Back in The States: The Soo

Having accelerated the drive schedule over the course of our last few legs, we made the final push to the border in early August, arriving in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, and then crossing the bridge border into Sault Ste Marie, Michigan.  Both are pronounced “Soo Saint Marie, thus the nickname The Soo, which is apparently a pretty common crossword question.  Customs was uneventful, the only surprise was the cash only toll both just beyond it.   I am not sure what the procedure is for those that arrive short of the toll ($12 US, $15 Canadian for our rig,) but fortunately we did not have to find out as we scraped together enough.  This crossing is one of the more intimidating bridges for an RVer as it is a somewhat narrow single lane across multiple spans and sections, but we managed it without difficulty.

We thought about staying on the Canadian side, but the timing was bad: A Canadian holiday over a long weekend meant a lot of full RV parks on that side of the border.  On the advice of friends Deb and Steve we secured a three day stay at Aune-Osborne Campground, a municipally owned modern facility right on the St Mary’s River, allowing campers to watch the various ships entering or leaving the nearby locks.

PKM not happy about the dog situation.

Aside from the water front location, the park is rather basic: electric and water only, with reasonable sized spaces on grass, and few trees for $30 a night.  If there is a downside, it is the lack of noise enforcement, particularly from dogs.  During our first day we were surrounded, with three dogs to the right, two to the left, and a couple more in front of us.  Kitty was not happy; she doesn’t mind dogs, but prefers that once introduced they go a bit further away and stay quite.  Fortunately some of them cleared out so we were able to enjoy the last two days a bit more. 

While watching the ships is nice enough, for us the best thing about Aune-Osborne is its location directly across the street from a Moose!  And a good one at that!  Lodges tend to have different personalities, and we have been in a couple where we felt like outsiders with few if anyone seeming friendly or approachable.  Never outright rudeness, but some places you just don’t feel all that welcome.  Not so with Lodge #717.  The Sault Ste Marie chapter are a happy crew that made us feel at home right away.

Added our home lodge’s plate to the wall in Sault Ste Marie

They have the interesting convenience of sharing a building with a liquor store, or Party Store as the call it in Michigan, so if they are out of something you want, they just go next door and get it.  Though we only had time for two visits over our three day stay, they were memorable and fun, and we will most certainly go again should we find ourselves in the Soo again. 

The Moose had a big golf scramble scheduled for the our second day there, but we were committed to trying out a local flea market and had to miss.  The market was extremely slow, and the amount we made was not really worth the time there.  Should have gone to the golf event.

Not solo cups, but hard melamine reusable cups Rose found in Canada and started customizing with her Cricut machine.

At the Moose we met another out of towner, Nick, a young man stopping in for one night on his way for a quick Canadian adventure in his van.   He was also staying in Aune -Osborne Campground, so we shared a few drinks and a couple of hours swapping stories at his site while he plied us with some concoction involving bitters.  We gave him the rest of our Canadian money, and he handed us the excess liquor that might get confiscated during his border crossing the next day.   All in all a great night.

Nick and his tie dye blanket purchased from “a hippy” at slab city on the Salton Sea.

The next morning it was on to our favorite place in the UP: Grand Marais. 

7 thoughts on “Back in The States: The Soo

  1. Bridges can be not-fun. The Mackinac Bridge was one, although I saw a few motorcycles crossing that looked even more uncomfortable than I was. Also, on the Confederation Bridge, I was really happy that it wasn’t windy…On the other hand, being up high means you can see off of many bridges that have walls on the side. Like the bridges to Key West. I like that.

    • Yes I recall Mackinac being a bit shaky, and I have heard people express concern about Deception Pass north of Whidbey Island, but I did not find that one too bad, though narrow it’s very short. Honestly its the ones through NYC that are the worst for me.

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