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Monday, August 13, 2012

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan-On the US/ Canada Border

This town loves neon signs. These shops were right across the street from the Soo Locks. The Sault in Sault Ste Marie is french and is pronounce "SUE". (Click to enlarge for more detail). People refer to the town as the Soo. 

These are old shops as people have been coming here for decades to gape out the huge ships squeezing between the locks that connect Lakes Huron and Superior. The locks are directly across the street.

The famous Soo Locks.  We got lucky when visiting the locks, a ship was going through.  This is facing west; the bridge to Canada is in the background. 

This is facing east and that is Canada in the left background. The locks make this portion of the St. Mary's river navigable.  The St Mary's river makes a 24 foot drop at this point.  St Mary's River bridges  Lake Superior with Lake Huron.  Before the locks were in place, freighters could not use this for transportation.  Pre-European contact Indians and the fur traders that navigated throughout the area  had to take their canoes out because of the falls .  With iron and ore being discovered in western Michigan, someone decided they needed to alter mother nature so shipping would be easier.  So the locks were built so that freight could move throughout the Great Lakes. There were some neat pictures in the visitor's center that showed the waterfall and people traveling to this area to shoot the rapids.  The first lock was built here by the Northwest company for canoes in 1798. It was 40 foot long.
Felt someone staring at me when I was looking at a sand hill crane picture. I could see him in my peripheral vision. Finally, I turned to make eye contact. "Why are you staring............and why are you wearing scuba gear"?




And are you real...uh, no you're not. Oops.

There were some pretty neat buildings in the old downtown; some in use and some left to decay.





Water street had some nice old homes.

Detail of the courthouse. What time is it?

Hi. My name is Thomas Edison. I once thought I created many great inventions in my Menlo Park Lab, I once thought that I created many great businesses. I recently heard some guy from Washington say that did not create all that stuff. It was the Government.  The rest of the old Edison hydrogenerating plant is below; pretty impressive building.
The construction of this  landmark hydroelectric plant facility was completed in 1902. At the time of completion, the plant was the second largest hydro facility next to Niagara Falls.  It is still in use today.

 




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