Exploring the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan: Part 2

After the Soo Locks boat tour we went downtown to find a place to eat and have a beer. We checked on Freighters Restaurant and passed on it being a little too fancy and much more expensive than what we wanted to pay for supper. Across Portage St. we found the Soo Brewing Co. and Moloney’s Alley.

We stepped into the Soo Brewing Co. and learned they didn’t serve food. They did have a variety of their own beers. We tried one of the lighter ones and it was good. Neither of us are into dark or IPA beers and the one we tried fit the bill quite nicely. Some of the other customers at this establishment were very friendly and made us feel at home. Still we only stayed for one beer.

Next door was Moloney’s Alley. This was an Irish pub and eatery, just what we were looking for.

The beer menu featured Guiness and 20 Michigan craft beers (none from next door). I asked if they had Smithwick’s, an Irish red ale made by Guiness. They didn’t, but the waiter offered a choice he said was comparable to Smithwick’s. We took him up on the choice. What he brought wasn’t terrible but it was nowhere near the taste of Smithwick’s.

For supper we decided on appetizers and Dawn got a bowl of tomato bisque. The bisque was delicious and the appetizers were slightly above average. We left satisfied.

We capped off the evening by spending an hour or so at Kewadin Casino. The slots weren’t too hungry, at least as far as I was concerned. Dawn didn’t fare as well.

We weren’t in any hurry the next morning so when we finally got going, we sampled a little of the continental breakfast at the motel but then chose to look elsewhere for breakfast. Dawn suggested the Antlers Restaurant but it wasn’t open yet so we chose the Superior Café to get us going. This was basically a coffee shop that served a small selection of baked goods to go with the coffee drinks. We both got scones, one blueberry and one cranberry, and chocolate frappes. All was pretty good but the bill was a little pricey for what we got.

From there we went to the Tower of History. This is a small museum featuring artifacts from the area’s early history located in the basement portion of the three towers that were built by an area priest to represent the three crosses on Calvary. The towers are 210 feet high with three viewing platforms that offer some wonderful photo ops. Fear not, there is an elevator that takes visitors to the top. The view includes a birds-eye view of the city of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, the St. Mary’s River and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.

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A view of the city of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan from the observation deck at the Tower of History. In the distant right is the bridge to Canada.
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From the Tower of History, the Soo Locks are in the foreground and the steel mill is in the background. The bridge to Canada lies between the two.
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Sault Ste. Marie, Canada from the Tower of History.

Once we had all the photos we wanted from the top of the Tower of History we went back to our list of things we wanted to see and the next logical choice was to go visit Lake Huron. Both of us have seen Lakes Erie, Michigan and Superior and being just 50 miles from a fourth of the five Great Lakes sounded appealing, so we headed out of the Sault, south on Riverside Drive.

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Riverside Drive leaves Sault Ste. Marie and follows the St. Mary’s River.

As we typically do, we avoided highways and stuck to the back roads, trying our best to stay as close to the river as we could. We drove south and east as far as we could until we were forced to go west. Then we would take the first turn south we could and try to get back to the river.

At one spot we were on a dirt road and had to choose to stay on it and go north or turn off onto another dirt road going west. As it turned out the road we chose went into Dunbar Park. The road followed a small river that eventually emptied into a lake.  Along the road there were nice little turnouts with picnic tables and a grill. At one turnout an older man and a young boy were fishing in the river.

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Dunbar Park where the river empties into the lake.
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Another view from Dunbar Park.

We followed the road into the main park area and stopped at the boat landing with the intent of getting out. We no more than stopped and mosquitoes swarmed into the car. We quickly rolled up the windows. Only one pesky insect survived inside the car, and that wasn’t for long. Outside, the windows were covered with mosquitoes. So much for getting out there. We drove to a different area and there seemed to be fewer bugs so we braved it and had a nice walk along the water.

After a short stay we were back on the road. Eventually we made it to another boat launch on Munuscong Lake. Not Lake Huron yet. Finally we ended up in DeTour Village where the river empties into Lake Huron.

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A flock of Canadian Geese in a bay with Lake Heron in the background.

DeTour Village was originally named by the French as De Tour or “the turn” because this is where ships of all sizes needed to make the turn out of Lake Huron and into the St. Mary’s River to proceed to Lake Superior. The village, although small, has a long history of service to the area.

We stopped at the boat launch for a few minutes. We could have taken the ferry to Drummond Island but we decided not to and instead visited the small DeTour Village Museum near the ferry landing. It was informative and interesting.

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Drummond Island threw the mist.

The return trip to the Sault was much quicker as we opted for highway travel this time.

Back at the motel we had an hour to kill before the supper hour so we just kicked back. We attempted the Antler’s Restaurant again but without reservations the wait time was 35 minutes or more. We opted to go back to the casino and try its restaurant. Dawn chose the salad, soup and dessert bar while I ordered the fried chicken dinner.

For the salad part of the meal I was allowed one trip to the salad bar. That was just what the doctor ordered with lots of fresh cut veggies to choose from. The fried chicken was plentiful but just slightly above average as far as casino food goes. Along with it came a mound of real mashed potatoes with gravy and a generous side of fresh green beans. All in all the meal was in the 6.5 out of 10 range.

Dawn was thoroughly satisfied with her meal. It too hit the spot.

We played the slots for an hour and the management was not nice to either of us. We left a little disappointed but that’s what casinos can be.

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