Day 102, St. Ignace to Sault Ste. Maire, 199 Miles
"There are two ways to look at life: nothing is a miracle - everything is a
We headed north on the Circle Tour Route, skirting Lake Huron. With sand dunes, lighthouses and waves, it felt more like oceanside than lake. Add the freighters to the mix and it's difficult to get our brain cells around the fact that it's a really, really big lake.
The ships differ from sea ships, as they are around a thousand feet long and narrow, to navigate the locks. Ocean vessels carry more girth for the... ocean. We landed in Sault Ste. Marie (Sault pronounces like 'you'- those crazy French.) and rode about, taking in the fresh air mixed with fresh cooking, smelling even better since we skipped breakfast. We stopped at Karl's which sits across the street from the locks. I ordered a pastie (pronounced pass tee), a chicken and vegetable dish encased in a pie shell type pastry. Delicious. QG enjoyed a chicken club stromboli, both delicious, with an awesome view. A huge ship slipped by... and by... and by... then the superstructure with the bridge, at the stern. They squish these babies into the locks!
It lowered to Huron level as we ate, and after lunch we ran across the street and watched it exit into Lake Huron.
The reason for the locks (and the name Sault Ste. Marie) is the St. Marie River connected Superior to Huron, dropping twenty feet or so in a half mile. Trappers and other folks hauled freight by boat and suffered through portaging their stuff overland for a mile or so to avoid the rapids. In the late 1800's they built the first lock to keep boats floating up and down-literally-the river. Sault means rapids. The rapids of the Saint Marie River, to be exact. Nowadays, they manage three locks and a dam while the remainder of the river, with its rapids-passes on by.
We scootered about a bit and gawked at the traffic tied up on the bridge into America. Apparently, they strip search just like at airports-only cars and trucks. We saw another amazing engineering marvel, a train bridge that didn't angle up for ships, didn't rotate out of the way, but slid straight up while horizontal. Never seen one of them before. I probably need to get out more often.
Time's ticking and we have to get back for more fun. That is, paying bills,
laundry, and ordering parts.
What do you do if your bike breaks down and you need parts? Ours didn't but QG's helmet did. The hinge apparatus barfed out a spring or two and some plastic tabs broke or bent, causing the one side of the face shield to fall off until she was ready to kill someone, and I happened to be handy. Therefore, I needed to find a bike shop that sells parts for (PP!) HJC helmets, order and pay for them then pick them up when we pass through. I failed once already and realized it takes some time to email back and forth to get the thing going. (PP!) Dreyer's Honda, the oldest Honda dealer in America, looks like they will hook us up. When we pass through Indianapolis, we'll get the helmet fixed. Hopefully, she doesn't kill anyone in the interim. Most times it's just a bit of a hassle, but during last Sunday's rainstorm, her entire helmet got soaked. We should have stopped and put the stupid thing on it.
We stayed at this campsite three days and toured from here, a very nice change which we may look to do more in the not too distant future. It affords us a bit more time at the end of the day, as we don't set up and take down the tent. She's holding a knife and looking at me funny. I hope we get those parts soon.
Tomorrow we turn south and will skirt Lake Michigan. See you then.