Campers are typically very friendly, polite and love to help out. These are the kind of people you love to have around you as you camp. In fact this is very characteristic of most campers anywhere we have been. This fact was exceptionally true on our current trip to the Algonac State Park.
The purpose of this trip was to observe the passing Lake Freighters on the St. Clair River. We had done this for the first time last year and we couldn’t wait to come back again. The weather yesterday was beautiful. Terri and I gathered along with my parents to watch the passing ships from between our sites. These sites are situated directly across the road from the river. This provided us with a perfect vantage point to observe the ships. We were outside the entire day and well into the night. The ships looked incredible at night as well. They would be all lit up. At 4 am we watched 5 ships pass within 20 minutes. These vessels actually blew the welcome “Toot” with their enormous horns as they passed by our park. We got very little sleep and it was great.
We knew the ship viewing would be great, but we didn’t realize how friendly all the people would be. We met more people here than we’ve ever met in one weekend. We chatted about RVing and shared some spectacular stories.
As I write this it is already Go-Home Day. The weekend has been much too short. We have seen 29 ships go by and have made countless new friends. This will be a hard place to leave today.
Pooh and Blue Bunny love to watch ships pass as well.
We are now camping at Aune-Osborn Campground in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Upon our arrival, Laura at the park office checked us in. She informed Terri and I of all the park amenities. Laura went on to say that unlike most other places, this park offered a Men-Only laundry room.
The sites here are electric and water only. You do get a picnic table and free Wi-Fi. There is not much for shade. There are really no activities for kids. What there is, you will have a hard time finding anywhere else. They have SHIPS!
The ships are so close that you could literally throw a stick at them. The park lies along 20 acres of waterfront property on the lower St. Mary’s River. This is just before the ships enter the Soo Locks from the south. This provides an incredible view of all the ships traveling through the locks.
The weather here was hot. Yesterday it was pushing 90 degrees. That is hot for May in the UP. The bugs are still bad but nowhere near as bad as they were in Mackinaw City. Last night a storm passed through and today the temperature is having a hard time getting to that point again.
We tried a couple new places to eat in town which we really enjoyed, “The Palace” had a good Mexican menu and “Ang-gios” offered a really good Italian cuisine.
I met a couple of our neighbors. Randy sent us this photo of a couple of ships that we missed while we were in town.
Rick, another neighbor, provided us with the scanner frequencies of the Soo Locks so that we could hear when the ships communicated with them. His wife Mary gave us the following URL so we could track their movement on the water- http://my.tbaytel.net/va3rom/AIS.htm
We also ran into a guy by the name of Cliff. He had this rig which had some of the largest horns I have ever seen. He had horns from Passenger Trains, Freight Trains, Ferry Ships and even a couple of Freightliners. They were all mounted on top of a modified semi-tractor truck. We got to experience first hand the volume these things were capable of. A ship passed by us and saw his rig so it tooted a salute at us. Cliff returned the salute back at them. It was a really cool thing to experience.
Ships Ahoy! A while back Terri and I were on a trip along the St. Clair River when we discovered the Algonac State Park. We drove past it, did a double take, and then turned around to check it out. Ever since that day we have been anxious to return.
This is a very busy State Park and is quite difficult to get into. It not only offers hiking trails and a shooting range, but its greatest feature is that is located directly across the road from the St. Clair River. This allows for an exceptional view of passing Ships. Freighters from around the world pass along the one half mile of St. Clair River frontage.
The day we arrived it was very stormy out. In fact we heard reports of 30 foot waves up in Lake Superior. We were afraid that this would lessen our chances of seeing any ships. As a matter of fact it did, according to an online map we were watching, most freighters were held up in Lake Erie waiting for the storm to pass. This turned out to be a good thing for when the storm let up the ships all lined up to continue up the river right past us. All-in-all we counted 19 ships the 2 days we were there. It was simply incredible to see them this close.
Before we left we got a chance to meet our neighbors, Norm & Shirley Brugman. They actually just live down the road in Marysville. They spend time camping here and also head south to camp in the winter months.