Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fort Michilimackinac

29 August 2013

The Malibu was in need of a new set of tires so we drove 20 miles across the bridge to Cheboygan. John felt this was the most reputable place. Since we were close to Mackinaw City decided to walk through the town and then visit Fort Michilimackinac under the bridge.

Mackinaw City sits on the Straits of Mackinac on Lake Huron and is the last stop in Lower Michigan before crossing the bridge to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. There are many unique shops, historic buildings and the pedestrian mall features flower beds, victorian architecture and fountains. Parking is free. You can also take a ferry to Mackinac Island. www.mackinawcity.com
Mackinaw City Plaque

Mackinaw City Marina

Civil War Cannons Mackinaw City

Shepler's Ferry to Island

Pedestrian Walk Huron Street

Brigadoon B&B

Statue to Chief Wawatam, friend to the British

Fort Michilimackinac was established by the French in 1715 at the site of a Jesuit Mission. For 50 years the French and English struggled for control of the fur trade in the Great Lakes. British took control of the fort in 1761. During Chief Pontiac's uprising over the treatment of the Indians by the British,the Chippewa captured the fort. In 1764 the British regained control of the fort. During the American Revolution, Fort Mackinac on the Island was built and Fort Michilimackinac was abandoned. In 1781,the British burned the fort except for a few buildings including Ste Anne Church were moved across the ice to Fort Mackinac.

Signage for Fort

View of Lake Michigan

Voyageur Landing

Blacksmith Shop

British Trader House


Latrine-No Privacy

Commanding Officer House

Interior of House

Commanding Officer

French Guard House

Interior Guard House

British Soldier

Priest's House

Interior of House

Priest at Prayer

Saint Anne Church


Fur House

Kitchen in Row House

Row House

Musket Firing

View of Fort


Snoozing Sheep

Reconstruction of the fort began in 1959 and archaeology digs are ongoing. The fort sits to the west of the bridge on Lake Michigan with the visitor center directly under the bridge.
6 lb Cannon

Firing of the Cannon

The Ezekiel Soloman House was home to the first Jewish settler in Michigan who served with the British Army. He arrived in 1761 and narrowly escaped death during the Pontiac Uprising. It is believed he is buried in Montreal in 1808. He was very active in the fur trade.
Plaque to Solomon

Info on Solomon

Ezekiel Solomon

Ezekiel Solomon House

The fort features a commanding view of the Mackinac Bridge. Adjacent to the fort is the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse built in 1889. I couldn't resist getting my feet wet in Lake Huron to ease the itching of the mosquito bites from yesterday. By the way found that Vicks works great for reducing the itching. The Visitor Center features a good selection of gifts and books. Admission to the fort is $11. www.mackinacparks.com
View of Bridge

Plaque to Lighthouse

Mackinac Point Lighthouse
Splashing in Lake Huron

This feels Good

John close to water

Thursday, August 29, 2013

St Joseph Island ONT and Soo Locks Sault Ste Marie, MI

28 August 2013

Today we drove to St Joseph Island, ONT around 100 miles from St Ignace and 50 miles from Sault Ste Marie, MI.

The island is picture perfect with rolling hills,sandy beaches,historic buildings and country roads. The fort sits at the southern end of the island on Lake Huron. From 1796 to 1812 this outpost was a thriving community of soldiers,Aboriginal people and fur traders.

The fort was the staging ground for the initial attack in War of 1812 and the British most westerly outpost. It was from here that the British launched an attack on Fort Michilimackinac on Mackinac Island and know today as Fort Mackinac. Later in the war Americans arrived at Fort St Joseph and burned it. With the Treaty of Ghent ending the war, Fort Michilimackinac was restored to the Americans and the British decided not to rebuild Fort St Joseph. They later built a fort on Drummond Island between St Joseph and Mackinac Island. In the 1960's archaeological digs began and Parks Canada assumed control and built a visitor center.
The short walk from the visitor center takes you to the site where you can view the outline and remains of the buildings.
Fort St Joseph Plaque

Model  of Fort St Joseph

Map Showing Buildings

Museum Exhibits

Siege and Capture of Fort Michilimackinac

Uniform Exhibit

Artillery Exhibit

Indian Exhibit

Voyeurs Exhibit

Fur Trading

Tools of the Day

Powder Magazine







View of Lake Huron from Fort

John at Visitor Center

Mosquitoes attacked us, so put on my mosquito netting.
Very Fashionable
 Some interesting facts about St Joseph Island:
It is the second largest fresh water island in the world
Home to the largest producer of maple syrup in Ontario (bought some)

A drive back to Sault Ste Marie took us to the sites of Old Fort Brady and New Fort Brady which is now occupied by the Lake Superior State University. Only a marker remains from the first fort in Brady Park next to the Soo Locks.
First Fort Brady Plaque

Signage of Fort Brady

Indian Burial Ground

Fort Brady was established in 1822 on the St Mary's River in Sault Ste Marie, MI to guard against British incursions from Canada. It remained here until 1893 when it was moved to higher ground. The fort was closed in 1944. The primary responsibility was to protect the canal. The fort was used during the Spanish American War and WWII. The fort was given to the Michigan College of Mining and Technology. After renovation,the fort was sold to the present college. Many of the original buildings remain and used for housing and offices.

Plaque for New Fort Brady

Map of New Fort Brady

Officer Housing

Officer Housing

Guard House

We then walked over the Soo Locks Visitor center and viewing platform. Since the next ship was scheduled at 630PM, we walked across the street and had dinner at Goetz's. Whitefish is a favorite in this area, so we decided to enjoy.

The Soo Locks consists of two canals and four locks that allow vessels to traverse the 21 feet drop in elevation of the St Mary's River between Lakes Superior and Huron. A new lock is being built,the first one since 1968, to handle much larger vessels. The locks today are opened by a button. More than 11,000 vessels carrying up to 90 million tons of cargo pass through the locks every year. Most cargo is iron ore,coal, grain or stone. The oldest lock was built in 1914 and the last lock in 1968. The viewing platform is next to MacArthur Lock and much to our disappointment the vessel passed through the Poe Lock, but we still got the experience of seeing the ship pass.
Museum Picture of Soo Locks

Facts About Great Lakes Depth
More Facts About the Lakes

MacArthur Lock Below Viewing Area

Ship Entering Poe Lock

Passing Administration Building

Tour Boat Entering MacArthur Lock

In the Lock

Crew Waving to Viewers

On our way back to campground we stopped at a viewing point in St Ignace to view the "Mighty Mac" at night.
At Bridge Viewpoint

"Mighty Mac" at night