Crossing the Mackinac Bridge into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
July 31, 2011
The first stop was at Brimley State Park, about 15 miles west of Sault Ste. Marie, on the shores of the St. Mary's River. Several pleasant days were spent in the area. Blue skies and sunshine were abundant. Daytime temperatures in the mid-80s with lows in the 60s overnight. Very nice!
Of course I visited the Locks at Sault Ste. Marie. A very large freighter had just entered the locks from the higher Lake Superior side. It took quite a while to get it lowered so it could eventually make its way to Lake Erie and eastward. Movement was imperceptible. Only when you looked away for a few minutes then looked back at the ship could you tell it was sitting lower beneath the top of the locks. Eventually the gates of the locks opened and the ship was on its way. I overheard the Park Ranger (Sault Locks is a National Historical Park) telling someone that the ship that went through was 105 feet wide while the locks were 110 feet wide. A rather tight fit overall.
A few minutes later, a small tourist boat came through. Entering from the east side it had to be raised in order to exit on the west side and into Lake Superior.
The top of the boat is below the top of the locks.
Twelve minutes later, the little boat was on its way. It didn't take nearly as long to raise this little boat as it took to lower the large freighter.
A very nice visitor center has displays on the history of the building of the locks as well as a very informative 20-minute movie.