Our Week in Sault Ste Marie

We spent a week in Sault Ste Marie (on both sides of the border). Four days were driving days, as in road trip, and three were to wait out some weather.

4th of July in George Kemp Marina, SSM, Michigan
Roberta Bondar Marina, SSM, Ontario

What took us 14 DAYS in the boat took us 8 HOURS, including potty stops, in the car!

We had driven from Tacoma WA to Washburn, WI when we moved onto the boat. When we left Washburn in the boat, we left the car there in the parking lot.

In SSM – Sault Ste Marie – we rented a car and drove together back to Washburn. We spent the night there, and drove two cars back to SSM. Then the next day, we drove two cars another 8 hours ahead, to the driveway of a volunteer harbor host, where we left our car until we arrive there by boat in mid-August.

It was a bit of a drag, all that driving, but it was interesting to see turn-offs to the places we had been to by boat and to get a preview of upcoming travel.

We drove very near where Lance’s great-grandparents lived as young adults, so it was fun to picture what their life was like in the north country woods.

Maybe next time we’ll involve a plane trip and avoid covering the same territory twice by car.

One of the highlights of SSM was meeting a distant relative of Lance’s, Lee, and his daughter Tanya. Lee is interested in genealogy, as am I (Brenda), and we had communicated via email in 2012. At that time I told him we might be coming through SSM in about 10 years time on a boat…so recently I reached out to see if he was available and able to meet. He was, so we met for dinner. We are both really glad to have met Lee and Tanya.

Lee, Tanya, Lance and Brenda

Another highlight was pretty amazing. We spent so much our our prior time figuring out exactly where to stop on Lake Superior to make it a safe trip that we had not concentrated at all on where to go after that. We had literally just sat down to study the many, many, many options for the North Channel and were feeling overwhelmed when there was a knock on our hull.

It was a nearby boater, a man who did the loop in 2012 and who boats extensively in the North Channel. His name was Fred and he said he heard we were going to the North Channel for the first time and would we like some advice about the North Channel? YES, PLEASE!

He proceeded to spend about an hour with us, going over the best anchorages and marinas, and gifted us with an older version of the Ports book which is the authoritative information on the Canadian waters. Very, very cool. Lance told him that he was a blessing from God as we were just feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the information.

We had spoken for three minutes with his wife on the dock earlier, so that was the beginning of that whole blessed interaction.

As to the rest of the week, we attended a church on Sunday, took some long walks, watched the boats in the locks, watched the geese in the park and marina, got haircuts and did some laundry.

We bought some cheese and bread from the “Grocer 4 Good”. They hire developmentally challenged adults in their store. Not much inventory to choose from but a great program, so we’re glad we sought them out.
A fellow Loop boat locking down in the Canadian Lock.
Fun artwork in a nearby park
Taking a quick break on our walk.

It really was quite restful and allowed us to research where we are traveling next, the North Channel of Lake Huron. More about that in another post.

Beautiful hanging baskets at the marina. Very restful.
And of course, the ubiquitous geese