This picture shows the closed gates as we approach the McArthur Lock on the left. You can also see the international bridge in the background:
In the picture below, the gate has opened and we are progressing into the lock. You can see the staircase on the left, leading to a viewing area at the top of the stairs. We entered the lock and the gates closed behind us. The valves opened and the lock began filling with Lake Superior water. When it was filled and we were sitting at the same level as Lake Superior, the gates in front of us opened and we proceeded up the St. Mary's river.
Our tour took us up river a few miles and around to the Canadian side, where we watched the freighter, Michipicoten, being unloaded at the Essar Steel Algoma, the largest employer in Canadian Sault St. Marie.
As we approached the Canadian Locks on our return, we passed the administration building on the Canadian side:
The gates to the lock have opened, and we're now in the lock. Behind us, the gates are closing. Notice the impatient guy on the bike? He started across the gate before it was closed, I guess he was in a very big hurry!
Going east through the locks, they let the water out, and the boat was lowered until it had gone down to the Lake Huron level. The gates in front of the boat open, and away we went.
After we'd gone up river through the American Locks and come back down through the Canadian Lock, we continued down river for a ways, getting information about both the Canadian Sault St. Marie as well as the American town. One the way back to the dock, we passed the longest horizontal power plant in the world, Edison Sault. The building is over a quarter of a mile long. It is a hydro plant, using the diverted water from the St. Mary's river to run the turbines. The building is constructed from the rock taken out of the canal. There are several of these lighthouse figures on the front siding of the building.
We disembarked the little tour boat and headed into the gift shop for a little shopping. Gee, I didn't find any jewelry! Oh well, tomorrow's another day I can shop!
We found a restaurant downtown, the Lock View. (Sassy, we did see the Antlers, but not until after we'd eaten! Maybe next time.)
As we were finishing our delicious Whitefish, we noticed a freighter heading into the Locks. We watched from our table as the gigantic ship maneuvered into place and came to a stop. As we continued to watch, we could see the ship "sinking" as the water was let out of the lock. We settled up with the restaurant and headed over to the park to watch. We climbed the stairs to the observation deck and saw the ship as it waited for the water to finish draining. If you look closely under the yellow equipment on deck, you might be able to see the worker kneeling underneath, checking something. That will give you a size perspective.
The gates have opened and the Canadian Ranger of Toronto is moving on through the lock. That was fun to watch!
It was about time for us to head home. We had an absolute blast today, what an experience!
Can we top that tomorrow as we take the ferry over to Mackinac Island? Stay tuned! Now I need to go watch the movie, "Somewhere In Time"!