Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Our Yooper Vacation: Day 2, Soo Locks Tour

Sorry for the delay, you've all been so patient!

Breakfast was down near the docks at Frank's Place, a great shotgun style building, nice modern decor and old fashioned breakfast. I had biscuits and gravy with a fried egg on top. I love b&g and try to get it whenever I can. I think Hal had an omelette and hash browns. The food was very, very good. After breakfast we headed over to the docks and bought our tickets for the 10 am tour. Our boat was the Bide-a-wee and we followed the Nokomis the entire trip. We left through the MacArthur Lock on the American side and returned through the Canadian lock which is only large enough for pleasure craft.

Here we are following the Nokomis into the MacArthur Lock. The Poe lock is to the right of the tall building. The bridge in the background goes to Canada on the right (north).
Approaching MacArthur Lock
Inside MacArthur Lock. Note the wall height. That is the observation deck where we watched the big freighter go through the Poe Lock the day before.

Twenty one feet later, and about 10 minutes, we would be leaving for the Lake Superior side from the lower Lake Huron side.

Lots of wall on the left
all that wall is underwater now

Under the bridge to Canada
Just a lot of water and shoreline to look at on the trip, plus some sort of mining operation on the Canada side. But here is an old freighter being dismantled over in Canada.
dismantling freighter
Then we got to come back to the US by going through the much smaller Canadian Lock.
In the Canadian lock
exiting Canadian lock
And here is photo of Hal while waiting for the water to fill in the Canada lock.
As we approached the United States side we got to see what was left of the rapids that the locks bypassed. Doesn't look like much but we were told it's quite a strong current.
What's left of the rapids
We got to go around a freighter approaching the locks.
Last big thing we got to see was a power plant generating electricity from the 21 foot drop between the lakes. A really cool looking structure.
US power generating plant
Here is a closeup view of the power plant. Note the decorative light house bas relief.
power plant brick work up close
Last shot as we approach the dock, power plant on the left, that freighter we went around on the right heading for the Poe Lock. Was a fun couple of hours.
approaching dock

Monday, September 22, 2014

Our Yooper Vacation: Day 1, Soo Locks

The Soo Locks are the locks at Sault (pronounced Soo) Saint Marie that let the boats travel between Lake Superior and Lake Huron in the St Mary's river. We intended to take the boat tour the afternoon of our first day but reached the docks 20 minutes too late. (Too much fun at the lighthouse I guess.) So we wandered over the the state park where there is an observation tower and happened upon a freighter traveling west using the Poe Lock. In the first photo if you look closely to the right of center you can barely see the words Canada Steamship Lines.
As it's about to pass through in the second photo the words are clearly visible. The lock raised the ship 21 feet to the level of Lake Superior, kind of cool, huh?
After that excitement we went to a restaurant nearby called Antlers for dinner. We had whitefish, a popular fish from the Great Lakes that, oddly enough, is about impossible to get fresh where we live. Here is a bit of the decor. Dinner was excellent.
 These photos I snapped while sitting at our table.
Then we headed to our motel, the Skyline, a 1950's era motel near the airport. It may have been old but it was clean, comfortable, had all the amenities required as well as free wifi for only $55! A steal.

And thus ends day 1 of our UP adventure, a very good day.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Happy Birthday, Hal!

Just got back from dinner at Rosa's with his parents. They wanted to take him out and I got to tag along. Dinner was great, 3 of us had their "hot rok" special, Hal had an Angus filet and shrimp, I had the filet and lobster tail and his dad had just shrimp. We got to cook them as well done or as rare as we wanted. His mom had the seafood bake which is a bunch of seafood baked in a sauce under phyllo dough. We shared an appetizer of mussels and then there was chocolate cake for dessert and apple crisp and the birthday cannoli. I swapped the cannoli for my cake because he really wanted the cake. (and the cake this time was better than the cannoli.)

The rest of the day I think Hal enjoyed, he got to laze about the house, had some coffee liqueur in the afternoon, and even cleaned out some clothes from his closet. I made him chocolate chip cookies yesterday and there are still plenty left. He says he had a pretty good day.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Our Yooper Vacation: Day 1, Point Iroquois

After Castle Rock we moseyed on up to Point Iroquois Lighthouse on St Mary's river just off Lake Superior. We took more photos of course. First the lighthouse from the front.
The lighthouse from the beach.
This is a 4th order Fresnel lens, not the original apparently but one taken from another light that was decommissioned. The Fresnel lenses apparently were very, very bright and could be seen farther than any other kinds. Numerous docents at the lights we visited said the formula for making the glass had been lost. Nowadays the lights are being replaced by LEDs.
Below is the Canadian Gros Cap Reef automated light that replaced the Iroquois light. This shot was taken with telephoto from Iroquois. Those are some pretty big wind turbines up on that hill.
And here is a photo of Hal and I in the tower, only 72 steps up. Aren't we the happy couple!
The stairs in the tower. That's a piece of Hal on his way back down.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happy 9th Birthday, Luna

My girl is nice today. Quite spry and peppy since she had her bad teeth out, too. We went on several swamp walks today. And I know she did a little digging. Now she is snoozing on the big bed by the fireplace. Hope she had a great day.

Here a couple photos I took at the end of July at Jewell Lake.