Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Boat Ride around the Area

Location: Lakeport State Park; Port Huron, Michigan
(click pics to enlarge)

Ok, first things first. Remember from the last post about me being pulled over for "allegedly" turning right on red and the policeman said there was a sign. I went back through that intersection today and took a picture. I looked and looked and couldn't see a sign, so I'm pretty sure I was completely and totally innocent of any moving violation (thanks again to the police officer for letting me off with a warning).
Absolutely no evidence of a "no right on red" sign

Today was an easy day of just sitting and letting someone else do the driving. The driver today was a captain of a tour boat. The tour is on the Huron Lady II. I didn't ask what happened to number "I", just in case it was some kind of, you know, collision and sinking. Those kind of things are just not talked about before shoving off from shore. Of course this tour was never more than a couple thousand feet from shore so I think I could have swam, paddled, floated that far.

The tour boat is docked on the Black River about 500 feet from the St. Clair River. The Black River
beginning point of tour

is what was used to float most of the timber products from the "thumb" part of Michigan to the markets in the mid-west and east. They could be floated down the river in rafts then placed on boats that distributed them throughout the Great Lakes Region. Most of that area is now
Junction of the Black River and the
St. Clair River. Notice the difference in color
farmland and the dense forests are long gone. As the tour boat enters the St. Clair river, which drains Lake Huron, you can clearly see the differences in the color of the two rivers. The bright blue of Lake Huron and the St. Clair is still striking and surprising. The first part of the trip is downriver for a little bit so you can see the industry on the Canadian side and the residential area on the U.S. side. The Canadian side is a major point for oil distribution in Canada. The first commercial oil well in North America was drilled about 20 miles into Canada back in 1858. That preceded the first commercial well in the U.S. (western Pennsylvania) by one year. Of course, like most things, it was called an oil "discovery" although the Indians were aware of it and had been using the surface seeps for waterproofing canoes for generations.

On the way back upstream, you pass several houses along the St. Clair River. I took several
St. Clair River
pictures but posted the one I liked the best. It would be interesting to see this same view of the house, but in the deepest, darkest part of winter
My favorite house along the river
 with snow everywhere. I'm sure it would be very pretty, but I won't be around here then. You continue upstream until you get to the Blue Water Bridges that connect the U.S. to Canada. They are impressive and well traveled.
Passing under the Blue Water Bridges
After you clear the bridges you enter Lake Huron itself. On the left is the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse. It is the oldest operating lighthouse on the Great
Fort Gratiot Lighthouse and Lake Huron

Lakes and was first established in 1825 but rebuilt several times over the years. The light was extremely important in the 1800's when there was a steamship or sailing ship passing the
Fort Gratiot Lighthouse
lighthouse on average every 4 minutes, night and day. There is still a lot of commericial traffic at this junction. The tour guide said there was more commercial tonnage passing through this point than what passed through the Panama and Suez canals combined. The Great 
Looking out to Lake Huron
Lakes played a large role in the making of our country. Just looking at a map you can see how many large cities sprang up along the lakes.
Looking back towards the Blue Water Bridges
and the Fort Gratiot
Canada on the left, U.S. on the right

I was able to get pictures from the water perspective of the places I went to yesterday.
The Maritime Center
The Lightship "Huron"
and the pretty Park to the left
The tour lasted about 1 1/2 hours and was an above average water tour. I did met another crazy full-time solo RV'er on the tour. She started out in California a little while ago and is heading east. So, there are at least two of us out here. LOL.

I still don't have reliable cell or texting ability due to Canadian cell towers trying to tempt me into roaming with them. But, tomorrow is moving day and I'll be heading west. I will send out a text saying "OK" once I'm in the clear.

Ya'll take care of each other. Cya down the road.  

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