After traveling from Duluth, MN to Pancake Bay Provincial Park via Thunder Bay in Ontario, we arrived at the bridge back to the USA in Sault St. Marie, Ontario. It's a long bridge spanning the Soo Locks. The Locks are no longer operative on the Canadian side but are used on the American side. It took about 15 seconds to pass through customs. I know I said someplace else that being a Baby Boomer has its advantages.
It's great to see people on their bikes traveling long distances. It's cool this fellow is of Baby Boomer vintage. We always try to make room for cyclists but sometimes it's downright dangerous when there's no shoulder and and oncoming traffic. We go slowly to make our way around these brave folks. So far we've left everyone intact. I say a prayer each time!
Our son rode his bike from Mt. Shasta, CA to Memphis, TN a few years ago and had a mix of tales to tell about how cyclists are given room (or not) in various communities. We have thoroughly enjoyed rail-to-trails in our travels. If you know of any, hope you'll share!! We're always in search of them as they provide room to ride without the horrors of car, truck and RV traffic!
Campground reservations are typically last minute for us. So far, we've been lucky enough. Our motorhome is 38' plus a tow vehicle which means we can't waltz into any site. Our goal typically is to find a level site with power and water. Cable and sewer are optional. I mean, after all, we're roughing it! (Note: Advice we got before we departed on this trip was that we might have difficulty always finding a site big enough for our motorhome / car. Not true. The maximum length on a 5th wheel / rig is 45' these days so we are far from the largest. Campgrounds are marching to the times.)
We got in touch with Gitchee Gumee RV Park, a few miles east of Marquette, MI and across the road from a very long sandy Lake Superior beach. It's a character of a place. Jeff Glass is the owner who built it from the ground up. He reminded me of my Uncle Leonard who was a creative eccentric. Jeff was an interesting guy to talk to and he was happy to give us a tour around some of his creations in the park. Fun! We found it a good spot for a couple nights.
It had been way too long since visiting my brother and his family in Marquette, Michigan. I was last there in 1999 when I did a road trip with my younger son. He was 11'ish and I remember the battle between me wanting to stop for a Michigan pasty and him wanting to stop for Subway sandwiches. (I doubt I need to add a link to the latter -- we all know what THEY are, right?) He usually won. (That's how I remember it anyway.) I also remember a green-sky-storm that came through with hefty winds whipping up Lake Superior and turning the waters red for a bit.
Marquette impressed my husband and me as a community residents take pride in. Architecture is interesting. Homes are beautifully kept -- no matter the size. I don't know where I've seen so many large homes meticulously maintained. It was a delight to walk some neighborhoods close to Lake Superior to see a variety. Northern Michigan University is one of the area's largest employers. My brother was an English prof there until recently (retired now) and his wife is currently an English prof. Marquette is the largest town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We went to hear a speaker at the Peter White Library. What a beautiful and substantial structure! It's worth a look / see if you have some time.
We enjoyed showing up at 8am to see the Upper Peninsula Rowing Club launch their boat for morning practice. My sister in law is there...can you spot her? The water was a little choppy but it was a spectacular morning to be up and at 'em! These particular gals are mostly "newish" to rowing. I say "more power to you" learning / doing something new. You looked like you were having so much fun!
The Blackrocks, at Presque Isle in Marquette, MI, are where folks can literally go jump in the lake! Lake Superior, that is. The spot was packed on this day. Mind you, it was one of the hottest days of summer. It's one of Marquette's special spots and young people will likely have stories to tell their kids one day of the Blackrocks. Maybe their children will find their way here, too.
On our way out of Marquette, we stopped #KngaBlu at the beach across from Gitchee Gumee RV Park where we were stayng. There was a policeman sitting in his squad car. Doing paper work? Citing speeders? We made sure it was fine to park our inconspicuous rig for a bit (we were in a position to block his radar gun - ha!) before I ran down these steps to see the long beach we'd not had time to visit. On my way back up the stairs, this caught my eye. I'd have to agree "Nothin' like Da Yoop!" What do you say, PZFandGE?
The last place we stayed (Soo Locks Campground) on Lake Superior, Sault St. Marie, Michigan, was fascinating. Again, we got lucky. Calling the same day, there had been a cancellation which wiggled us into a front row seat on the St. Mary's River. The people next to us said they had had their reservation for months! (see image below)
Ships travel between Lake Ontario to Lake Superior along this short waterway using the lock in Sault Saint Marie, Michigan. All ship traffic, the night we were there, was going towards Superior. It was fascinating to see 8 or 9 sailboats playing what seemed to be a game of 'cat and mouse' with this ship. Granted, the ship was going slowly but it still seemed crazy to someone who knows nothing about what goes on here. I have to admit it made for a fun show!! All I can guess is the sailors were brushing up their skills!
It was the next morning we realized why all ship traffic was going one direction. The lock the ships need to pass through is narrow so no chance of having ships going both directions at once.
That ends our Circle Tour of Lake Superior. Here is Part 1 of KngaBlu's Lake Superior Circle Tour in case you missed it. We keep moving forward. Upon leaving Soo Locks RV Campground, we headed back over the bridge (first picture in this blog) and back to Canada.
We continue to find things that surprise us daily. Our focus is what's directly in front of us which is a lot! There's so much worth exploring at every turn. Having a ball! I hope you are, too! Oh, right now we've had cable for a couple days and are enjoying the Rio Olympics. It's been fun to watch a little t.v! It's a rarity.