Thursday, June 21, 2018

Lake Superior Circle Tour-Day 5 to Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada

Wawa, Ontario to Sault Sainte Marie was about 146 miles so we had all day to enjoy the drive.  Our first stop  was a place I was looking forward to.  It was the Agawa Pictographs.  It is a group of Indian rock paintings that are hundreds of years old.  They can be seen on a cliff towering above Lake Superior.  The hike is short but rather wet, rocky and steep.  We entered the park and made our way to the beginning of the trail.  There was a park fee for this.  It was self service so I went to fill out the registration and pay the fee.  There on the board were two things that got my attention.  The first notice said that there was a rock slide that was blocking some of the trail.  The other notice said there was a bear sighted in the area and to proceed with caution.  Even with those two pieces of information we were trying to decide if it was worth it.  Then a lady came over to us and said to be really careful if we do the trail because in order to get a good view of the pictographs we would have to walk out on a narrow ledge of some sort.  I know we had recently walked the long suspension bridge but it had a lot of safety features built in.  It looked scary but was relatively safe.  In this case we were not about to take our life in our hands just to see some pictures on the side of a cliff.  She said the best way to see them was from the water, and we obviously didn't have a boat so that was out.  I went on the internet and saw them just fine.  Most of the photos have a copyright so I can't show them on this blog.  They would have been nice to see, but that's how it is sometimes.  We took a photo of the boat launch and were on our way.

I can't say which leg of our journey was the most beautiful.  It was all gorgeous.  The road was curvy and went up and down hills.  I can see how building this highway was a huge undertaking.  Apparently this section of the highway was one of the most difficult.

At times it looked like we were going to drive off the edge of the earth.  
Notice how all the signs are also written in French.

Before we knew it we were at the next stop.  We needed a break and there was a wayside park at Chippewa Falls.  This is not the Chippewa Falls we are familiar with as Wisconsinites.  In fact, it is the exact middle of the Trans Canadian Highway.

There was another plaque that describes how Dr. Perry E. Doolittle was one of the first people to identify the need for a Trans-Canada Highway.  He was one of the first Canadians to have a car and in 1925 took his car and drove across Canada.  When there was no road he used railway wheels which were fitted to his car and he travelled the rail tracks.  Over 500 miles of his journey were travelled this way.  Even though he was the "Father of the Trans-Canada Highway", he died thirty years before it was officially opened.

Can you imagine traveling all the distance in a Model T Ford?  It's hard enough on a good highway in a modern car.

Chippewa Falls is a small falls compared to the huge falls we have already seen, but it fun to walk to the top and look down.  The pink granite at the falls is so hard it won't erode as quickly as some other rock types can.

You can see the remnants of log jams from days gone by.

Canada uses solar energy.  We saw big solar panels sitting out in fields.  Even this wayside park was lit with solar panels.  Each yard light was powered by a solar panel.  It seems like a very good idea to me.

It was supposed to be a 45 minute drive to Sault Ste Marie.  It ended to be a little longer because of road construction. Just before we got to Sault Ste Marie we had another unfortunate happening.  A big semi passed us by and kicked up some rocks.  A couple hit the windshield and cracked it.  A rear fender bender and now a cracked windshield.  Hopefully they both will be easily fixed.

Before we knew it, we were seeing signs of a metropolitan area.  We were entering Sault Ste Marie.  I didn't realize how large the Canadian city was.  It has close to 80,000 people compared to a much smaller Sault Ste Marie on the Michigan side.  Since we would be crossing over into the United States early the next morning, we did a little sightseeing.  We went to the canal and happened to see a couple of the tour boats go through the locks.

We saw the boats at the top of the bridge. 
In a few minutes we could see the doors start to open. 
And there they were. 

We went to eat and spent the last of our Canadian money.   Then we settled in for our last night in Canada.

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