From Mackinaw to Niagara Falls

After four special days at Hunter, North Dakota with friends and family, we began our trek eastward.  New shocks all around smoothed our journey considerably!  Found our Walmart overnight spot easily just past Duluth into Superior.  Shopped there (we like to reward those who welcome us for the night!), then enjoyed the scenery along the south shore of Lake Superior.

Dipping a toe into Lake Superior

Dipping a toe into Lake Superior

Tasty Pasties on the Upper Penninsula.  Dropping down to the north shore of Lake Michigan, which was just as spectacular, and drove through sand dunes!

Pasties!

Pasties!

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What a lovely view from our home for the night, Straits State Park at St. Ignace, Michigan!

Our Campsite at Straits State Park at St. Ignace

Our Campsite at Straits State Park at St. Ignace

Took the Star Line fast ferry (18 minutes) to Mackinac Island.  The French, north of the bridge, kept the spelling Mackinac, pronounced Mackinaw.  South of the bridge it’s both pronounced and spelled Mackinaw.

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On the carriage ride, we trotted through town, past old houses and museums, and up the hill to the Grand Hotel.

The Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel

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We explored a bit at Surrey Hill, especially enjoying the carriage museum.

 

Belgian draft horses are so tall!

Belgian draft horses are so tall!

On our way back to town, we passed old cemeteries and the governor’s summer home.

The Governor's Summer Home

The Governor’s Summer Home

What a beautiful experience and the sun broke through and shined on us!

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North for the night at a casino at Sault Ste Marie.  Our first try at camping at casinos.  We liked it!  There were a free washer and dryer in the shower house (three loads of laundry), and I got to use the hotel pool and hot tub, which were magnificent!

Inside waterfall in the casino on my hike to the pool

Inside waterfall in the casino on my hike to the pool

Had the pool and hot tub to myself at the casino hotel!

Had the pool and hot tub to myself at the casino hotel!

The rain misted, then cleared off to sunny skies again during our Soo Locks Boat Tour.

Going through the American Locks

Going through the American Locks

Large Steel Factory

Large Steel Factory

The Canadian Locks

The Canadian Locks

And over the international toll bridge to Canada!  Reminder to self:  be prepared with Canadian cash!

Another beautiful drive along the north shore of another Great Lake, Lake Huron.  We found French River Trading Post, where Denis has his ancestor, Pierre (in The Voyager) canoeing down the river to the lake.

The closest free overnight Walmart was at Perry Sound, a nice quiet spot for our night, then off to the Barrie South metro station for our day in Toronto!

South Barrie Metro Station

South Barrie Metro Station

After exploring near Union Station, we asked for directions for the Hop On Hop Off bus stop, hiked back and hopped on.

 

This tour comes with a boat tour of the inner harbor.  Crossed the pedestrian Amsterdam Bridge (Toronto’s sister city gifted them with the bridge), we boarded and took off around the lake, to a private island and yacht club, passed the airport and along the shoreline.

Walked to a shop for Beaver Tails.  The sun came out and we munched our treat sitting on Adirondack chairs at the edge of the water. Many toppings to choose from, and we picked one with hazelnut spread, Reese’s pieces, and peanut butter.

Next stop, St. Lawrence Market, voted the best in the world by National Geographic. Terrific sandwich they specialize in, Peameal bacon sandwich.  Yum yum.

Onto the HOHO bus and off to explore the Cork and Distillery area, where the Irish worked at making whiskey, which was preferred over water since their water in the old days was unclean and they’d had cholera there.

Up to the castle, and through the University and Art district.  I was impressed with Discovery Avenue in the medical district.  They have research there, in fact, discovered insulin.  One of the largest children’s hospitals too.

 

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