Today turned out to be a longer day that we had anticipated. We left Niagara-on-the-Lake at 10:15 this morning and walked into our hotel room in Port Huron, Michigan at 8:00 pm. We didn’t even make any long stops and the roads were good; not a lot of traffic or twists and turns (Ontairo is pretty flat, especially down at the bottom).
We drove from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie, through Niagara Falls, via the Niagara Parkway; a 56 km scenic drive along the shore of the Niagara River. Between Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls are many of the attractions that visitors enjoy. One of which is the Whirlpool Aero-Car across the river. It takes 5 minutes to go across and 5 minutes to go back. The car is 250′ above the water at the ends and 150′ in the middle. The Niagara River flows down a gorge, over rocks creating white water that has created a large circular pool that the water swirls around in before flowing out again at a right-angle to where it entered.
Once we got past Niagara Falls we drove through a residential area, but this was a VERY upscale corridor. Mansion after mansion after mansion. I have inserted some phots of some of the houses but many of the largest ones I didn’t photograph because I was too busy wondering why people need to have such a big, fancy house when the reality is that they probably live in only a small percentage of it. My mind does not compute…
At Fort Erie we turned west along Highway 3 following the coastline of Lake Erie; although we were far enough inland we never saw it. Not far from Fort Erie we stopped at Port Colburne the entrance point to the Welland Canal that moves ships between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. There were no ships going through the lock at the time but the lock at Port Colborne is one of the longest locks in the world.
I needed to get to the coast of Lake Erie to stand in the water so we diverted southward off Highway 3. My map showed a Canada National Historic Site called Southwold Earthworks so when we saw the sign we stopped and checked it out. The wide, fenced path lead about 1/2 mile through a farmer’s cornfield to the site. This is where a village was built by the Neutral Amerindian group about 1500 . The village was surrounded by a double pallisade. All of the wooden posts have, of course, rotted away many years ago but the earthworks remain – the only example of the type in the world. Two archaeological digs have revealed thousands of clay artifacts. It is estimated about 800 people lived here for about 20 years. There was really nothing to see but a double row of bumps in a grassy area, but it is good that the place has been preserved. The Neutral Indians were wiped out by the Iroquois in the 1600’s so this is pretty much the only proof of their existence.
We drove to a Provincial Park thinking we would be able to access the lake there but the water looked to be quite a distance down from the trees and the edge was all fenced. We passed a couple of ladies out for a walk and asked them if they knew where I could go stand in the lake. They gave us directions to a place just down the road. Then they asked where we were from and where we were going. When we told them Port Huron they said we should take the little ferry across the river at Sambo rather than drive all the way up to Sarnia and cross at their busy terminal. This we did. We were the only car on the little ferry (which would hold about 10 cars) with 17 people. Lots of people walk on and go across to buy beer at the duty free and buy dinner. We saw at least 5 people carrying pizza boxes. The US Customs Officer said people go back and forth all the time. It cost $7 for our car and $2 as a foot passanger. The ferry takes 15 minutes. From there it was about 30 minutes to Port Huron for our stop for the night.
Trip inventory to date: Forgotten at home – 1 pair of running shoes. Broken and thown out – 1 pair of black sandals. Missing and lost at unknown location – 1 pair of black flats. Broken this morning when I picked them up off the bedside table – glasses; left arm sheared off and unable to be re-attached. Hopefully that will be the end of the lost and more lost. And hopefully also that my glasses will stay on my nose with only one arm to hold them until I get home and get new ones.