Well the plan this morning was to head over to Mackinaw City. Benny and Oscar needed food and a good nail trim, we needed a prescription filled, and Dana needed a new phone case. None of that can be done within thirty miles of Drummond Island Yacht Haven. But the weather still sucked. Cold and windy. Cold is acceptable, windy not so much. So no errands in Mackinaw City.
Through the wonders of good internet service, we found that Sault (rhymes with zoo) Ste. Marie has everything we needed and more. (The e after St is because Saint inexplicably is spelled Sainte. Probably French or something.)
Off we went in the marina rental car without a care in the world.
Drummond Island—being an island and all—is accessible in a car only by ferry since there’s no bridge. That means only one way off the island as well. Because (1) a day without boating is like a day without sunshine for us and (2) a day without dog food would be a really bad day for the boys, we took the ferry.
(For the record, it still was a day without sunshine, at least until we were back home.) About sixty miles of hay fields later, we approached Sault Ste. Marie.
Wait. What’s this? There’s a Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario as well? The only PetSmart’s in that one? It’s okay though, because we brought our passports, right? Of course not. Nobody but nobody takes passports shopping for dog food and phone cases. And the good folks at the Arizona DMV don’t issue licenses that serve as federal identification. Fortunately we had our still-valid CanPass number so the nice Canadian border guy let us slip back into Canada after we crossed the International Bridge.
And yes, Sault Ste. Marie isn’t very attractive on either side of the St. Mary River.
A moment about the name Sault. It comes from an Indian tribe. It’s pretty odd that there is a Sault (still rhymes with zoo) Indian tribe and a Sioux (also rhymes with zoo) Indian tribe. This must greatly confuse the bureaucrats down at the BIA. The great and famous Johnny Cash wrote a good song about a Boy Named Sue, which only tangentially is relevant to the topic. The great but not-as-famous Roger Alan Wade—from Doug’s home town of Chattanooga—wrote a better song about a Sioux Named Boy, which is much more relevant to the topic.
Anyway, after PetSmart we returned to the U.S. for the second time in less than 24 hours. The dude at the U.S. Border Patrol place wasn’t quite as pleasant about the lack of passports, but ultimately our honest faces made the difference.
The joke was on him since we forgot to declare the two animals sleeping on the back seat. They were in plain sight and came with us into Canada so we figure we’re ok.
Another interesting tidbit relates to I-75. Between us we’ve driven stretches of I-75 hundreds of times, mostly between Knoxville and Atlanta but also in south Florida and a bunch of other spots. Turns out it starts on the north end at the International Bridge.
(Note that whoever named the locks between Lake Michigan and Lake Superior didn’t fool around with tricky ways to spell Soo.)
Part way on the journey the marina loaner—with its 170,000 miles—started to buck around. Serious transmissions problems, which caused us some worry since we might have wandered a bit farther than the marina anticipated, although in fairness we honestly stated our intent to “explore the area.” Fortunately we made it back safely. The boys enjoyed their supper.
We also enjoyed our supper. Crossroads—one of our sister Selenes—pulled into the marina this afternoon and joined us and Second Wave at the local Mexican joint. Chuy’s the restaurant wasn’t, but it was great to catch up with Barry and Robin.