Thursday, July 6, 2017

Upper Peninsula, Michigan; Ontario , Canada; Newport, Vermont

From Bay Furnace Campground in the Hiawatha National Forest in Christmas, Michigan, we now head east on Route 28 to Route 123 north to Newberry.  At Newberry we picked up our mail at the post office.  Always so many pleasant people we meet at the local post offices.  We also found a very clean and good laundromat and , after all that good luck, a perfect place to change the oil for Lady Blue!  A short drive north on route 123 takes us to Tahquamenon Falls State Park (rhymes with phenomenon).

This is a large state park with various campgrounds from the lower falls here to the upper falls , and also remote tent camping on many trails.  The water is quite clean. The brown color is from tannins in various fir trees along the edge of the river.

Just one branch of the river around the island.  The water level is quite high.
We have a great site, dry camping.  To stay in Michigan state parks, we had purchased a years entry pass which was $32 for the season. Since we stayed for 5 nights in state parks, we saved a few dollars from the $9 per day entry fee.  That was in addition to the camping fee. We find that many states charge an entry fee per day as well as a camping fee.
We always like to show different rigs we see camping.  This is a Sylvan Sport Go Camper. Towed by a smaller suv, it also carried bicycles on the roof rack.  Link for Go Camper
This is considerably smaller than the R-Pod from last issue.

From the state park, we follow Route 123 to Paradise and then head north to the U.S. Coast Guard Whitefish Point Station, lighthouse, and museum.

This is a somewhat remote station, even though by water it is quite close to Sault Ste. Marie and the traffic for the St. Lawrence Seaway.
The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is well presented and quite interesting.  Many exhibits are about the most famous shipwrecks.  There is a special section for the Edmund Fitzgerald that sank in November, 1975.  Yes, they play the Gordon Lightfoot song
The characters are lifelike
Shipwreck Museum Link  
This link will take you to a website with all kinds of information. If you click on the Edmund Fitzgerald link , you will have the history and the entire story of the last days.

The keeper at his desk. The house is not only beautifully restored, but also filled with furniture and items appropriate to the era.

A foot pumped organ.
A very old radio.  The box with wires wrapped around was the antenna.
Do you remember a setting like this.  In a dining room with wainscoting wall and the crocheted table covering, and china.
How about that metal topped table?
Sometimes , having a water pump built into the kitchen sink doesn't seem that outrageous.
This was on display at the store. An antique Evinrude Scout boat motor restored by a P.J Pawlaczyk.

We follow Route 123 south to Route 28 east again. Route 221 takes us north to Brimley State Park.

We did not expect to see a number of Amish farms, as well as the horse and wagons, along the way in eastern Michigan and into Canada.  We stopped at an Amish couples wagon display and purchased some wonderful homemade bread and desserts
Back to Route 28. East to Interstate 75 north and The Sault Ste. Marie Bridge into Ontario, Canada
It is possible to visit the locks.  These locks are supposed to be some of the largest locks in the world  , similar to Panama Canal.
Very little traffic on the bridge and an easy entry into Canada. Only a few questions and a show of our passports.  Very quick, considering the bridge was down to one lane for maintenance work.
The Sault Ste. Marie bridge empties right into the city.  But the directions and the GPS led us easily around the corners and onto Route 17 towards Thessalon and Brimlee Lake Park, just off the route.
We were happy to find that our camping apps and reviews covered Canada as well as they covered the U.S.  This campground was well rated and was as good as advertised.
A small campground, but offering paddle or motor boats for fishing or exercise.
We always appreciate the white birches.
The owner is cutting the field.
When we arrived, the owner-wife mentioned that she was cooking and serving dinner that night.  We asked about the menu, and when she mentioned German specials, we readily agreed. The small dining room is quite comfortable and looks out over the water.
The menu was posted.   There were only two couples--four of us-- for dinner.  We introduced ourselves and sat at one table which was quite enjoyable.  The gentleman was a Commander and Chief in the U.S. Navy--retired--and spent part of his childhood about 15 miles from us in Massachusetts. Small world.
His wife spoke German as did our host.  My German was way too long ago , except Danke Schoen.  We soon realized that this entire meal was going to be cooked and served by our host alone.  Turns out she was a chef and quite enjoys the purchase of ingredients and the preparation, sometimes a day or so ahead.  The Vienna Schnitzel and the Beef Stew were the best we ever had.  I had to say , way above what we had experienced in Fredericksburg, Texas.
The schnitzel was tender and delicious and the stew was fall apart tender with a most flavorful and thick sauce.  In addition she had choice of drinks, a great home made salad and dressing. Then a dessert very like a creme brulee.  This was all gourmet, just for the four of us.  And she loves to cook!! Very friendly.  Our highest recommendations to any one ever in this area.
Following Route 17, we then branch off north on Route 4 at Whitefish to Fairbank Provincial Park.  Be sure to get specific directions , signs are minimal. Also, the road is terrible on parts of the way with dirt and gravel.
Looks like a young fox along the way.
This park is very much like the U.S. state parks.  Many of the sites have direct access to the water.
A small section for picnics , with a water view and many white birches.
Still along Route 17 and almost into Quebec Province, we find Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park
A very pretty park with great access to the water .  Unfortunately, our stay was mostly rainy with water covering many of the roadways.  These parks, so far, are not very big rig friendly. Lady Blue did well---carefully.
Did we say narrow?
Relax Eustis, we have this covered.  Don't we Bruce?
We have an education at the pumps. One liter is .264 gallons.  I averaged it by 4 liters to the gallon---give or take.  The 100 is about 1 plus Canadian dollars per liter of gas. One Canadian dollar is about .77 U.S. dollars.  At our crossing $40 Canadian cost about $32 U.S.
Some U.S. drivers think this is the speed limit on major U.S. highways.  100 km is about 62 mph
Jan and I enjoyed these bridge freezing signs.
So   $112.63 equals about $86.72 for 104.677 liters or about 27.6 gallons. That's about $3.14 per gallon. Expensive by our standards, but not crazy.  Canadians feel their gas can get quite expensive--always.
We followed Route 17.  Many farms along the way, well into the growing season.
In Cobden, Ontario, we stop at a well rated campground , Logos Land Resort.  We went by ratings and then discovered that this was a gigantic water park.  Zip lines and all , spread over many acres.  The campground was quite pleasant and well away from any crowds that might happen.
In the park we met this couple with two children.  He liked Lady Blue and I had to ask about his Class C.  It is a Canadian built 1979 unit in absolutely excellent shape.  He said it was stored in British Columbia.  I was just amazed at the lack of rust damage for starters.
Cobden also was a stop for gas and post office. Along the way a stop at a wonderful place called The Little Coffee Shop on Main Street.  Again, such friendly, wonderful people with quite tasty pastries.  We almost started looking at real estate.
From Cobden we still follow Route 17 and then it becomes 417.
Close to Ottawa we head south on route 416 and then northeast on Route 401 to a small private campground in Bainsville. From Bainsville, we follow Route 401 to Route 30 into Quebec Province. That will take us through some of the heaviest traffic into Route 10 and then slowly thinning out to Route 55 south into Vermont.

Route 55 takes us to the U.S. border .  This crossing takes much longer than our Canadian entry.  With very little traffic it still takes some time and the officer does come into Lady Blue to check the closets and refrigerator.  He is mostly concerned about citrus and other vegetables.  Soon, we continue on our way on Route 91 to Newport, Vermont.  The Prouty Beach and Campground is a City Park.  Our site is on the water and overlooks the town on the banks of Lake Memphremagog.
We were enjoying the view when we are treated to an unexpected great sunset.
While the sun is setting, a quick and energetic shower comes by . Jan and I keep looking for a rainbow.  Thinking we missed it---and suddenly--there it is.  A double rainbow.  Thank you Newport!
South on Route 91 to Route 93 and through the Franconia Notch. So strange for us to be traveling south on Route 93 and seeing Cannon Mountain Ski Area in the greenest of summer.

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