Sault Ste. Marie, MI

We left on Saturday morning for a two week trip around the north shore of Lake Superior.  Wow, does it ever feel good to be back on the road!  After traveling the entire year last year, we started to feel more at home on the road than in our actual home.  Being stationary again has been difficult and we are definitely ready for some more travel adventures!

Our first main stop on this trip is Sault Ste. Marie, MI, which is just a bit further from home than we are comfortable traveling in one day, so we opted to spend our first night at Cabela’s in Dundee, MI. For these quick one night stops, we love being able to pull into a place like this where we don’t have to unhook and there is no cost (though we always make at least a small purchase.)  Other good options for these types of stops are Walmart, Cracker Barrel, and Bass Pro Shops, though not all locations of any of these places will allow overnight stays, so it is important to always call to ask permission first.  While we appreciate all these places allowing us to stay, our favorites are Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops.  They tend to be more quiet and always feel a little more safe for some reason.  This particular Cabela’s is one of the best we have seen.  They have a separate RV parking lot in the back so you are away from the normal store traffic, there is a nice pond and walking path behind the store if you want to stretch your legs, and there are several other stores and restaurants within walking distance.  We enjoyed browsing the store, checked out their massive taxidermy collection (we have mixed emotions about this aspect of the store, but that is a different blog post), and made use of the walking path out back.  The night was dark and quiet and we were able to get a good night’s sleep and get back on the road the next morning feeling well rested.  Thanks, Cabela’s!

From there, we have made our way north to Aune Osborn Campground in Sault Ste. Marie, MI, where we are now.  This campground has an amazing location right along the St. Mary’s River where we have been able to watch small private boats, giant one thousand foot freighters, and everything in between, traverse the path between Lake Superior and Lake Huron.  It is a great location.  Otherwise, the campground is a typical campground.  Sites are gravel pads that are reasonably level, have electric and water hookups, and are pretty close together.  There is a dump station and bathrooms with showers available, but we didn’t utilize the bathrooms at all, so we can’t speak to their cleanliness.  The only real negative to the location is that it is very close to the Sugar Island Ferry that runs all night, so we were woken up several times by the ferry whistle.  At $32 per night, though, it seems like a decent deal.  We have immensely enjoyed watching the traffic on the river!  Oh, yeah…one other positive to the location – it is within walking distance of Clyde’s Drive In where you can get burgers, fries, onion rings, etc. for an incredibly reasonable price!  Who could resist?  We definitely could not!

Despite having traveled to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan two other times, this is our first visit to Sault Ste. Marie.  The main attraction here is the Soo Locks, and we never felt drawn to see them, so we always bypassed the town for other areas.  The route for this trip brought us right through town, though, so we decided to see what it is all about!  This town is a lot of fun, and we were very wrong to think we wouldn’t enjoy the locks.  In the day and a half we have been here, we have spent several hours at the locks viewing platform, and Heather especially could spend many more.  In addition to the viewing platform, there is a nice park and visitor center that we spent some time in learning about it all!  This is all set right in town, so it is also a great place to browse some gift shops, have a meal in a restaurant, or get a sweet treat.  We opted for ice cream.  (Jeff recommends the Honey Pot flavor, and Heather’s favorite was Coffee Lovers.)   Still, the highlight was definitely seeing the giant freighters! Watching them navigate into and out of the locks with only five feet of extra width is mind blowing, and it seems crazy that ships of that size are able to travel the great lakes, navigate the locks, and successfully make it all the way to the Atlantic Ocean from here!

Other area attractions that we didn’t have time for on this visit, but would have loved to check out are the Museum Ship Valley Camp, a Soo Locks boat tour, and the Point Iroquois Lighthouse about 30 minutes away.  There really is a lot to see and do in this area!

Tomorrow we make our way into Canada and begin our north shore journey.  We met some people last night who just finished the same journey in reverse who said it is spectacular and that there are very few people along the route right now, so we can’t wait to get started and see what adventures await!

Until next time!

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