my site was large and grassy.

The first night I was there was clear, and after messing around in the evening getting some shots I set my alarm for 1 a.m. and went for the star and bridge combination. As I figured, the lights from the bridge washed out most of the stars, but I had a nice warm night playing around with settings, so I didn’t mind. And I figured I’d have a couple more nights to try again.

Trying to get some star in the shot.

The next day was another beautiful clear morning. I wandered down to the shore, noting the family of geese that had slept there and the freighter going under the bridge. All of that was fun, but I was planning on traveling up to Whitefish Point to see if I could get some more interesting night photography in. So I headed out.

That ended up being a story in itself. Though it was 85 and muggy on the Straits, it was 58 and pouring rain up at the point. So no night photography there! I headed back down to my campsite, and found this:

Fog overtake the bridge at sundown.

I was so glad I didn’t miss this, glad that it was cold and rainy where I had intended to spend my evening. The fog was so beautiful.

Things are turning pink.

And then the sun began to set. I could tell this was going to be spectacular.

Oh, this is going to be good!

And I wasn’t wrong.

People on the beach were as excited as if it were the 4th of July fireworks.

We all sat out there on the beach until the last bit of pink light faded and the fog rolled the rest of the way in. No night photography for sure, but I didn’t mind at all. And in the morning we woke to this:

No view to speak of.

So much fog I couldn’t even see the beach! So I headed out to find something interesting somewhere else. As soon as I left the park the fog lifted, it was hanging around over the water, but the rest of the penninsula was warm and sunny. But that is also another blog post.

There’s always something to photograph. Bug and buttercup.

When I got home I had one last chance to try for the pretty lights on the bridge. You’d think I had enough images of the Mighty Mac (and I did have several hundred) but you’d be wrong. I hadn’t quite got the one image I had in my mind.

Pretty, but not quite.

You know the one. The one people line up on beaches on both sides of the Straits to see every clear summer night.

This one.

When I got it a smile spread over my face. I’m sure the others on the beach didn’t know why I was giggling. But I did. When you get the one, you know.

And in the morning, to say goodbye, the bridge again cloaked itself in fog just so I could get one more artsy-fartsy image. Because she knows I’m always looking for that special shot.

Floating in air.

Such a fitting way to say goodbye. For now.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

43 thoughts on “The mighty Mackinac Bridge

  1. Fantastic photos of the bridge in the fog. Ones to frame?

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  2. What a great trip. I actually like “Pretty but not quite” the best. Thanks for the card. ❤

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  3. Not ‘like’, LOVE. Love love love love love. And I’d love to be there.
    Thank you for those beautiful pictures!

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  4. Fog. The fog photos do it for me–these are beautiful!! And the sunset–oh my gosh, how gorgeous is that?! Yeah, I’m smiling.

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  5. i really love the one you titled “this one” and enjoyed hearing about your three day photo adventure – such a good idea

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  6. Wow your photos are stunning!! 🙂

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  7. I’ve been on that bridge (not walking, but driving), and I’ve got to admit, it’s pretty terrifying! Of course, it’s not the height that disturbs me but the endless-seeming water. Kind of like the causeway over Lake Pontchartrain (New Orleans area). That one’s 20-something miles! Beautiful photos, Dawn, and I’m glad you got “the one” you sought!

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  8. Great photos! and glad you go the special one. I crossed the bridge once (ok, twice, there and back) as a small child, but have never been back. My sister, also a “Dawn”, vacations there often, but not camping. Sounds like a great few days with a mix of many types of weather and so different moods of the water.

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  9. WOW! Absolutely FABULOUS!! Would love a camping trip like that!

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  10. Oh! Wonderful photos, each and every one. “This One” is stunning, but oh, how I love the softness of the “pretty, but not quite” photo. And that sunset – oh wow! Wow! Thank you!

    >

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  11. the light on the bridge-perfect! and catching the bird-extra sweet!

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  12. I don’t know how I missed this post on Saturday but wow! Amazing images Dawn! I want to drive to Michigan to experience that bridge. The night image, the one you were happy about, is perfect, great job. I actually really like the two images of the bridge with the fog and the pink tones. Fantastic work.

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  13. Fabulous photos! And “The One” is beautiful and so are the fog ones! Great trip!

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  14. We enjoyed crossing that bridge a few years back… thanks so much for the memories! I have two vintage glasses from the trip of the lovely bridge.

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  16. What a great trip! Your photos are fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing! 😄

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  17. Fabulous photos! What an adventure. We are heading to our lake home this week and looking forward to being in Michigan again. I miss camping – when my son stopped camping with the Boy Scouts, my camping ended., too. Happy memories of summer camp, sleeping under the stars and waking up with the sunrise. Your photos and narrative sound like an amazing trip.

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  18. Now, that was amazing!!

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  19. Spectacular series of captures! And we get to see if in so many different times of day! What fun.

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  20. Five miles is a LONG bridge! And your photos are stunning! Yep, the giggles are meaningful. 🙂 My gosh, you take good photos. I love the fog. And that sunset! And I actually love the daytime/evening photo of the bridge with lights a tad bit better than the night shot. But then, I wasn’t there. And of course, sigh, I’ve been pronouncing the name of the bridge wrong … thank you. 🙂

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