Hometown Visit

September 04, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

We recently visited Sault Ste. Marie, my hometown in Upper Michigan. So many things have changed over the years since I lived there, but other things will always remain the same, much to my delight. Being able to see and hear the freighters traveling up and down the St. Mary's River on their way to and from the Soo Locks has always been a wonderful experience. 

Boats that are downbound are moving east from the Soo Locks and towards Lake Huron and/or the St. Lawrence Seaway. Boats that are upbound are moving west to the Soo Locks and out on to Lake Superior.  

One morning, we got down to the lookout spot too late to see a freighter approaching, but I was able to catch a glimpse after it passed behind Sugar Island on the St. Mary's River.  Frontenac Downbound on St. Mary's RiverFrontenac Downbound on St. Mary's RiverFrontenac heading downbound on the St. Mary's River about 5 minutes before sunrise It was less than 10 minutes before sunrise and a little cool, temperatures in the low 60s.  There was a slight fog on the water and that added to the overall dreamy quality of the ship passing quietly down the River.  Lake Freighter in the FogLake Freighter in the FogThe Frontenac was moving downbound from the Soo Locks on the St. Mary's River just before sunrise. Another freighter wasn't scheduled to go through the Soo Locks for a few more hours, but the ferry from Sugar Island was almost directly across from our vantage point on the St. Mary's River. The ferry transports people and their cars between the shore of Sault, Michigan and Sugar Island. Drummond Islander IIIDrummond Islander IIIFerry to and from Sugar Island, Michigan The sun was just starting to come up as the ferry was collecting their passengers.  It was a beautiful sunrise and the colors of the sky and reflections on the River were outstanding!

Sugar Island Ferry at SunriseSugar Island Ferry at SunriseThe ferry at Sugar Island was loading its passengers at sunrise.


Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan is on the northern border of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  On the other side of the St. Mary's River, to the north, is Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.  Some may not realize just how close in distance the two countries are. 


Sunrise Ferry RouteSunrise Ferry RouteThe ferry brings cars (and their owners) back and forth between Sugar Island and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is in the background.

In the photograph above, the buildings on the far shore are in Canada!

When on vacation, it's always nice to be able to slow down and take in new sights.  For us, visiting our hometown was a return to the familiar and that was a vacation from our every day lives.

The early morning visit to the St. Mary's River was a wonderful way for my Dad and I to start our day!  Sunrise on the St. Mary'sSunrise on the St. Mary'sSunrise on the St. Mary's River in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan  


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