…life, family, travels, thoughts and more from my (and sometimes his) perspective
Aug 27-31; Days 245-249 Back, Back, Back in the U.Ssss.-Aaaay!
We walked a mile or so late in the afternoon from the nice marina into and around the little town of Blind River–our last Canadian town. It was a ghost town with for sale signs and closed-permanently signs on practically every commercial building in the 3 block core. Very few cars and even fewer people were out. That same experience repeated itself (save for one little grocery store and one diner) at DeTour, Michigan…our first US town. Sort of sad and anti-climactic! BUT we did subsequently learn that, at least with respect to the for sale signs, it is a common test- the -market (aka hope for a rich city- dreamer to stumble in the door???) at the end-of -the-season phenomena in these small tourist-driven summer-only towns.
As we hit a big mile marker on our total trip odometer, B and Z rose from their rocking wave refuge on the lower floor and we coincidentally left Canada. A few fun facts (from our standpoint): We were in Canada from June 16 to August 27; covered a total of 1296 miles locking, docking and zig zagging as we got to know Quebec and Ontario provinces, dipped our bow in Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, St Lawrence River, and uncountable other cities, towns, rivers, lakes, and islands; 51 total days enjoying the sights from land and water of which 35 were actually underway; and 22 days escaped home to visit the new baby and get some boat repairs.
Customs and shopping was quick and easy so we took a little jump over to quiet DeTour Village, Michigan for our first night back. Michigan DNR has a nice (and relatively inexpensive) collection of marinas which, as of this writing, we have made use of at 3 different spots. Certainly THE best “deal” at tourist haven Mackinac Island….where rooms range from 300-1500 a night. yikes…give me my Bayliner and a marina in the center of all the action any day!
Mackinac Island can only be reached by boat or ferry (which, ok, i guess a ferry technically IS a boat) (well, actually i think there is a little airport too). OH,,,,and Ok!… in the winter you can take a lamp lit/christmas tree lined “track” by snowmobile over the ice there too. BUT there are NO motorized vehicles allowed on the island. Everything is on foot–pedaling, walking or horse transport! It was a really great way to re-enter “civilization” after all those days at anchor on the remote islands.
Although REALLY fun, the problem with renting a tandem bike is that it’s hard to take a picture of the person/dog you are biking with!
We probably would have stayed another day on Mackinac Island, but weather is looming and we actually have several days of big exposure as we make our way south along the coast of Lake Michigan to Chicago….so we pushed off in light winds and a little choppy, swelly water.