2014 Oct 2 – Day 105 – Mackinaw City, MI to Iron Mountain, MI

Another day of driving. Today was a rainy day instead of a foggy day.  It did stop sometime after lunch but we crossed the 5 mile ‘Mighty Mac” (Mackinac) bridge in pouring rain which was too bad.  I bet the view of the Lakes (Huron on the right, Michigan on the left) would be great on a sunny day.

IMG_1695 IMG_1696

Obviously those two Great Lakes are at the same height above sea level – 579′ – but there are differences in the other three.  Lake Superior is 600′, Lake Erie is  570′ and Lake Ontario is the lowest at 246′.  The Soo Locks (4 in the US and 1 in Canada) adjust the difference between Superior and Huron.  The Niagara Falls on the Niagara River which flows from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, cascade 128′ plus all the rapids upstream.  Impossible to navigate; so the Welland Canal locks, not too far to the west, were built to drop the ships between Erie and Ontario, a difference of 324′ and then into the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean.  The five Great Lakes were extremely instumental in the expansion west of Canada and the USA.

Despite the rain; hardy, dedicated little ol’ me stood in the cold, cold water of Lake Huron to complete my Great Lakes.  We saw a flight of steps leading to the shore and walked through gorgeous sand at the top and bottom.  Once again, on a clear day it would have been gorgeous – reminiscent of a tropical beach.

IMG_1697 IMG_1704 IMG_1703 IMG_1702We stopped for gas and we stopped for DQ ice cream, but that was as good as it got again today.

There were major deposits of Iron ore in this northwestern corner of Michigan, hence the name Iron Mountain. And Ironwood, MI is about 50 miles further up the road. You can tour an iron mine here in the summer time.

IMG_1708 IMG_1709 IMG_1712 IMG_1716 IMG_1717We checked in to our hotel at Iron Mountain and when we saw the clocks in our room we realized we had crossed a time  zone and it was only 2:30!  That made it a nice short day!  Not a very exciting read for all of you though.  Sorry!

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