Tuesday, July 17, 2018 (Travel to Kewadin Casino, Sault Ste Marie, Michigan)

After a quick 2 night stay in Mackinaw City exploring this fabulous area, we were on the road again. This is the final day of our week vacation in Michigan. We drove through town as we headed back to I-75...
Quite the hot dog stand!
Heading north over the 5 mile long Mackinaw Bridge...
Looking down at the park we walked through Sunday on the way to the Fort...

Always work being done on the bridge...

Line up at the toll booth to pay for the crossing...
Our drive today was only about an hour...to Sault Ste Marie, Michigan...

We have booked into a casino tonight but are going into town to take a boat tour of the Soo Locks.
We ended up going to the Soo Lock Visitor Center to start with...oops, I should have tried to find Soo Lock Boat Tours on our GPS...
It all worked out though as it gave us a tour of the downtown area and a ship in the lock...

We arrived at Soo Locks Boat Tours, Dock 2 and found out that we had just missed the 12:40 tour. So we purchased tickets for the next sailing at 1:40. Having an hour to wait, Steve walked around and took some pictures. The low white building with the blue awning is Soo Locks Boat Tours office...
Next door is the Valley Camp Museum Ship...

No time to visit it this trip...
Back in the office, Steve had a bite to eat as we waited for our boat tour. This model freighter was in front of the window with a view down to where we board the tour boat...
Here comes our tour boat...
This tug passed by...
...to assist this freighter coming through...
And it's time to board! We went right to the upper deck...
And the tour begins...
Experience an exciting sightseeing tour through the famous Soo Locks, the world’s largest locking system. You will actually ride through the Soo Locks and cruise alongside giant lake and ocean ships. Inside the Soo Locks your boat will ride the water as it is raised 21' straight up, to the level of Lake Superior. The typical tour route includes an up bound and down bound lockage through both the giant U.S. Locks and historic Canadian Lock. A live narration explains everything you see, including the history and operation of the Locks. Your boat brings you close to all the interesting sights along the shorelines of the twin border cities.

We headed east towards the Soo Locks Tour Boat's Dock 1 to pick up more passengers. The narrator describing sites along both the Canadian and US riverfront. The Bush Plane Museum is on the Sault Ste Marie, Ontario side...
Our little tour boat headed directly towards this oncoming freighter...thankfully we missed it...LOL!
There are two waterfront campgrounds on the Michigan side. This one is the Aune-Osborn RV Park.
We made a pit stop at Dock 1 to pick up more passengers. Too bad all the choice seats were taken, so remember if you ever do this tour take it from Dock 2.
We passed by a dry dock...
This is the...Soo Locks Campground and RV Park...
The Edison Sault Hydroelectic Plant built in 1902 by Italian masons from sandstone that had been excavated from the building of the canal in 1885. Construction began in 1887.
They had a fish on...
That is the tour boat ahead of us...just dropped off passengers Dock 1 and is now heading towards Dock 2...
After picking up more passengers, we were on our way west up the St. Mary's River, past Dock 2 and the Valley Camp Museum...
US Coast Guard Base. The large tower on the left is The Tower of History originally built by the Catholic Church and later donated to the Sault Historic Sites in 1980. It's 210' tall giving 360 degree views of the city and locks.

Approaching the Soo Locks...a freighter is going through the locks on the right, we will be taking the lock on the left, to the left of the dredger...
Dredging the canal...
On our way to our lock...
Soo Locks Park and Visitor Center...
The Soo Locks were completed in 1885...nearly 7,000 ships pass through it yearly...
Nearing the blue/grey lock doors...
Approaching the viewing platform on the left...
HELLO up there!
The lock doors are closing behind us...note how high the lock is above us...
It's incredible how fast our boat rises, you can easily see it. There are no pumps used, it's all gravity fed...
The guy in the vest tied our boat to the mooring...
A couple of workers drive by on some sort of little carts before the lock doors open...
See how high above the lock we are now...
Lock doors opening...
Adios...thanks for coming out to see us!

Sault Ste Marie International Bridge...
US Customs and Border Patrol waiting for us to pass before entering the lock...

Nearing Essar Steel Algoma Inc, Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. We could smell whatever that was floating in the air...

International Bridge...
Freighter being loaded...

Rolls of steel on the dock...
...ready for shipping
Entering the Sault Ste Marie Canal on the Canadian side...
We had visited the Sault Ste Marie National Historic Site with Dave and Lisa last week...
Train bridges rotate so boats can pass...

The lock doors are opening...
The old lock doors no longer in use...



A US Geological Survey vessel joined us in the lock...

The lock doors are opening...



For some reason ducks like to be in the locks. There was also a family of them in the first lock we went through...
Sault Ste Marie, Ontario...
Rapids of St Mary's River...
Roberta Bondar Park, named after Canada's first female Astronaut and first neurologist in space...

John Rowswell Park...named after the former Mayor of the city now deceased...
Two hours later we were back at Dock 2 from where we started. It was an interesting and scenic boat tour! Absolutely loved it!
It was just a short drive to the Kewadin Casino...
...found a spot to park the truck and with our suitcases in tow, made our way to the lobby...
After getting settled in our room, we took a walk around the hotel/casino...

...and after a drink in the bar in the casino, went for dinner...and then called it a night. Time to head back into Sault Ste Marie, Ontario tomorrow!


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