Holly Baker checks trip to the top of the Mackinac Bridge off her bucket list
The Mackinac Bridge is photographed from different angles thousands of times every year. Each photo is unique and different but bring a fresh perspective on the beauty of the bridge.
On a clear day you can see almost 30 miles out from the top of the tower. Surrounded by water and miles of Michigan as far as the eye can see, the Mackinac Bridge is an iconic sight recognizable by tons of people, but the best view is from the top.
Ned McLennan is the maintenance supervisor with the Mackinac Bridge Authority--and like most of the staff, he's completely obsessed with the Mighty Mac. He moved to Michigan specifically to work on it.
"You still get that feeling of just how incredible it is and I think everyday you'll stop and look at some point and just be like wow," McLennan said.
Todd Mayer from Mackinac Bridge Authority is one of the tour guides to the top and is no stranger to climbing on the steel superstructure.
"The view I get to see changes every hour of everyday...it's the best place to work and be," Mayer said.
As a steeplejack, Todd spends plenty of time both high above and far below the bridge but still recalls his very first trip to the top.
"I jumped up and down and said wahoo!" Mayer said.
Just a regular day at the office for the Authority, the south tower is the point of entry where a small opening led to an even smaller elevator. Then it's more little spaces and a series of ladders for the last 30 feet to the top.
"Once you stick your head out the top you'll see it instantly, you'll see how incredible it really is once you get up there-- worth the climb," McLennan said.
The Tower Climber Club grows every year as the authority gives 25 tickets for the tour to charitable organizations, but for everyone who makes it up - it's an experience to remember.
Bob Sweeney is the secretary of the Mackinac Bridge Authority and says it takes a team to keep the bridge running and in such good shape, but they along with the rest of Michigan are proud to work on the Mighty Mac.
"Most people call it 'the bridge' even though there's thousands of bridges in Michigan they refer to the Mackinac bridge as 'the bridge'," Sweeney said.
And once you've been to the top, you'll never look at the bridge the same way again.