Day 5: August 31, 2011
Keep On Locking
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Although I probably wouldn't have specifically ordered them, my Forester came with an "all weather package" that includes heated seats. This morning I learned that, depending on whether or not it rains and whether or not you close the sunroof, it can have water cooled seats, too. It was still raining slightly as I drove across the bridge into Canada.

I really had no plans beyond "visit Canada" and foolishly hadn't researched Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, at all. I thought I would visit some eye catching landmarks, grab lunch at some interesting looking restaurant, then head back to the US after a few hours. I didn't, however, rule out the possibility of spending the night if I discovered some reason to do so. But no landmarks caught my eye and few restaurants looked interesting. I'm sure a bit of planning would have made things different and I may have missed the most exciting eatery in the world by mere blocks. I am definitely not claiming that this city is uninteresting but merely that I didn't find the really interesting stuff. I finally decided the Reggie's looked like my best shot and it turned out better than expected.

A beer and menu came with the advice that "everything is really huge here". A scan of the menu definitely supported the claim. A basic hamburger is listed as a pound and a half. I ordered the Tuesday special, a salad and perogies, and thought I might have a mountain of food to deal with. Happily, the serving that arrived was generous but not overwhelming. The kitchen was behind the bar near where I sat and cooks placed food in the area at the end for pickup by the waitresses. Soon after I snapped a photo of a pair of those 'burgers a second helping of fries arrived. Those fries were covered with gravy and apparently completed the order as a waitress immediately started carting off the food when they arrived. I did not see the number or size of the recipients.

The only landmark that caught my eye was one I had already seen. This is one of the locks I passed through yesterday. Opening in 1895, this lock was the first in the world to be operated by electricity. The building to the right in the first picture contained the generating equipment. Since the lock is not used for commercial shipping. security is nothing like that on the American side. Visitors can reach the very edge of the locks and even cross them. The walkways atop the gates offer a clear view of the difference in water levels.

While standing on the walkway, I saw a boat approaching the lock. As it got nearer, I saw that it was the Hiawatha; the very boat I rode yesterday. After watching the Hiawatha enter the lock and tie-up, I returned to the east side of the gates for a different perspective of the water draining from the lock and of the gates opening.

After about four hours in Canada, I headed back across the bridge to my own country only to find it closed. Fortunately the closure was temporary.

Two more gems from cyber friend Gary. Except for the remote control and the colored picture on the TV, Vitek's Motel is straight from the 1950s. That includes no air conditioning but there's a screen door and windows that open to let the pleasant unconditioned air flow through and chairs out front, too. My room looked like this.

Bessie's has been serving pasties for fifty some years and four generations. Pasties are an Upper Peninsula staple and these, according to Gary and various other authorities, are the best. this was my first and it sure was good.

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