» The Soo

barb-ronBarbara and Ron have been traveling together since 2005 when he sold his house and went on the road full time. In 2006, I sold my fifth wheel in which I had been living since 2001 and moved in with Ron in his motorhome. Since then we have traveled throughout much of the US and some of Canada. We met through our singles RV club WIN (Wandering Individuals Network) and sometimes travel with them or other friends. In 2009, we bought a house in Mesa, AZ, to use as our winter home.

While researching the area, our host Carol emailed the Voyageur Trail Association to ask about hiking part of the trail. The Voyageur Trail is planned to go 700 miles across Ontario and currently 200-300 miles are completed. She had more of a response than she expected when two of the members volunteered to show us their favorite part of the trail, the Gros Cap section.

Here we are ready to go - some of us more prepared for the wildlife than others. Our knowledgeable guide Mike is in the aqua shirt.

Here we are ready to go - some of us more prepared for the wildlife than others. Our knowledgeable guide Mike is in the aqua shirt.

Gros Cap is a large ridge of Algoma granite overlooking Whitefish Bay and Lake Superior. Despite thin or no soil, the hardy plants find places to grow. The cheery yellow coryopsis was in full bloom for us.

Gros Cap is a large ridge of Algoma granite overlooking Whitefish Bay and Lake Superior. Despite thin or no soil, the hardy plants find places to grow. The cheery yellow coryopsis was in full bloom for us.

It was a lovely hike through the woods with several scenic overlooks. Here Ron and I take the classic 'we were there' picture.

It was a lovely hike through the woods with several scenic overlooks. Here Ron and I take the classic 'we were there' picture.

A closer look at the rocky cap and vegetation
A closer look at the rocky cap and vegetation

Yesterday was the high point of the trip for several of the group and I have to admit that Ron and I didn't participate. They kayaked through the Soo locks! The Canadian locks are free for pleasure craft to use. Here they are on the Lake Huron or low side waiting for the lock gates to open. The excitement is building.

Yesterday was the high point of the trip for several of the group and I have to admit that Ron and I didn't participate. They kayaked through the Soo locks! The Canadian locks are free for pleasure craft to use. Here they are on the Lake Huron or low side waiting for the lock gates to open. The excitement is building.

Once inside, they either tied on to the cables on the side or held on to each other while the water level rose 21 feet

Once inside, they either tied on to the cables on the side or held on to each other while the water level rose 21 feet

Then the upper gates opened and they continued along the channel.

Then the upper gates opened and they continued along the channel.

 

Sign? What sign? Did you see a sign?

Sign? What sign? Did you see a sign?

 

After stopping for lunch, they returned through the locks. This time they entered on the Lake Superior or high side and shared the space with two tour boats

After stopping for lunch, they returned through the locks. This time they entered on the Lake Superior or high side and shared the space with two tour boats

I'm sure that paddling past this fountain felt refreshing after all their efforts.

I'm sure that paddling past this fountain felt refreshing after all their efforts.

Once again, thanks to Peggy for all the great kayaking pictures. She's going to start asking for royalties.

And what were Ron and I doing while our friends were having this once-in-a-lifetime experience? Well, we did laundry and shopped because we're moving 150 miles today to Wawa and heaven knows we'll never see another laundromat or grocery store. Oh well, at least we have clean clothes and lots of food. I guess you can tell I'm sorry I missed 'locking through', but I'm glad my friends had such a great day.