Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sault St. Marie, Mi–part 1

Its a rainy day here in Iron River, Michigan so I am finally working on updating my blog!

I visited Sault St Marie, Michigan June 25 – 30.  In early June I tried to make reservations at Aune-Osborn Campground for late June , I was told that they were full Thursday and Friday night, but could get me in on Saturday and for a few days after that.  I went ahead and took it, but started thinking that was strange.  Typically the weekend would be full.  So I figured there must be some event going on. 

I was right, it was the Sault St Marie Locks Engineers Weekend.  They had several different activities that looked interesting, so I called the RV park several times and finally someone had cancelled and I was able to get in on Thursday.

The day I got there was the one day of the year that people are allowed to walk around part of the locks, including across the locks walls.  Normally you can only get as close as a 3 story observation platform.   These locks allow freighters to easily handle the 21 foot drop between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. 

It was extremely crowded and I almost didn’t push my way thru the crowds, but I realized the lines were moving quickly and were basically around the areas where you walked over the lock walls.  (The shots below were taken after the crowds dispersed, so not too bad at this time)sault_st_marie_locks4sault_st_marie_locks3


I was lucky enough to have been there when a freighter went through the locks.  It was interesting seeing this and learning how it all works.   P4360432 (1024x683)

The locks opening up so the freighter can leave.  I left before it started going through to avoid the crowds trying to leave at the same time!.


The next day I did the International Bridge Walk.  Again, this was an event you can only do one day a year.  We started in Sault St. Marie, Michigan at the Lake Superior State University Norris Center and ended up in Ontario, Canada.  Just before the walk I met 2 people who were staying at the same RV park I was and ended up walking the 2.8 mile walk with them. 

1500 – 2000 people typically attend this walk, I never found out how many participated this year. 

Below is just before we turned to get on the road that the bridge is on.  It is basically where I-75 ends.  Since the bridge is only 2 lanes,  they closed one lane for the walkers and would let North bound traffic go for 10 – 15 minutes and then let South bound traffic go. 


There were some great views of the locks from the bridge and a freighter was leaving the locks while we walked across.


The picture below is blurry, but I liked it anyway showing the crowds headed up the second hill on the bridge.sault_st_marie_bridge_walk4

This is the border of the U.S. and Canada on the bridge.  sault_st_marie_birdge_walk5

The worst part of the walk was waiting at customs.  Below was just after the walk, waiting at the Canadian border.  They did scan our passports, but I didn’t get the typical questions they ask. 


From here we had to wait on buses to take us back to Michigan.  Once on the bus, we had to stop at the U.S. customs, get off the bus and walk inside and once again show our passport so we could get back into the U.S. 

It was a fun walk, but the waiting in lines was not fun!

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