Today we drove to Mackinaw City, MI in the Lower Peninsula. As we got south in the UP we were on Lake Huron (2nd Great Lake this trip). Another BIG lake. After parking the RV we drove to Sault Ste. Marie (only Mexican food in the area and told by a local that it was good – it was). We had been to see the Soo Locks with Granny and Grumpy some years ago and they really are quite amazing. Great Lakes comprise 1/5th of the fresh surface water in the world! With ice breaker ships the locks now stay open about 10 months of the year moving primarily iron ore and coal on 1,000 foot ships. Wow! The two locks on the right side are for the 1,000 foot long ships. The one on the left is what one goes through on the tour boat. The viewing area is really nice (and out of the cold!) These gates don’t look like they would hold back tons of water. The far right in the picture of the locks shows the falls on the St. Mary River. Before the locks goods had to be carried around these falls, a height difference of about 21 feet from Lake Superior to Lake Huron.
This is one of the 1,000 foot ships of iron ore or coal (we think). We have seen several today, both here and as we crossed the bridge to Mackinaw City. That is one LONG ship.