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The two RV Gypsies enjoyed a boat ride
on the St. Mary's River
through the Soo Locks
June 22, 2013

map showing location of the Soo LocksSoo Locks Boat Tours sign

The famous Soo Locks is the largest waterway traffic system in the world. The two RV Gypsies took the ride and experienced the upbound and downbound lockage between Lake Huron and Lake Superior through the Soo Locks. During the tour, a live narration explained all the points of interest along the waterfronts of Michigan USA and Canada.

Lee Duquette Official Soo Locks Sailor

The Soo Locks (sometimes spelled Sault Locks, but pronounced "soo") are a set of parallel locks which enable ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. They are located on the St. Marys River between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, between the Upper Peninsula of the US state of Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario. They bypass the rapids of the river, where the water falls 21 feet.

The locks pass an average of 10,000 ships per year, despite being closed during the winter from January through March, when ice shuts down shipping on the Great Lakes. The winter closure period is used to inspect and maintain the locks.

The locks share a name (usually shortened and anglicized as Soo) with the two cities named Sault Ste. Marie, in Ontario and in Michigan, located on either side of the St. Marys River. The Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge between the United States and Canada permits vehicular traffic to pass over the locks. A railroad bridge crosses the St. Marys River just upstream of the highway bridge.

the dinner cruise boat

the dinner cruise boat

The two RV Gypsies were hungry and looking forward to the Italian dinner buffet. Unfortunately, they did NOT think the food was very good, except for the desert which was good.

Lee Duquette ready for the buffet dinner

Karen Duquette ready for the buffet dinner

The length of the canal from the headgates (intake) to the power house is approximately 11,850 feet. The canal varies in width from 200 to 220 feet at water level and is approximately 24 feet in depth. The water velocity varies for various reasons but, at times, it can be up to 7 mph. The entrance to the canal is located at the eastern end of Ashmun Bay and is controlled by four steel headgates. The upper quarter of the canal was excavated from rock while the remainder was dug into the earth and given a timber lining. The canal is designed to carry 30,000 cubic feet of water per second.

an island

A large passing ship "Presque Isle"

A large passing ship Presque Isle

A large passing ship Presque Isle

The tour passed the Hydro-Electric Power Plant. The Edison Sault Power Canal supplies the Saint Marys Falls Hydropower Plant, a Cloverland Electric Cooperative hydroelectric plant, in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Excavation of the power canal began in September 1898 and was completed in June 1902. The canal and hydroelectric complex were named a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1983.

Hydro-Electric Power Plant

Hydro-Electric Power Plant

Hydro-Electric Power Plant

passing U.S. Coast Guard Ships

U.S. Coast Guard Ships

U.S. Coast Guard Ships

Passing the Tower of History
(linked below)

Approaching the Locks

the Tower of History

Approaching the Locks

Four huge concrete navigation locks dominate the Soo Locks complex. The longest and widest is 1,200 feet long and 210 feet wide. Only three of the huge chambers are regularly used to move ships loaded with iron ore, coal, stone, salt grain, fuels and other bulk cargo along with an occasional shipload of manufactured goods between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes.

panorama of the Soo Locks

Spectators watching the boats go through the locks

approaching the first Soo Lock

Specatators watching the boats go through the locks

Soo Locks

Soo Locks

Soo Locks

Soo Locks

The gate goes up on the lock that is parallel to the lock the two RV Gypsies are in.

gate rising

gate rising

Karen Duquette enjoying the trip through the Soo Locks

Karen Duquette enjoying the trip through the Soo Locks
Karen Duquette enjoying the trip through the Soo Locks
Soo Locks
steel
the International Bridge

Cruising underneath the International Bridge

Cruising underneath the International Bridge

Cruising underneath the International Bridge

Soo Locks closed

Soo Locks  opening

Sault Ste. Marie Canal

panorama

panorama

look below
Menu for the two RV Gypsies Adventures
in  Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
June 22, 2013

You may visit these three (3) sites in any order you choose.
The page you are on is grayed out and cannot be chosen.

Tahquamenon Falls - Upper and Lower

Tower of History

Soo Locks

look below
go to the next adventure of the two RV GypsiesAFTER you have seen all three (3) sections above,
please continue on to
Wawa, Silver Falls, and Magpie High Falls in Canada