Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan



We got packed up early on Friday morning so we could bet to the dump station before the rush – there were a lot of people leaving (or at least changing sites) on Friday!

We travelled east on M-28 for 100 miles and then north on I-75 for about 10 more miles.

The drive through downtown was a little tricky . . . we probably should have followed the posted truck route, rather than Google’s directions . . . but we arrived at the city park, Aune Osborn Campground, without any trouble.

The campground is located right on the St. Mary River, south of the Soo Locks . . . a great location for watching freighters travel down the river from the locks. 

We got settled on our site,

Site 35

which was just across the road from the river.  All of the waterfront sites were full, but we didn’t really need one anyway – we don’t have the big windshield like a motorhome or the large rear windows that most 5th wheels have, so we couldn’t really have taken advantage of the view!

All of the sites in this campground are W & E only, and only a few are 50 amp.  They are nicely spaced, though, so it doesn’t feel too cramped.

Aune Osborn Campground

There’s also a private campground on the river, just upriver from this one . . . they have a similar great location, but the sites are a LOT smaller and crammed together.  We think we made a good choice.

After getting settled, we went into town to do some shopping and put fuel in the car & truck, then we arranged to meet our friends, Dave & Lynn, downtown for dinner at Frank’s Place.  They had a buffet with whitefish, broasted chicken, and roast beef that came with soup & salad bar, for just $12.99.  Tom, Nick, Dave & Lynn all had the buffet, while Bryce and I just had broasted chicken dinners, which also came with the soup & salad bar.  All of it was very good, and we left there stuffed!

It was a beautiful evening, so after dinner we walked around downtown, bought some fudge and other treats at one of the shops, and visited the locks.        Quite a sight in Sault Ste. Marie!










We visited the Soo Locks when the kids were really small, and I don’t remember them being behind a fence like they are now.

Soo Locks

We walked out to the observation deck, and got there just in time to see a large freighter going through the lock.

Watching a big ship go through the locks


Exiting the lock











Moving up the river

It was really amazing to watch!  We stayed a little while longer to enjoy the beauty of the setting sun.

Bridge to Canada

We noticed that the lock closest to us was filling with water, so we knew something else would be coming through son.  It turned out to be one of the Soo Locks Tour Boats.

Soo Locks Boat Tour

The water was at it’s highest level when the gate opened and the boat entered the lock.  Once the gate closed again, and the boat was tied to the side of the canal,          In the lock

the water started draining out of the canal, and the boat disappeared from our view.

Water level down and the gate opens

After leaving the observation deck, we walked through the Visitor Center and looked at the displays on the history, construction and operation of the Locks.  There was lots of interesting information in the Visitor Center, including information of the design of a new lock that is going to be built sometime in the future.  You can also check the status of all the ships in the Great Lakes, and get estimates on when they would be arriving at the Locks.

After we had looked at everything, we walked back to the cars and went back to Dave & Lynn’s RV, where they had invited us for a campfire.

Roasting 'mallows by the river

We roasted marshmallows and watched the ships on the river, until it started to drizzle.     freighter at night

Dave & Lynn had an early morning planned for Saturday, as they joined their son and his family to travel into Canada for a week, so we wished them well on their travels and said our good-byes one more time.



On Saturday, we had rain, rain and more rain . . . so I did some laundry and the kids watched movies.  Later after dinner, the rain stopped and the sun even came out!  Everybody came out of their RVs to enjoy the nice evening, and watch a few ships come down the river.

First was a huge barge going upriver, being pushed by a Tug,

Huge Barge being pushed by a Tug

then there was a cruise ship out of Chicago.

Cruise ship glowing in the sun

It passed by just as the sun broke through the clouds . . . beautiful!

On Sunday, we had a window of no rain in the morning, so we got up early and got moving, even though we had a short drive – not even 100 miles! 

It was time to cross over the “Mighty Mac” into the lower peninsula, and both of the both were determined that they were going to do the driving – Nick in the RV, and Bryce in the car.

We stopped at the bridge overlook as we approached,

Mackinac Bridge

and then we went through the toll booth and onto the 5-mile long expanse, with Nicolas in the lead.

Crossing the bridge

Luckily, it was a calm day, with no wind and no rain . . . so it was an easy drive!  Bryce was totally calm . . . no concern at all!

Bryce - cool as a cucumber driving over the bridge!

It was a good day for a drive!


  1. Love the locks and watching the big ships go up and down, literally;o)) So cool that you two have your own personal drivers!!!

  2. We enjoy watching the ships passing by often wondering where they are heading but still glad to be where we are at.
    It is nice to sit back enjoying the ride after years of being behind the wheel. Tell the boys to keep up the good work.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.


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