Sunday, August 17, 2008

A few short days.

So I'm back from my little get away up at the St. Lawrence River. The area I have visited since I was a wee one is the 1000 Islands region and yes there truly are over one thousand islands in this part of the river. The teacher part of my personality is going to come out now. There are five great lakes on the border of Canada and the United States. They are Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario which is about 15 minutes away from house. These bodies of water are the largest fresh water chain of lakes in the world. They're connected by a series of canals, locks and five rivers. The St. Lawrence River connects the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Ontario.
One thing that I really enjoy is watching the shipping traffic on the river. Ships enter the St. Lawrence Seaway and make their way west to ports all along the Great Lakes and then return. While you don't know what the cargo is on the ship you can tell if the ship is loaded or not. When loaded she sits low in the water, unloaded you can see the water line. I'm now going to astound (read bore) you with vacation photos but suck it up. I'm suffering from anxiety this week. My youngest leaves for college on Thursday as a freshman.

For years our family camped in a pop up camper at Keewaydin State Park on the river but a year ago we sold it. The kids were working and had a social life that made it hard to go anymore. Last summer and last week hubby and I have gone up and stayed in a motel. It's not the same but we still go over to the park and hang out there for most of the day. This year we stayed at the Channelsyde Motel and they're not kidding, it's right on the shipping channel. I was in my glory.
The view from the yard of the motel.
Another ship.

I also like to fish at the Islands as anyone who's familiar with them calls them. Hubby likes to catch bigger fish like bass and pike which you can from the dock. Good thing since we're land locked without a boat. Thank goodness he caught one! Me? I don't care what I catch. Little ones are fine with me, as long as I'm catching something.
I caught lots of sunfish, blue gills and 2 bullheads during the day no less! The fish were so hungry you could see them follow your bait right to the top. We're strictly catch and release
A view from "our spot" in Keewaydin.
Our new spot at the Channelsyde.

These next shots were taken in a small town called Clayton about 10 miles down river from where we stayed. Here comes a big one heading east.

Oh no, here comes one heading west!
Will they play chicken?

Nope, all is safe and they pass like two ships in the night, well okay, day.

The ships have to have a river boat pilot on board and they guide the ships through the river. Pilots are at least 30 years old and have sailed ships around the world. To become a pilot takes 12 years. You have to learn every foot of the river and landmarks so you don't hit any islands, shoals and stay in the channel. Then finally you are an apprentice for 2 years. Eventually you will be on your own, piloting these big ships through the river. Pilots can be United States or Canadian citizens. Okay, I'm sure your eyes are glazed over if you're still reading. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

not bored at all! I sure enjoyed reading that and looking at the awesome pics.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Great pics!

It's been raining in Maine for so long that I don't remember what a sunny day looks like!


Craze said...

Thanks for the history lesson it was very interesting. 12 years to be a pilot?! How amazing, I never knew. Looks like a beautiful vacation spot.

Slick said...

Awesome pics Summer!

Now that looks like "a few short days" that I need!!

catrina said...

I accompanied my husband several years ago while he worked in Duluth. I'd watch the "ship report" every morning, and head down to Lake Superior to watch them come in---all day long!
Thanks for the pics!