We traveled over the Mackinac Bridge into the lower peninsula and sure enough we did find evidence of trolls!
And they some enterprising little people!
And yes we did get the T-shirt.
I always forget how pretty the Mackinac Bridge is.
But here are some interesting things I learned on this trip:
The Mackinac Bridge is currently the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge opened to traffic on November 1, 1957.
The Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere.
All suspension bridges are designed to move to accommodate wind, change in temperature, and weight. It is possible that the deck at center span could move as much as 35 feet (east or west) due to high winds. This would only happen under severe wind conditions. The deck would not swing or “sway” but rather move slowly in one direction based on the force and direction of the wind. After the wind subsides, the weight of the vehicles crossing would slowly move it back into center position.
Most bridges are painted black or gray but the designers chose ivory for the towers and foliage green trusses.
Most people go to Mackinac Island, we have already been there so we decided to explore Mackinaw City. Our first excursion was to McGulpin Point Lighthouse. Do you think we like lighthouses? This was a really cool one!
Emmet County owns the historic McGulpin Point Lighthouse, which protected shipping on the Straits of Mackinac against storms, fog and rocks between 1869 and 1906. It was purchased by the county in 2008, which reopened McGulpin to the public.
Fred had read (somewhere) that no women were allowed in the lighthouse. I have not been able to verify this, perhaps just wishful thinking!
One of the reasons I wanted to go back to this area was to explore Headlands Night Sky Park. The Park contains approximately 550 acres of woodlands, more than two miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline. The Headlands became one of the first 10 International Dark Sky Parks in the world in 2011, a prestigious designation bestowed by the International Dark Sky Association in Tucson, Arizona, after a rigorous application and review process.
To protect the darkness of the park, please use red-filtered flashlights during your visit to the Headland and the lights within the park we shaded red.
When they achieved the designation at Headlands, they were just the 6th such park in the US and only the 9th in the world. They have night sky programs throughout the year. Unfortunately our timing did not allow for any of them.
It doesn’t mean we did not get the experience. Fred found a cool app that you point your phone to the sky and it will identify what you are looking at. For android users, Sky Map. So we had a wonderful evening of star gazing on our own. Give it a try!
Next stop Traverse City to hang with some friends.