We’re now as close to Canada as Brownsville is to Mexico. But we can’t cross this border: firearms are verboten in Canada, or I should say, defendu. The north shore of the St. Mary’s River looks about the same as our side, just newer and shinier. Can such things be?
Home for the next few days is the Kewadin casino campground in SSM. As the camp host said, “It’s free until you go into that building over there. You pay only what you lose in the machines or at the tables”. So far we’ve averaged $9 a day in losses, and I’m struggling against the temptation to win it all back. Odd as it is, either of us can play online blackjack against a machine for an hour before we lose $50 in Monopoly money. But with US currency it never takes half that long. Blackjack is the fairest game in every casino, but it’s still tilted toward the house. Our neighbor here en route to the slots, put it best: “I’m going over there to lose another $20.” (She came back with $80.)
The Soo Locks and the Valley Camp ship museum are the town’s main attractions. The ship is an old ore freighter anchored in a coffer dam. The locks bypass the St Mary’s rapids and move 10,000 ships in the nine months they’re open before the big freeze. A lesser attraction is the Tower of History. There’s not much history there, but the view is good from its 200 foot high observation deck. The Tower was built to house church bells by the local Catholic parish. Its priest, who secretly dreamed of developing real estate, persuaded his people to build the $660,000 tower first. Next was to be a new, modern cathedral, but his bishop pulled the plug when he saw the Tower, which was designed by a proponent of the architectural school known as “Brutalism”. The church gave the tower to a non-profit, which converted it to a museum. Part of the profits from the Tower’s admission charges went back to the church. Those funds covered the remodeling of the existing chapel. And everyone lived happily ever after except the priest, who was never again trusted by his bishop.
We dined at the town’s 3rd best restaurant (per Trip Advisor), Clyde’s Drive-in. I had the bacon cheese burger; Kat had the buffalo burger, both quite tasty. The fries were supposed to come with gravy, but didn’t. The onion rings were indeed excellent. I didn’t think the gravy-less fries were that good, but this guy liked them a lot.