Monday, January 25, 2021

August 29/30, 2020 Sault Ste Marie, Whitfish Point, and Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan

We drove across the Upper Peninsula today to Sault Ste Marie.  We were able to get a hotel room near the locks that connect Lake Superior and Lake Huron.  We stopped at the occasional scenic view to look at Lake Superior or waterfalls.

We have always been fascinated by watching ships move through locks.  It means even more now that we have been through locks ourselves.  The water changes by 21 feet to accommodate these ships.  And it’s interesting to see how they handle the lines.

leaves starting to turn color

We went to Whitefish Point today to see the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.  This point is/was, a common spot for shipwrecks.  Ships had to round this point to head towards or away from the locks.  The Edmond Fitzgerald sank in this area.  Everyone knows from the song by Gordon Lightfoot that there was a storm that night.  But I didn’t realize that the light from the lighthouse was not working that night.  I guess I should read the lyrics vs listening to the song to avoid having it in my head forever.  

The Coast Guard exhibit was also very interesting.  They had their own watch tower plus servicemen that walked the beach watching for ships in distress.  If they were within range, they would shoot a line out to the boat in distress that was anchored on the shore.  Then they would take boats on that line out to rescue people.   Amazing acts of bravery.  
After the museum, we stopped at the Tahquamenon (rhymes with phenomenon) Falls State Park.  We had a nice walk along the paths, with lots of other people, to have several nice views of the falls.

The upper falls are 200 feet across and drop of 48 feet.  It is nicknamed the Root Beer Falls because of the brown color from the tannins leached from the cedar swamps which the river drains.  The lower falls are 4 miles downstream and are actually 5 smaller falls around an island.  Very beautiful area to visit.

lower falls

Back at Sault Ste Marie, we were able to watch ships in the locks near our hotel.


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