Gi Chi Gamiing Petroglyphs and $50 vodka

Lake Superior Provincial Park

Gi Chi Gamiing, meaning “Great Lake” to the Ojibwe Indians, is Lake Superior to the rest of us. We have spent about six weeks touring around it, and now we are closing that circle. We left Wawa and headed south toward our next and last stop on the lake, Sault Ste. Marie. “The Soo” is on the border of Ontario and the US and at the junction of Lake Superior, the North Channel and Lake Huron.   The drive is spectacular,  most of it is through Lake Superior Provincial Park, which is huge. We never drove down to check out the trails and lakes in this Park while we were staying in Wawa, but on our way south we stop at Agawa to see the Indian petroglyphs.

Petroglyph viewing area, disappears if the weather is bad

The only way to see them is to walk out on some steep rock ledges that, in nasty weather, are underwater. Fortunately it’s a beautiful, calm day and we have perfect viewing weather (Hubby stays on terre firma, he is not interested in balancing on rocks and says he’ll look at the photos.) The drawings are of men in canoes, a man on horseback, a horned creature and several other markings, all several hundred years old and worth the balancing act on rocks to see them.

The campground in Sault Ste. Marie is very nice –  wooded, clean, with a pool, WIFI, and cable. Hubby is in heaven, we had none of the above in Wawa. Sault Ste. Marie is  an older town on the St. Mary’s River. The locks there were built to allow boat traffic to go from Lake Superior to Lake Huron and avoid the river’s rapids.  While in town we stop to buy a bottle of vodka and find that hubby’s preferred brand is $50 Canadian. He decides to drink wine until we can get into the states to restock. We played golf with a few locals who said the price of cigarettes was even worse. Sin taxes, I guess. We decide replenishing the vodka is a good excuse to go see Mackinac Island. We never got there when we were in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Mackinac Island and Ft. Mackinac

It’s about an hours drive to the ferry to Mackinac Island. The customs crossing was not bad, about a 10 minute wait. It rains on our way to the ferry but it is hazy, hot and humid by the time we get to St. Ignace and the ferry terminal. Mackinaw Island is right off the coast of Michigan. The ferry ride was relaxing and we arrive in the harbor ready to explore the island. We spend most of the day touring the downtown streets and shops, taking a horse drawn carriage tour and having lunch before we catch the 3 o’clock ferry back to the mainland.

Mackinac Island

Carriage Horses

The Island was picture perfect, and probably a nice spot to vacation and spend more time than we had. A quick stop at a supermarket for a bottle of vodka ($12 US instead of the $50 in Canada) and we drive back to Ontario. We are done with Lake Superior, but Georgian Bay and Lake Huron await.

About JudithC99

Wanderer. Writer. Artist. Photographer. Learner. Traveler of the Red Roads


  1. Great photos! I especially liked the drawings on the rocks! Mackinac Island is incredible. It’s great to hike and bike up in the woods. Very few people and great scenery.

  2. Late to this party but I’m loving the Mackinac Island pictures, and the petroglyphs are wonderful (although I’d need a few slugs of that Vodka to have the guts to go out there. And by that point I’d be too drunk to chance it!)

  3. Pingback: Parry Sound, a Comedy of Errors « Red Road Diaries

  4. My husband has been east and has seen the petroglyphs but I haven’t. I’d love to visit Mackinac Island so maybe I’ll talk him into taking a trip out there one day. Thanks for the great photos and text too. I enjoyed your writing very much.

  5. meshuganaplumbferry

    What about those hieroglyphs by the roadside falls on the way to negaunee off 500? Both sites look like Phoenician boats over canoes to me.

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