The day started bright & sunny and, as nothing had been planned for the
morning’s activities in Sault St. Marie, I decided to go for a (very) gentle
jog before breakfast. This was to try & shake off the effects of the bar the
previous evening. Too many “Red Maples” or, as Colin Cundy put it, too many
“Dead Mables”! The night had also not been too comfortable in the hotel,
where unfortunately the air conditioning system had broken down.
By the time I was back from my run, there were already some very
enthusiastic Morganeers cleaning their cars ready for the afternoon’s Morgan
show due to be held at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre. By then, it
was no longer sunny & clouds were building rapidly.
So the first event of the day supported by many MOAers was a boat trip
through the locks linking Lake Huron with Lake Superior. We were quite a
large group on the boat which headed for the U.S. locks built during the
Second World War. Some interesting statistics were given:
There is a 21ft. height difference between the two lakes
The locks are the last in series of 16 locks connecting the St. Lawrence
River with Lake Superior. A journey of 2300 miles!
1.5 million gallons of water flow per minute into the locks
It takes just 10 minutes to fill up the lock.
The locks are open from mid March to mid January.
No charge is made for using the locks
With a blast from the ship’s horn we then left the lock & proceeded into
Lake Superior (32000 sq. miles area!) & we were able to view the menacing
Algoma steel works wreathed in smoke and steam. Not too pretty, but somehow
still impressive in its gauntness and with 3200 employees.
By then it was raining hard. However, it didn’t matter too much as we were
in the dry, but a pity for those who got up early to clean their cars.
Then it was time to return through the much older Canadian lock built at the
end of the 19th. Century. It was altogether a very interesting & highly
informative trip lasting nearly 2 hours.
The next event was the afternoon’s car show held indoors – thankfully
because of the rain. As the cars entered the Bush Plane Heritage Centre
building, everybody had the opportunity to clean their Morgans for the very
last time, before placing them amongst the superb display of aircraft. The
Centre honours the work of bush pilots & the Ontario Provincial Air Service.
I particularly enjoyed watching the two excellent films & the trip in the
“simulator”. A barbecue was organized & everything was then ready for the
visit from the press & T.V. The show finished with a rousing performance
from the local band.
One slight embarrassment was Ken Wightman who somehow managed to have his
?4th. Flat tyre in the middle of the show!! (Refer to fault register,
attributable to valve stem failures of original tubes after only 36 years
The day ended, as it had begun, in the bar of the hotel. We had a surprise
drivers’ briefing to warn us not to be late starting off the next morning,
as we had the ferry to catch. We also had an official welcome to Canada from
Vern who reminded some disappointed MOAers that the speed limit signs were
in kilometres & not miles! Last, but not least, we celebrated the 35 year
wedding anniversary of Roger & Linda Lacey - champagne & a birthday cake – a
very nice finish to the day.
A word of thanks to the hotel manager who was most helpful & friendly & did
his very best to make up for the “Days Inn” which did not rank too high
amongst the hotels we stayed at, during the tour.
(High excitement for Kemosabe & Tonto as we are surprised to discover in the
Bushplane Museum that we have made a longer journey together than on MOAIV.
We have travelled in space! – the T shirt worn by the first lady Canadian
astronaut, Dr. Roberta Bondar nicknamed “The Flying Ferret”, had five of her
favourite pictures emblazoned on her chest and there we are pictured over
her left breast! True and we have the pictures to prove it! - Ed)