With a little extra time in our schedule today, we decided to explore the Ontario side of the Soo before heading into the US. Although Patrick was off duty this morning, he apparently intuited that we like really crispy bacon and arranged for plenty of same at the Microtel breakfast buffet. So we fueled up there, grabbed beverages of our choice at McDonald’s and headed downtown. Cross-hatching the central area of the city, we learned that while there are some interesting sights – some serious, some not so much – SSM, Ontario has seen better days. We took our time, but by 10 am were on the bridge crossing into SSM, Michigan.
Headed west along the scenic byway through the Hiawatha National Forest toward Whitefish Point and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Our first stop was the Point Iroquois Lighthouse, a pretty and informative place with both a boardwalk and direct beach access to stretch one’s legs and take in the immensity of the lake.
While much of the rest of the drive is lakeside in the sense that the water is just a few feet away, we didn't get much in the way of lake views due to the heavy tree cover. The Shipwreck Museum was excellent. It’s an old station from the U.S Life-Saving Service days, with several structures that have been restored to period authenticity and furnished with lovingly restored equipment and furnishings.
The museum building is naturally focused on Great Lakes (mostly Lake Superior) shipwrecks & disasters. The original ship’s bell from the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald is there; perhaps if you think hard enough you can recall a few bars from a song about the ship’s sinking. Huge LOL from me on that one - I defy you to get that damned song out of your head! And it was playing in the background of the exhibit - on a loop no less!
Then lunch at the Little Falls Inn- where they also sold ice cream but the flavors were so limited we passed it up! - I know - hard to believe....
Next stop was Tahquamenon Falls state park, where we visited both the upper & lower falls. We didn’t linger since there were hordes of people at both sites and we’ve been privileged to see many beautiful waterfalls previously …
Drove M-28 back to SSM and checked into our cottage rooms at the most excellent Lockview Motel on Portage Street, directly across from the Soo Locks viewing platform. Giant old-school rooms with furnishings to match; I love those places and the memories they stir up of road trips with family decades ago. Ate dinner right next door at the Lock View Restaurant; cool knotty pine and nautical theme; so-so meals. Crossed the street to the locks viewing platform, where we spent about an hour watching a ship go through the lock eastbound from Lake Superior to Lake Huron. Very interesting, and a first for TB. On the way back to the room I made a stop at Fudge du Locke, where I bought a slice of turtle fudge, which I may or may not have eaten in one sitting as I wrote these notes…
their brochure photos-
the dinner place-
and the locks - at sunset-
we watch the Tim S. Dool traverse to Lake Huron from Superior along the St Mary's River through the Soo Locks-
and the sun sets in earnest-
The Tim S.Dool exiting the lock into the Huron side-
a few choice pieces of info from the visitor's center- aerial view and data points-
tomorrow we are off on our Soo Locks passage and have lots of good pics of going THRU THE SOO!