Up the West Coast and across to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada Summer 2009 by Rick Swallow Page 7
And now into Canada. I spent a couple of days driving to Sault Ste Marie Michigan and my objective was to cross over into Sault Ste. Marie Canada. I crossed over the international bridge in the early a.m. of August 12.
I crossed the bridge and headed south again to my destination on St. Joseph's Island where I spent the next week parked in my cousin Catherine's yard, a mere few yards from the shore of Lake Huron. Cousin Linda and Forrest Foster live in an excellent Camp just a few yards to the south, still on the shores of Lake Huron.
A view of Huron from Linda and Forrest's dock. Next (right) the smaller camp being renovated by theirson Stephen. Behind it is their home, and to its right (as seen in photo sequence) is that of Catherine Ann (Crowder) Bell, daughter of Harris and Edgar Crowder--my aunt and Uncle. Forrest joined my in my photo shoot. :-)
It seems that St. Joseph's Island is famous for its production of Maple Syrup. Linda and Forrest are in the business, and spend a good deal of time at it in the early spring when the sap starts to flow. Sap is collected with a vacuum system. A device driven into the tree has a flexible, blue, plastic "pipe" connected to it. It runs on to the next tree, and so on throughout the forest until thousands of trees are all connected together for the collection of their sap as it moves up into the tree in the Spring. Click here for a great link to an article describing the Maple Syrup production old style. In any case, however the sap is collected, it must be boiled down over a period of days to remove the water and leave the maple "sugars" as a thick, flavorful, syrup. This takes a considerable amount of time (days) and the process is accomplished by using a wood burner, all the time attended by the producers. Click on the link below to see a panoramic view of what might be a "typical" production facility in the forest belonging to family members. Maple Syrup Production Site Below are pictures of the "Reducers" (boilers) used for this purpose. Seems to me that this could be used in the off season as a still to produce some really good whiskey! It is a considerable distance across the island, as one can see from its high point. On this day a trip to Thessalon was in order, to visit the family homestead. The current owners, a young couple, were gracious enough to let us inside to take a look around. He (name) is a mechanical engineer and she, a teacher. On to page 8
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