River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018
River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

Friday, October 10, 2014

Museum Ship Valley Camp - Thurs., Oct. 9, 2014

Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Weather: High 45, low 38; rain and wind.

First, I'd like to welcome a few new followers:
  1. Sherry at MTWaggin Photos & Blog. Her home is Great Falls, Montana, where they've had their first snowfall of the season. She loves photography, her dogs, kayaking, and flowing water. Thanks for stopping by, Sherry.
  2. Leslie Alpen. I did not see a blog listed. If you'd like recognition for your blog, please let me know what it is and I'll be glad to add it. 
  3. Cheeseheads4theroad: Donna who has no blog listed as I don't think she's writing one yet. Her interests include travel, camping, reading, quilting, crocheting, scrap-booking and spending time with her grandkids.
  4. Marie and Ivan of ExtendingOurHappilyEverAfter. Full-time RVing intrigues them and they have looked at 5th wheels. They consider themselves science nerds, love music, theater, lecture series and photography. 
Bob did some research on what attractions we might want to see today. He read reviews on the Tower of History, Museum Ship Valley Camp, and River of History Museum. The one that we both decided warranted further investigation is the Museum Ship Valley Camp. A walk brochure of Historic Water Street also tempted us. [Note: It ended up being too cold, windy and rainy for the walk. Instead we drove along historic Water Street and read any historic markers that could be seen from the truck.]

Tower of History Museum
At the Museum Ship Valley Camp, the museum is IN a ship. Very unique as far as museums go. 
Museum Ship Valley Camp
Did someone say something about camp?

Taconite = iron ore pellets (makes it easy to ship)
Below is part of the hold on the inside of the ship. You'll notice the floor on the lower level is very wavy. That's from years of carrying heavy cargo. It caused the floor to warp. You have to watch your step!

Inside the ship
Emergency safety block
Ladder on a chain
Dials and gauges
Huge steel door to outside
Where we've been hanging out.
I.D. of different types of ships on the Great Lakes
If you look closely at the following display, you can see how much the elevation changes from the St. Lawrence Seaway to Lake Superior.
Elevation changes
250 HP Kahlenberg engine out of the tug Owen Frederick
Hydraulic cylinder used to open and close
St. Marys Falls Canal (Soo Locks)
Below is a 1937, 36', single screw, ice-sheathed motor lifeboat used by the Coast Guard until 1966. The lifeboat had excellent sea-keeping qualities and maintained the capability of self-righting. This type of lifeboat was difficult to capsize. Copper riveting, brass, white oak, white pine, cypress and ash were used in the construction of this unique vessel. The 36' lifeboats proudly served for 90 years. I'm thinking my great-grandpa captained some of these vessels!
36' motor lifeboat
There is a big display about the Edmund Fitzgerald at this museum, including a one-hour-long documentary with many professors and historians giving their opinions on how she went down. Below you can see the battered remains of one of the lifeboats. There is half of another Edmund Fitzgerald lifeboat on display as well. They never found the other half.

Edmund Fitzgerald lifeboat No. 2
The following photo is a sea buoy, badly damaged. Here's the story direct from the museum...These buoys were positioned directly over the wreckage of the Edmund Fitzgerald in order to keep the USCG cutter Woodrush on station over the wreck while the CURV III submersible explored the site. Winds in the area were strong enough to blow the Woodrush off its station, submerging the buoys to a depth of approximately 250'. At this depth, the pressure is nearly ten times greater than surface pressure causing the severe damage shown to these buoys. [They imploded.]

Severely damaged heavy-duty sea buoy
History of the Edmund Fitzgerald
A portion of the shipwrecks on Lake Superior before 1975
Fog horns
The upper deck, looking at cargo holds for taconite or grain
Bob on the deck to the left.
Looking over the deck from the pilothouse
The Valley Camp superstructure.
Dining hall for officers and guests
Mess hall for crew is small so they had to eat in shifts

The St. Lawrence River from the Atlantic to Lake Ontario
Lots more to see and read about on the ship. We spent three hours. Highly recommend going to this museum!

Colorful poster of lighthouses
As we were exploring around Sault Ste. Marie after the Museum Ship Valley Camp, we saw a huge ship that had just cleared the locks. We followed it and found a great viewpoint at some apartments right next to the lock exit. This is one long ship!

Below are gates that can be lowered into the Power Canal to stop the flow of water to the  canal in case they need to work on the power plant.

When we finished our explorations we ate at Taco Bell for a late lunch, filled up one tank of propane, and put diesel in the Ford. All tanks were full.

Bob dropped me off at the 5th wheel, then he went to the Soo Locks again to watch three more ships go through. At the locks, Bob talked (or should I say listened) to a man who goes out to the locks all the time. The guy was a wealth of information about the locks.

Bob snapped a photo of one of the ships coming through the locks with a rainbow behind it. [Looks like a window reflection caused part of the ship to be a different color.]

Gina, Bob was very grateful for the scarf you made for him. It was frickin' cold out there in the exposed wind watching the ships!

When Bob returned from the locks, we had a date to eat dinner at the Casino's deli, then see the free comedians they have on Thursday nights. Dinner was good. The two comedians sucked big time.

We each had $10 of casino credits to play because we joined their rewards program. I didn't win anything. Bob won about $50. Almost every machine he touched gave him money. LOL. It was his lucky night.

The RV sites at the Sault Ste. Marie Kewadin Casino are $10 per night for an electric-only hookup. We made out pretty well.

All for tonight.

Travel Bug out.



  1. Good tour! I spent five years in Great Lakes Shipping business:)

    1. Thank you. What kind of work did you do?

  2. Ship Valley Camp and the Locks are one of Wayne's favorite places we've ever been.


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