July 2002 trip to Mackinaw City & Sault Ste Marie
My trip to Michigan went pretty well. Mom was the best that she has been in about 2 years. We spent several hours working on the guest list for their 65th Anniversary party in September

The weather was beautiful (70s and no humidity) and so was the fireworks in the Straits of Mackinac on Thursday night. I  viewed the fireworks from a location south of town so the Bridge would be in the background. I could also see the fireworks displays in St. Ignace and Mackinac Island as well as private displays going up from parties along the shore. The traffic after the Mackinaw fireworks is always terrible, so I walked a couple of miles from our home, out of town along the lake shore and sat and read while I waited for the show to start.

Mackinaw City fireworks and Mackinac Bridge
Fireworks being set off from the old State Dock

Mackinac Bridge and fireworks
It was darker than , this looks, but lightening the shot to show the fireworks better, also lightens the dusky sky

Friday morning, I visited Mackinac Island to take some photos for Mightymac.org. There was a medium sized cruise ship docked on the Island. Perhaps the most unusual thing was that this year's seasons have run so late that there was still a few lilacs in bloom.

Le Levant Luxury Cruise Liner on Mackinac Island.
Fort Mackinac is in background. Cruise ship Le Levant and Arnold Transit Ferry dock in foreground

St. Anne's Church - Mackinac Island, Michigan
St. Anne's Church with Round Island and Mackinac Passage lights in the distance. Prints & greeting cards of this image.

Cruise ship Le Levant at Mackinac Island, Michigan
Mackinac Island harbor and Cruise ship Le Levant

Downtown Mackinac Island
This is one of my favorite photo locations of downtown Mackinac Island.

Friday afternoon, we drove up to Drummond Island. I hadn't been there in 25 years. A cool thing happen while we were waiting in line for the Drummond Passage Ferry. As soon as it docked, a group of people got on the ferry and climbed to the upper deck. The Captain performed a marriage while they were docked. Most of the party went on over to Drummond Island.

Drummond Island ferry
wedding on the Drummond Island

None of the meals were worth repeating, but otherwise, things went well. Saturday I had a great time on the St. Mary's “Lighthouse Tour.” The almost 6 hour tour had only two light houses (in addition to the ruins of a third and several range lights), but it had a lot of other things to make up for lack of lighthouses.

Soo Loics with freighters Marinette and Griffith
503 foot Swedish grain carrier, Marinette leaves the MacArthur Lock.
The 746 foot Canadian Steamship Lines vessel HM Griffith is visible in the Poe Lock.

MacArthur Lock and International Bridge on a St, Mary's River lighthouse cruise
Leaving the MacArthur Lock. The International Bridge, the Wisconsin Central Railroad Bridge and the 730 foot
Canadian Steamship Lines Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin are in the background.

The tour included two trips through the Soo Locks, passed under the International Bridge, included many interesting ships and a tour (from the water) of the huge Algoma Steel plant in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. I had previously toured part of the plant when I was in college, but this view was much more interesting. The plant is so large that there are 65 miles of railroad tracks and 300 freighters dock there each year.

One of the freighters that was loading near Algoma Steel had passed us while we were on the Drummond Island Ferry the evening before. There was also a couple of freighters that are being turned into scrap. I got lots of photos which will be added to Mightymac.org.

The Canadian Gros Cap Reefs Lighthouse is the oddest that I have ever seen. Its unusual shape is caused by the heliport that was added after the fact and a snowplow like base that turns the ice on the St. Mary's River so it goes around the lighthouse.

Point Iroquois lighthouse - Lake Superior
Point Iroquois lighthouse built in 1871
Gros Cap Reefs Lighthouse - Lake Superior
Gros Cap Reefs Lighthouse

Sunday was my return travel day. I drove back down to Detroit, allowing plenty of time for travel delays. Traffic was bad enough that it added an hour to the drive, but I still arrived in the Detroit area well before my flight and spent a couple of hours visiting Howard DeVore in Dearborn Heights. Big Hearted Howard is one of the leaders of First Fandom and has lots of great stories from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.

Copyright 2002-2020 by Keith Stokes