Sault Ste. Siberia Marie

This is a scene from the early morning walking route that I take when I am visiting the small but beautiful city of Sault Ste. Marie, where I grew up. The Michigan side, that is. There are two Sault Ste. Maries and the other one is across the St. Marys River in Ontario. My dad’s family emigrated from Scotland to Canada in the mid-1800s and his parents were both born in Ontario, although they never lived in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. For various reasons that are too long for this entry (and I would probably mangle the stories anyway), their families moved from Canada to the *Michigan* Sault and my grandparents became American citizens when they were young.

I took this photoooo as I walked along the escarpment that runs through the city of Sault Ste. Marie. There’s a particularly good view from this vantage point along the road at the “back” of the local state university, Lake Superior State. This is one of my favorite locations in town. It kind of makes The Soo look like a big city. That’s because, from this location, you are looking at both the Michigan and Ontario cities. Sault, Ontario is larger than Sault, MI by a factor of five or six.

When I was a kid, I was always dying to live in a big city with hustle and bustle and fancy stores and restaurants and things. Like Detroit used to be when we would visit my grandparents there. Sault Ste. Marie was such a backwater. Or so I thought (when I wasn’t out sledding or skiing or kamikazi bike-riding or (sigh) being carried by Grandroobly (or even Grandberry) from the Old Cabin down to our family’s beach on Gitchee Gumee to look at the stars). I was obsessed with cities and their populations. As we traveled around the state, I would often sit with a road map in my lap and look up how many miles to the next exit and the distance between various cities and the population of the next city/town/village. Was it a bigger or smaller city than Sault Ste. Marie? Would Siberia ever grow enough to have freeways everywhere and skyscrapers and things? And yes, I was a nerd. Why do you think I have a GPS in my vee-hickle even though I don’t need it 99.999% of the time?

A quick google confirms that the Soo’s population has probably not changed much since I was a kid. It isn’t easy to live in a rugged northern outpost, but it seems like a steady number of people continue to manage to do it and, despite what outsiders might think, there is a vibrant educational and arts community going on. Just as vibrant as when I was a beach urchin.

I took the photooo with my iPhone on Friday morning. The temperature was seven degrees. March 25. Yes, the photo is heavily apped (Instragram, in this case). I am pretty much using my iPhone for photos these days. Yes, I have a couple of other cameras but I’m trying to travel light these days and I don’t think the iPhone is all that bad. It’s always with me and it fits in my pocketses. As apped as this photooo is, it really does show how the cities of Sault Ste. Siberia look on a clear and very cold day as the sun is thinking about coming up over the horizon.

3 Responses to “Sault Ste. Siberia Marie”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Even heavily apped, it’s beautiful!! I couldn’t wait to get out of Puyallup(the farming backwater) and get to SEATTLE, the big city. So, after college, where did I end up for the rest of my life? Hint: not Seattle.

  2. Marquis Says:

    “It isn’t easy to live in a rugged northern outpost”, I guess that means that they’ll be no ‘hattens served tonight?

  3. Pooh Says:

    C’mon, you know the ‘hattens are what make it easier to live in a rugged Northern outpost!