Mackinac Island is the place to go when you visit the Straits of Mackinac, but the hubs and I prefer to head across the Big Mac Bridge to Sault Ste. Marie and the Soo Locks. Guess I am just a Boatnerd at heart and watching a 1000 ft. freighter, that's 104 ft wide inch its way through the 110 ft wide Poe Lock, fascinates me. This year we planned our visit for the annual Engineers Day on June 28th when the locks were open to the public. It was a great time and I took hundreds of photos, but these two videos give the best impression of the Locks. Go full screen.
The footprints of the early French and the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, are all over the Straits of Mackinac and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. One of their most famous is Fr. Jacques Marquette, missionary, explorer, and mapmaker. He founded missions to the native Americans at Sault Ste. Marie in 1668 and another at St. Ignace in 1671. That was before he decided to make the 3000 mile canoe trip to explore Wisconsin, Illinois and the Mississippi River as far south as Arkansas. He died on the return trip in 1675. His grave is in St. Ignace. Wish I'd known that. Will have to visit his grave on my next trip to the Straits. I did visit the Fr. Marquette Memorial though.
|Thanks to Bobak Ha'Eri for this photo of Fr. Marquette's grave.|
A map of Fr. Marquette's journeys is embedded in the floor of the memorial.
To learn more about the good Father here's a great bio link.
|Fr. Jacques Marquette, Dictionary of Canadian Biography|
Sketch from Wikimedia Commons
|It wouldn't be Mackinac without a little something from The Mackinac Fudge Shop|
Vivian : )