From Montreal to Minnesota, by Inland Sea

  

Category:  Fields and Streams

Via:  community  •  7 years ago  •  22 comments

From Montreal to Minnesota, by Inland Sea

The waiting room at St. Lambert Lock in Montreal looks out at a quarter-mile of chain-link fence, six security camera towers, a blaze-orange derrick and a guardhouse. There, three armed men stare at a 750-foot stretch of placid, blue-green water waiting to lift 33,000-ton freighters up along the St. Lawrence Seaway .

The lock is part of the oldest and most traveled inland waterway in America — a 2,300-mile corridor that connects the Atlantic Ocean with all five Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. Since deep draft navigation opened on the St. Lawrence in 1959, more than two and a half billion tons of cargo, worth around $375 billion, have traversed the seaway.

I’d been waiting 20 minutes for my ride — a 740-foot freighter called the Algoma Equinox. The Equinox traverses the St. Lawrence and four Great Lakes twice a month, transporting iron ore west and grain back east. Like many freighters around the world, it also occasionally carries people. Travelers willing to take the slow boat get a private cabin, three meals a day and shore leave wherever the ship loads, unloads or stops at a lock.

After picking me up in Montreal, the Equinox’s captain, Ross Armstrong, told me the ship would cross Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron and Superior and drop me in Thunder Bay, Ontario — six hours north of Duluth, Minn. The trip would take six days.

 

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Larry Hampton
Professor Participates
link   seeder  Larry Hampton    7 years ago

Great article with fantastic pictures!

:~)

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   Petey Coober  replied to  Larry Hampton   7 years ago

Those extra-wide panoramic pics were terrific . The prose of the article was almost meditative ... Thanks for posting this Larry !

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
Professor Participates
link   seeder  Larry Hampton  replied to  Petey Coober   7 years ago

Thank you Petey! The prose, like the Lakes, are meditative. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
link   Kavika     7 years ago

Super great article, Larry...The photos were stunning.

Thunder Bay, home of the Oji-Cree. Actually two towns at one time named Port Arthur and Fort Francis.

Spent many a day there.

I jusrt love the article and photo's...Well done and thanks.

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
Professor Participates
link   seeder  Larry Hampton  replied to  Kavika   7 years ago

Glad you enjoyed the article kavika.

The Great Lakes are a huge boon; something we enjoy whenever possible. The North Shore is one of my favorites, with a day or two spent in Thunder Bay with every visit. We will be vacationing a couple of weeks all over the region the middle of October. First north shore, then Duluth a day, then Michigan state forest a day and nigh on the way over for five on Mackinac island. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
link   Kavika   replied to  Larry Hampton   7 years ago

I have cousins that live in Silver Bay and some more in Thunder Bay.

The North Shore drive is beyond beautiful, well not so much in January and Feb.

 

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
Professor Participates
link   seeder  Larry Hampton  replied to  Kavika   7 years ago

There is something special about that whole wilderness area, a certain spirit about the lake and shoreline itself, and  different ones as ya enter the forest, and very cool spots all in between. Heaven on earth for real. There has been a real revival of craftsmanship of all sorts in the entire area encompassing a real cool variety of art....food, drink, painting, handmade musical instruments, religious/ceremonial pieces , art in sculpture, wood, stone and material. Half the fun is going to awesome little outta the way places and enjoying local cuisine and brews, with music and art to purvey. Nothing like the stars and tunes and loved ones...

Ganja

 
 
 
Dowser
Sophomore Quiet
link   Dowser    7 years ago

What a fun vacation!!!  And I'm not that fond of boats...  But that would be fun!

Great article!  Thanks for posting it!

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
Professor Participates
link   seeder  Larry Hampton  replied to  Dowser   7 years ago

You're welcome Dowser; I'm glad you liked it.

:~)

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
link   Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dowser   7 years ago

Having spent most of my life next to Lake Ontario, and as a young boy having watched the iron ore ships sailing from Lake Ontario into Hamilton (Burlington) Bay to unload at the Steel Company of Canada in Hamilton, I am very familiar with the route. Had I known they took on passengers I would have loved to have done it - but not during the gales of November.

 
 
 
Dowser
Sophomore Quiet
link   Dowser  replied to  Buzz of the Orient   7 years ago

I remember that song by Gordon Lightfoot-- "when the gales of November come early".

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
link   Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dowser   7 years ago

It's the time NOT to sail on the lake they call Gitcheekoomie.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
link   Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient   7 years ago

Kavika takes Buzz to the wood shed for a spelling lesson...

Lake Superior, gitchi gami, or sometimes spelled gitchi gumi....

Please write this on the blackboard 500 times, Buzz.Laugh

Of course one should clearly state if they are using the single vowel or the double vowel alphabet of the Ojibwe and what geographical dialect of Anishinaabemowin is being used.

In some Anishinaabe dialects the K in gitchi is replaced with a K.

I spell it both ways.

Kavika looking for chalk for Buzz.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
link   Kavika   replied to  Kavika   7 years ago

Should  read. ''The G is Gitchi is replaced with a K.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
link   Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika   7 years ago

Buzz, with aching fingers and removing his dunce hat, admits he was too lazy to open the lyrics to Gord Lightfoot's song.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
link   Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient   7 years ago

LOL, as Mrs. Meenie the 8th grade teacher would say, being lazy isn't an excuse...the 500 times has changed to 750...

laughing dude

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
link   Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika   7 years ago

crying

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
link   Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient   7 years ago

Buzz has been a baaaaaad boy.laughing dude

 
 
 
Dowser
Sophomore Quiet
link   Dowser  replied to  Kavika   7 years ago

I did love that song...  Even if I can't spell the words, either!  winking

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
Professor Participates
link   seeder  Larry Hampton  replied to  Buzz of the Orient   7 years ago

I also never thought that a person could travel on these ships. What a cool ride!

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
link   Bob Nelson    7 years ago

Cool... 

 
 

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