The winds came, and the winds stayed; lovely weather, cool but lovely. However two days of constant 15 to 17 mph winds is great for sailors, not so good sitting outside reading a book.

I’ve been trying to be outside more in part to escape the drumbeat of all things political on our XM radio. It got to a point where Marcia and I took a ‘vacayfromourvacay’ mini trip. Hence, this one quote is to get all the politics out of my system – at least for this week:

“The American people will never knowingly accept Socialism, but under the name of Liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program until one day America will be a Socialist nation without knowing how it happened.” ~ Norman Thomas, Socialist Party 1928 – 1948

I guess that is referred to as the ‘boiling the frog’ trick.

Our ‘circle’ tour – Our 400 mile drive took us over a hundred miles north to the small town of Chapleau. It was new turf that we explored. About an hour’s drive north the landscape began to change, the rock formation lessened, the soil became sandy, and the landscape a sea of white Birches and very tall and straight Jack Pine trees. Chapleau still has train service, the Canadian Pacific Railroad runs through town. This marker shows that there is more to that old song: “I’ve been working on the railroad”. It seems that there is also a degree of danger involved. The area, like much of this area was built on logging, another not-too-safe occupation.

The picture below describes the other change that had taken place entering Chapleau:

Then it was a solid two-hour run to that area’s largest town (14,000) of Wawa. We were now on the north shore of Lake Superior, the largest of the great lakes and definitely the most picturesque. It is also quite young in geological terms, 10,000 years (the last Ice Age retreat). It takes a drop of water 191 years to flow through the lake. And the shoreline, straightened out, would run from Duluth to the Bahamas – it is a beast!

Potholes – Much of the initial area after Wawa is Provincial Park. At one stop we toured the Interpretive Center, built of steel and glass in the forest the place appears Frank Lloyd Wright-esque (i.e. beautiful). Earlier we saw the term ‘potholes’ used, but wondered why. Here we discovered the ‘why’, and it is fascinating.

The area has rocks made of very hard mineral and these are sometimes found on top of a bedrock of softer stone. Now, as in any good recipe, add water. Wave action causes slight movement of the harder stones which starts a process of erosion. Add more time and more water and a ‘cupping’ effect takes place. Add even more time and the result is spectacular.

Soo – Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan was the day’s end point and also a quick dive across the border. The primary reason was for a food re-stock and cheap gas, although Marcia would say it was to have dinner at the ‘Great Wall’ Chinese buffet – her favorite place in this area. I’d been driving the whole day and wanted to stretch a bit. Marcia stayed back to partake of a new-found novelty, Television. I walked to the city center of the little town and walked through the park by the Soo Locks. These locks allow for shipping to manage the 21’ difference between Superior and the other lakes.

As luck would have it a massive freighter was just entering the lock and I was able to watch the whole process. Then, best of all, it was of Dutch registry and from Delfzijl, a town I was familiar with. Notice how noticeable that 21-foot difference is as the ship leaves the Lake Superior area.

Finis – Last evening we had Happy Hour by Bulent and Barb’s fire pit – no fire due to the wind. They were entertaining friends who were passing through from Windsor. The husband fancies himself a Martini connoisseur (correctly so as it turns out). Warner was an expert mixologist.

PS. We even had fancy olives with out ‘toonies’.

Early in the week I didn’t see until I walked outside and startled it, a Great Blue Heron. It was in front of the cabin and maybe 5-feet off shore. Its huge wings unfolded and we watched it lift off. Pretty spectacular stuff.

Vai ended up with a nasty case of Whooping Cough. Currently her illness is in week four of what will probably be a 14-week event. This caused a all sort of changes of plans including a week in Orlando at WDW. So what do Opa and Oma do? Being of a generation where the term ‘sanatorium’ still is understood, we’re setting Northern Comfort up as Vai’s personal ‘sanatorium’. So, and we’re ‘mucho’ excited, Adrianne, Vili, and Vai will come up tomorrow.

Make it a outstanding week.

si longtemps (French, since half of Chapleau speaks French)

Leave a Reply