First terrorist tourist of the year

It was 7:30 AM or thereabouts. The young man who stepped out of the guardhouse into the seven degree air as I entered the Soo Locks park had this look on his face like, “who the heck are you?” He asked, “Are you going to work? Or…”

About a billion thoughts raced through my brain. I-am-not-a-terrorist. I-saw-the-Ojibway-going-up-and-I-wanted-to-watch-it-lock-through. I-am-not-a-terrorist. I-do-not-have-any-weapons-not-even-an-umbrella. I-am-not-a-terrorist. All-I-have-is-my-phone-and-a-packet-of-kleenex. I-am-not-a-terrorist. And so on…

I *said* [with a huge smile], “Good morning! I am your first tourist!” He grabbed at the word “tourist” and started telling me about the locks and the fact that it had opened for traffic just last night. Ships are now plying the waters of the great lake they call Gitchee Gumee again, after a long winter’s nap. I already knew that. I follow “I love Sault Ste. Marie” on facebook. I smiled again and waved him off with, “Oh, I’m not really *that* much of a tourist. I grew up here.” He waved me on and went back into his nice heated guardhouse. I climbed the stairs to the observation platform and watched the Ojibway rising to Superior’s level in the Poe Lock until I felt like a solid block of ice and then I walked out of the park, up Ashmun St. and the escarpment, home to The Commander’s.

Don’t get me wrong. This kid was very nice and friendly albeit kind of astounded that somebody was actually walking into the locks park at 7:30 on a seven degree morning. A baggy old kayak woman in a pink ski jacket and a black bomber hat with sequins. Terrorist? In that getup? Worker? The workers at the locks all wear Carhartts and things. I am not a Carhartt kind of gal. I suppose it’s pointless to throw any more words at this tired old subject but I am sick of going through this kind of theatre. I wanna be able to walk freely into the damn locks park without being questioned. I bet those security folks hate having to question meeee too.

Made a mad dash out to check out the Moominbeach mid-morning. It’s still there and we seem to have acquired a new vee-hickle over the winter ;-). I was able to drive down but couldn’t find a decent parking place (too much snow), so I drove back up, parked at Lewiegee’s, and walked down. Cheap little 26-second video on facebook.

Lunch at Clyde’s Drive-In on opening day! For the season, that is. You would think the car-hops would be complaining about having to work in single-digit temperatures but our waitress was absolutely exuberant! We watched the Sugar Island ferry make a couple of crossings and the Mesabi Miner go up and yes, Jane we split an order of onion rings! I saved you one. I’ll email it to you.

Afternoon of hanging out here with The Commander as she went through old papers, letters from the Beach Urchins and things. Walked down the escarpment to the Soo Supervalu for a few items for dinner. Which The Comm is busily preparing as I write this. The GG is down at East Lake kibbitzing with his North Country Trail buddy Kay. And last but not least, hopefully, my loverly cuzzint, the mean old grunchy old Grinchie will get Frooggy’s phone message and join us for a drinky-poo and dinner.

Seeya in the next episode,
Kayak Woman

P.S. From the “meanwhile-back-at-the-ranch” category: The saga of the underground parking structure money pit where the library lot used to be continues. Story at

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