The Mackinac Bridge Experience

Bridge Advice

As we were zooming past the VERY LAST EXIT before the bridge, a fact made excessively clear with lots of signs and big letters, hidden in the mix was a helpful little sign for an AM station broadcasting bridge conditions and weather alerts. Scott turned it on.

AM Station {alert sound}, “Due to high wind conditions, it is not advisable for large vehicles such as tractor trailer trucks and RVs to cross the bridge at this time.”

Come again? What’s that?!? Not advisable, you say?! High wind?!

Why do I never check the ******** weather?!? I really have to put that on my travel checklist.

The message played on repeat 4 full times before I made him turn it off. Got it. We’re hosed.

Crossing into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP) meant crossing the Mackinac Bridge. For those not familiar with big dangerous bridges with guardrails that wouldn’t save a tuktuk {let alone an RV}, apparently this one is famous. Or rather, this one is infamous… notorious even. Things blow off of it. According to lore, that’s happened more than once. Still no decent guardrails. That’s the kinda people up here. I salute your dedication to personal responsibility. At the same time… dang, people…. dang.

Approaching the bridge it came back to me that Amanda (from NY) had very specifically told us to avoid the inside lane. She mentioned that the outside lane is “solid” but the inside lane is “not”. I didn’t know exactly what she meant, but I told Scott to stay in the outside lane no matter what.

Driving up the on ramp… Surprise! Construction! The lanes were squeezed down to 1 and sure enough, the only way across was on the inside lane.

What Amanda meant exactly, I now know, is that the inside lane is a grate. You can see the water beneath your tires if you are dumb enough to look. I don’t want to mention any names, but someone in our van looked. A lot. Then that someone encouraged everyone else in the van to look. A lot.

I did not participate.

Over It

I didn’t like the Mackinac bridge. Sure it’s pretty and it’s convenient and an impressive feat of engineering. But I didn’t like the feelings it gave me so we’re not gonna form a deep bond. Scott thought the whole thing was a real hoot. He loved it. Either way, it’s in our rearview mirror now and I don’t have any big plans to go over it again any time soon. Hello, UP.

Before we went down to 1 lane. This is the on ramp.
That’s the whole guardrail. Inadequate is the word that comes to mind.