A Lake Truly Superior
Lake Superior is the largest of the five Great Lakes of North America. It’s considered the largest fresh-water lake by surface area and the third largest by volume in the world. Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Canada all share Lake Superior’s beautiful, pristine, yet often desolate, beaches.
The Ojibwe Indians named the lake Gichigami, meaning “big water.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow referred to the lake as Gitchee Gumee in The Song of Hiawatha, as did Gordon Lightfoot in the song, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. But in the end, it was the French explorers’ name, le lac superior, that stuck.
Who Says You Can’t Go Home Again?
Lake Superior was a place I simply called “home.” I grew up within walking distance to the shores of Lake Superior and spent many a summer day exploring it’s beaches. As a child, I had no understanding of the beauty that surrounded me.
I have twenty years’ since moved away. In recent years, the lake’s absence in my daily life has me appreciating it like I never could as a child who knew nothing else. I once again consider it home, though I now live a thousand miles away.
Lake Superior Beaches – Beautiful, Pristine, Desolate
I was slow to return to the beaches of my childhood, slow to appreciate the fine grains of sand beneath my feet, the sound of the waves rolling into shore. In fact, it wasn’t until an afternoon spent on these same beaches, experiencing them through the eyes of my own boys, that I truly began to appreciate the Lake Superior of my childhood.
Yes, even today, you can spread out and run on these beaches without fear of kicking sand in someone’s face. There’s plenty of beaches just like this one, devoid of crowds. Sometimes devoid of practically another live soul but you!
An Afternoon Enjoyed On A Lake Superior Beach
Lake Superior is not known for it’s warm temperatures. In fact, water temperatures can be down right chilly. Thus it made for the perfect respite on a hot August day for two carefree boys. Those cooler water temperatures didn’t stop them!
Our warm and sunny August day at the beach was filled with loads of wave jumping and sand castles, followed by metal detector beachcombing, searching for shipwreck remains, agate hunting and driftwood reclamation. Then more wave jumping and more sand castles. Water conditions were perfect for one last driftwood float along the waves as the sun set over the lake. What more could a young boy ask for?
Sadly the day had come to an end. But not a moment was wasted! So until next summer, we bid adieu to our grand and glorious Lake Superior beach. It has once again become a most treasured place, not just for me, but for my children too.
What was the entrance fee our magnificent beach? That’s just it. There wasn’t one! The beaches we frequent? All free, just waiting for you to sit back and enjoy.
Do you have a favorite place? A place that you love to visit year after year? Let us know in the Comments section below.
Just a quick note to let you know I am off for the week, enjoying a little R&R with the family, and I won’t be checking much. Have a great week, and I’ll see you on the other side of my week off.
All images from C.Biederman.