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A Few Days on the Water Highway

I just spent the better part of four days camping near the Saint Clair River, running between Algonac and Port Huron, Michigan. Dozens of Great Lakes freighters make their way along this byway, either heading upbound to Sault Ste. Marie and into Lake Superior on their way to Duluth or Two Harbors to pick up a load of coal, iron ore, various grains, or other valuable cargo, or downbound to deliver the equivalent of 3,000 semi truckloads of cargo to waiting processors.

I was thrilled to be able to see the MV Paul R. Tregurtha, the current “Queen of the Lakes” at 1013-feet in length.

Paul R. Tregurtha

Over the three days I camped at Algonac State Park, I was able to see 25 other freighters moving along the river. There is quite a variety of sizes, styles and destinations among these ships. My favorite iPhone app, MarineTraffic, made it very easy for me to know when a certain ship would be motoring by.


Actually, I enjoyed the ship-watching and camping so much I’ve decided to head north to Sault Ste Marie next week. The Aune-Osborn Campground is just east of town, on the banks of the St. Marys River and not far from the Soo Locks. Without a doubt more ships will be coming by during my short stay.

2 comments on “A Few Days on the Water Highway

  1. Glad you enjoyed it and saw so much freighter activity. Thanks for the MarineTraffic tip; I just downloaded it. Enjoy the Soo!


    1. That app is amazing. It would show a freighter icon located opposite the campground and, sure enough, there she’d be, just chugging by! One of the info windows for a particular ship even gives an estimate of when it will reach your location. Pretty handy when you want to be sure to see the ship go by and be ready to snap a photo.

      Liked by 3 people

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