Day 5


Tahquamenon Falls are the largest in the east second only to Niagara, so they say. We had a big day ahead of us so we buzzed through breakfast and all jumped on our bikes headed for the lower falls. Oooo. To get to the lower falls you ride down one big hill and somehow we’d all have to get back up that hill. Then, when you rent the fifteen dollar row boat on a lightly overcast day out to the the island to explore and get closer to the falls, it will sprinkle for your hike and then drench your boat ride back. The rain solved our ordeal getting back up the hill – Roger biked back in the rain for our big ride. It was great, though. The falls were super, we were all still in great spirits, and the kids had time for ice cream and a checkers game. (Great marketing – we ended up buying the same game in the gift shop. O + S had to finish their game.) I think the upper falls are supposed to be coup de grace of the whole deal, which the were great, but the lower ended up being more of an adventure.
On our way to the point of the peninsula we stopped at The Berry Patch for lunch hoping to get in the pasty of the day. What a great, cozy, casual place with a wise purveyor who read our kids perfectly. BLT, BBQ pork, and pasties!! On a whim on the way out I grabbed a piece of pie. Ohhhhh, that crust! On to the point.
There have been more than 3,000 shipwrecks in Lake Superior and as children of the 70s we had to seek out the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald at the Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point. The Fitz went down in Canadian waters off this point in 1975 and they recovered it’s bell in 1995 and it is in this museum as a memorial. All amazing stories.
After the museum we hit the road for Soo (Sault St. Marie). We stocked up groceries after a failed attempt to patronize a local food coop (it went out of business best we could tell). We were headed across the border into the Canadian wilderness – who knows what we’ll find?
Then the stars aligned. After a lack of successful directional signage to the locks we found some metered RV parking. Without noticing, we were parked no more than 50 feet from a tanker pulling into the locks! All out run for the locks! It was very cool. You can watch from a covered viewing area that announced each boat enter or, what we did, stand on the side behind a fence and chat with a guy working the locks. He definitely likes to share with the tourists. The second and last boat we saw come through was the first 1,000 ft boat ever to travel in Lake Superior. This time it was carrying iron ore.
Jump in the RV and council the kids, yet again for some that may remain nameless, how to act and what not to say at customs. It all went smoothly and quickly. Had our passports, answered a few easy questions, and we were on our way. We caught the visitor center one minute to closing for a map and money exchange. Whew.
Dusk and rain for the first Canadian highway driving wasn’t on our list, but we got it anyway. The rain wasn’t bad and we got to Pancake Bay Provincial Park in time for a quick dinner and walk to the lake to touch the water.

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