Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Great Lakes - 27,28 July 2012

The 27th was a pretty unremarkable day as we left Lake Erie and motored north past signs to a bunch of names that were very familiar; Detroit, Grand Rapids, Toledo, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor and so on.  Unsurprisingly we hit another thunderstorm so we just drove on through fairly uninspiring vistas until we finished not far from the shores of Lake Huron.

The rain finally stopped and we had our second night without a thunderstorm.  Knowing we had a lot of ground to cover we made an early start on a beautiful cloudless day to drive up the shores of Lake Huron to the bridge across the straits that separate Lake Huron from Lake Michigan.

While in New York we saw adverts for any size coffee $1 at MacDonald's so we have frequented a few on the road for cheap coffee and were always surprised at the number of Golden Oldies "hanging out" at the Golden Arches and yesterday we found out why. The other day I was mistaken for an 18-year old and ID checked when buying wine, yesterday I was mistaken for an OAP and offered a 'senior coffee' for only 50c.  So now we are faithful Big M clients for our 50c coffees.

After a break at Alpena we continued north to the bridge between the lakes and stopped briefly at St Ignace to walk the shore boardwalk along the foreshore of the second oldies town in Michigan, before pressing on to Sault Ste Maire to look at the Soo Locks which allow the
massive freighters on the Great Lakes to drop the 21' from Lake Superior to Lake Huron.  Fortunately there was some activity in both the up and down channels while we were there.  It is amazing that the Great Lakes hold 1/5 of the total fresh water in the world and if the contents
were spread evenly over the US it would be 9m deep.  It is also amazing that the freighters can exit to the sea via the St Lawrence seaway or access the Mississippi and exit in the Gulf of Mexico.

Heading west we stopped at the Upper Tahquamenon Falls, which whilst at their lowest summer flow were still quite impressive.  From there it was about an hour's run south to Newberry for the night where we sat on the terrace writing this whilst listening to de la Croix entertain us with Blues, Reggae & Country music.
646 miles in two days, total trip 1548. States: Ohio, Michigan

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