2010: Heaven on the Far Side

The Mackinac Bridge (pronounced with a silent c at the end of the word and the last a pronounced as if it had a w after it), is a suspension bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac to connect the non-contiguous Upper and Lower peninsulas of Michigan. Envisioned since the 1880s, the bridge was completed only after many decades of struggles to begin construction. Designed by David Steinman, the bridge (familiarly known as Big Mac and Mighty Mac) connects the city of St. Ignace on the north end with the village of Mackinaw City on the south, while the Mackinac Strait connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Opened to traffic in 1957 [officially dedicated in 1958] and measuring 5 miles end to end, it is the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western hemisphere.

After having heard the stories of this bridge for the first two years of my stay in the US, my first planned vacation was centered around this Bridge – in July 2004. I have, since then, driven on this bridge many a times but the excitement just never seems to get old. The following song named Halfway to Mackinaw – by a group called 3rd Coast (the Great Lakes are known as the Third Coast of the US) and an album called First Wave – is a personal favorite of mine (thanks to dear friend Dave for the lyrics).

On a morning in May on Montreal Island
Where the rivers St. Lawrence and the Ottawa meet
I filled my canoe with the cargo to barter
And readied myself for a voyage of weeks.
Watching the smoke from the campfire rising
Feeling as wild and untamed as the wind
Blessing the boats to keep them from capsizing
On a morning in May on Montreal Island
The paddle cuts deep and the journey begins.

Twenty-eight days up the Ottawa river
Finally I rest on lake Nippissing’s shore
Bow on my knee that the lake will deliver
Easterly breezes and fish by the score
Taking no pay from John Jacob Astor
I set my trap lines wherever I please
Taking no pleasure in getting there faster
Twenty-eight days up the Ottawa River
Setting my sights on the sweetwater seas.
And it’s roll on … river roll on
Sing me a voyageur’s tune

Halfway to heaven is halfway to Mackinaw
Gathering place for the sun and the moon.

I see the flag flying high over Mackinaw
May be this time it’s my dear fleur de lis
May be someday I will pledge my allegiance
But I am a voyageur, wild and free.
Scanning the shoreline upon my arrival
Searching for someone who’s searching for me
Only true love will ensure my survival
I feel my heart flying high over Mackinaw
Off on the journey that every heart needs.

Halfway to heaven is halfway to Mackinaw
Gathering place for the sun and the moon.

EXIF and other information

Archive ID n2c_109-9204
Date and Time 2010-12-31 12:13:48
GPS Date and Time Image does not include relevant information
GPS Location 45.78868 N, -84.72979 E, 590 ft (Goolgle Map: Pin | Directions)
Camera Nikon D200
Lens AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED
Focal Length 125.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 187.0 mm)
Mode Aperture-priority AE
Shutter Speed 1/500 second(s)
Aperture f/5.6
ISO 400
Exposure Bias 0
Flash No
Filters None
Light Value 11.9
Hyperfocal Distance 138.92 m
Focus Distance 23.71 m
Depth of Field 8.29 m (20.27 - 28.56)
Field of View 10.9 deg (4.54 m)
Notes/Remarks ±2 stop and HDR using Photomatix Pro

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