We leave Cheboygan, Michigan and head for the Straits of Mackinac - in the distance is the beautiful Mackinac bridge. The boats with the big rooster tail are the tour boats running from Mackinaw City to Mackinac Island.
Here is another photo of the bridge (which we'll pass under in a couple of weeks) as seen through the windshield of Interlude.
We turn away from the bridge and head for the narrow passage between Mackinac Island and Bois Blanc Island on our way to Hessel.
As we head for Mackinac Island we pass many of the sailboats who were in the Port Huron to Mackinac race. Today is the day they leave the island for points elsewhere.
We pass near the Mackinac Island and view the Grand Hotel from a distance.
It's a grand site. We'll visit the island later and get some better pictures.
We tie up Interlude in Hessel at Mertaugh's Boat Works which is within a couple of miles of the Ferne cottage. Then we launch the dinghy and head down the Snows Channel to the cottage for a reunion with Wayne and Robbin (whom we haven't seen for a week).
The Les Cheneaux Islands must have one of the largest collections of antique wood boats in the world. This one is in Mertaugh's boathouse and is being prepared for the Antique Boat Show held in the middle of August. These boats are only in the water a month or two each year, so keeping one for 40 years or more isn't quite the issue it might be elsewhere.
Heading down the Snow's Channel, we pass the Spring Lodge. In earlier times we collected spring water at a free-flowing spring at the lodge which they made available to anyone. (The cottage used spring water for drinking and lake water for everything else.)
We pass Dollar Island near the cottage. This island is about half an acre (maybe less) and has a single house on it. ...a very eclectic house, at that!
We approach the cottage carefully since the water is low this year.
Perhaps we should put Interlude in the boathouse...maybe if we nudge it a bit, it will fit !!
Jan talks to Wayne and Robbin about some WD-40 to help slip the boat into the boathouse. No luck.
The cottage is a wonderful place that never changes. Jan has been coming up here for xx years (I'm not allowed to tell that it's more than half a century).
We sit on the porch and talk, or watch the passing parade from the dock.
We experience a fabulous sunset down the channel.
We leave Cedarville, Hessel and the cottage for the time being and head to De Tour and eventually Sault Ste Marie. This is the De Tour light which marks the entrance to the St. Mary's River and the connection between Lake Huron and Lake Superior
Sault Ste Marie is two towns on each side of the St. Mary's River--one in the U.S. and one in Canada. (The Canadian city is the larger of the two.) The water route there is rustic and beautiful. The shore is primitive and the water exceptionally clear.
We stay in the U.S. Sault Ste. Marie and visit the freighter-museum, Valley Camp. This photo is taken from the bridge looking down the length of the ship with Interlude in the adjacent marina in the background.
The Valley Camp is well worth the visit.
Wayne and Robbin join us in Sault Ste. Marie for a day trip into Lake Superior. This view marks the end of the St. Mary's River and the beginning of Lake Superior proper. Lake Superior is so large and undeveloped, we'll spend only this one day visiting it.
Our destination is Point Iroquois. We have a beautiful water color of this lighthouse and wanted to see it in person. It's even more beautiful than we expected. We got Interlude very close to the beach to capture this shot.
Seas are rough, so we snap a couple of additional pictures, and head back before winds whip up even higher.
We lock back through the U.S. locks at the Sault and pass this super-freighter coming out of the adjacent lock.
These freighters are so large they cannot leave the purview of Lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior, where they spend their lifetimes. They are nearly twice the length of the locks in the Welland Canal which would allow them to escape to the rest of the world via the St. Lawrence Seaway. Note the worker waiving at us from the lower part of the ship -- it gives you some idea of the size of these monsters.
Later in the day we drive back to Point Iroquois to get a closer look.
What a beautifully restored and maintained lighthouse. As photogenic as it gets...
The land in this part of the world is exceptionally beautiful. This is the walk to the shore from the lighthouse.
The mystery and romance of the Great Lakes creates a strong tug on both of us as we stare off across beautiful Lake Superior. it's breathtaking.