The two Sault Ste. Marie
The last time I was in Sault Saint Marie, I was fifteen years old and on a trip with fellow high school students. We were on a cruise through the Great Lakes, and I had just fallen in love for the first time with a boy who, according to my daughter, now looks like a walrus in his professional photo, which we tracked down. He and I danced the polka all night to the ship’s orchestra. As the saying goes, I felt like a million bucks.
After eating meals in Munising, Michigan, for three days, I now feel like a million pounds. Part of travel is trying to keep your meals balanced and healthy; eating in restaurants is not the best way to a healthy lifestyle. The break in Jackson did us well, as did the days in Buffalo, and some of our restaurant meals have been
The International Bridge connecting Michigan & Canada
excellent. But not in Munising. And when, on our final night, we decided to get frozen Lean Cuisine dinners, and a bag of microwaveable green beans to still our craving for veggies, we were appalled to find in the supermarket there four aisles of frozen foods and half an aisle of vegetables. Perhaps transportation to the Upper Peninsula is the problem, but it doesn’t explain why, when I ordered a salad, I was confronted with a mountain of processed meat on top of a small layer of lettuce. By the way, the local specialty seemed to be pasties.
Now we are in Canada and the first item on the agenda was lunch at an organic café. The Canadians here sound pretty much like us, look pretty much like us, and the food was just what the doctor ordered—or would have if he knew what we’d been eating in Michigan.
The two Soo-s
We have left the West behind, crossing the Mississippi at Minneapolis/St. Paul, losing the broad vistas of prairie and sky. I feel like a building block has been taken out of my being, but I know I shall be able to return in the autumn.
When Betty—our GPS—finally unraveled the maze of concrete around Mall of America, we entered Wisconsin, a state I thought I’d never see. What a surprise! A cloudless sky complemented shades of green with farm upon farm in a manicured landscape, candy box houses made castles by the turrets of silos.
Our road to Munising, Michigan, from where I write, followed Lake Michigan before crossing at the very top to Lake Superior. Munising is another place I’d never heard of prior to this trip. When Cristal was 11, we had sent her to Interlochen Music Camp near the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. My husband and I spent some time in Traverse City, but with a looming divorce, it was not a pleasant visit, and I remember little, other than the height of the signs to allow for heavy snows and the plethora of craft and book shops, also, presumably, allowing for snow. Today’s road trip, our longest mileage of the entire journey (thankfully with lovely short spurts ahead in the coming days) didn’t give us much time for taking in the view, but what we did see and discover has got us unraveling some mysteries. There was also confusion over the time zone: while Wisconsin is still in Central time, Michigan—the part directly above Wisconsin—is in Eastern.
It’s been a long day and we are about to enjoy pizza and our lovely view of the lake. I promise more to come tomorrow.