Feeling Superior

There’s something about Lake Superior that gets to me.   Especially the North Shore.

DSCN4622

I don’t know what it is.  Superior doesn’t have any spectacular snow-capped peaks like the Rockies.  There aren’t any dramatic icefields or fjords like you find in Alaska.

Superior is just a big body of water, surrounded by lots of forest and rock.  Occasionally punctuated by a few towns trying to eke out a living out of the Canadian Shield.

Still, there’s something about the Lake that gets to me.

Part of it is the the sheer SIZE.  It’s not so much as a lake, but an inland sea, cutting a big chuck of the continent in two.  It takes a good 7-8 hours to drive from Sault. Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay (if you push it).

Imagine explaining this to someone from Australia:  a freshwater lake so big that it takes a good part of a DAY to drive past.

North Shore Superiour Quick Study

And the water is cold.  REALLY cold.    It could be late May, stinking hot and 80 degrees.  But as you drive around the Lake, you’ll get pockets of fog and suddenly feel the air cool like it came out of a giant refrigerator.

That’s Superior…reminding you of her presence.

(As for swimming…don’t even GO there!)

Another thing I like is the remoteness.   There are no huge cities and urban sprawl out here, like on the lower Great Lakes.  Even today, in the 21st century, Superiour still has huge tracts of roadless shoreline that you can’t get to except by boat.  If you can arrange to be dropped off, you can hike there for miles, and get a sense of how things looked like before Europeans arrived.

As for roads, the Trans-Canada Highway is still mostly single-lane.   In fact,  Lake Superior was one of the most difficult places to build the highway.  The connection between Wawa and Sault Ste. Marie didn’t get completed until 1960.

Just think, men were already starting to venture into space, but there were still sections in Northern Ontario that weren’t’ connected by road yet.

Autumn Shore

Superior is the unofficial dividing line between the crowded South and the still relatively unspoiled North.   When people talk about “North of Superior”, there’s a bit of reverence in their voice.

“North of Superior” evokes images of still-existing patches of virgin forest, loons swimming in pristine lakes and pinkish granite rock.  Not to mention fishing lodges only accessible by bush plane where you’re guaranteed to catch some whoppers.

Even the forests change as you around the lake.  The friendly maple trees and majestic white pine start to disappear, and give way to the haunting black spruce and scraggly birch trees of the Boreal Forest.    Reminding you that you’re a long way from home…and don’t get LOST in these woods, as the nearest help might be miles away.

54710020

Pukaskwa Shore_B

Sometimes, Superior can be a darling.  At the right time of year, she’ll say “Come on in, the water’s fine“.

Batchawana Ba

(And yes..in late summer, there ARE a few places where you can swim without hypothermia).

Some of the most refreshing swims you’ve ever had, that make you shiver, not with cold, but with sheer ecstasy as the blue-green water seeps into your armpits and between your toes.

And giardia be damned, sometimes you just want to stick your head under water and gulp in the cool, cool sweetness.

DSCN4647

But on other days, Superior can be a bitch.   The sky will turn grey, the winds will pick up, and suddenly she’ll turn on you.

Don’t MESS with me!“, she warns.

Gargantua

Neys-8

And you don’t.   Because she WILL mess with you, if you’re not careful.

Just ask the hundreds of boats that she’s shipwrecked.  Or unfortunate kayakers stranded on a remote island for three days because it was too rough to head back to shore.

Superior Shore_B

Two Trees on Lake Superior

But what I like best about Superior, is that it’s one of the few places on the planet where I can get my head right.

Whenever life gets to be too much,  I’ll make a special road trip, and sit on the shore.

I’ll stare at the infinity of the horizon, and feel the chest-thumping crashing and pounding of the waves.  And just take in the sheer POWER of it all.

DSCN4628

Neys Provincial Park

And all the crap…the job, family issues, financial problems…it all melts away.

None of that means a damned thing out here.   Superior dosen’t care.   She’ll wash it away, and empty your mind.

It’s just you and the Lake.

And when you’re in this state of mind, if you listen carefully,  she’ll talk to you.

“Don’t worry, Friar.  It’s all right.   Everything’s going to be all right…”

And hearing that, alone, is worth the 10 hour drive.

At least for me, it is.

Neys-2

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81 Comments on “Feeling Superior”


  1. You. Get. It.

    Pete and I love her, too.

  2. Friar Says:

    @Betsy

    I kinda feel sorry for people who DON’T get it.

    But in a way, I’m glad they don’t…that’s what helps keeps Superior unspoiled.

  3. davinahaisell Says:

    You are “Superior” to your problems says She! Presence and remoteness… yummy. I loved all of this Friar.

  4. Brett Legree Says:

    I’ve never been there, but I understand why you like it.

    That’s why I liked New Zealand so much. Take a look at Karekare, for instance – black sand, pounding waves, tall cliffs, not a person in sight.

    A sign warning you that if you go in the water, you’d better know what you’re doing, because hundreds have drowned there and there’s no lifeguards.

    Makes you feel humble.

    And the next time we return, I want to go to Stewart Island, at the very south of the country.

    But before we do that, perhaps a road trip to Superior is in order.

    The picture I like best up above is the third last one, with the shimmering wet rocks.

    I can feel the warmth of the sun, as I enjoy a cold beer and feel the wind in my face.

  5. Brett Legree Says:

    I also want to go here, too:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatham_Islands

    I love the picture…

  6. Eyeteaguy Says:

    I think we should drain it and put a land bridge througth it. Shave a few hours off the drive to Thunder Bay. There will still be 4 other Great Lakes.

  7. Donald Mills Says:

    I’ve had limited opportunity to venture into Northern Ontario but the small bit I’ve seen has been incredibly impressive. Not sure if I’ll ever get as far as Superior, but it sounds like quite a trip.

    Thanks for sharing those pictures and thoughts, Friar.

  8. Friar Says:

    @davina
    Well, I can be Zen-like (sorta), once in a while, if I feel like it.

    Not too often, though. I’ll probably have to make my next blog post a smart-ass one to make up for this! 😉

    @Brett
    One of these days, you should go see the Lake (though I realize with four screaming kids, an 8 hour drive isn’t the most thrilling idea in the world).

    New Zealand is also on my “short list” of places to visit.

    @Eyeteaguy
    Now…except for grain shipments, who really, wants to go to Thunder Bay?

    And the water….drain it? Where?

    Oh,wait. I know. Ship it to the Southwestern states so that they can grow corn and maintain golf course in the Mojave Desert.

    (Or don’t they already do that?)

    @Don
    Don’t feel too bad…most Canadians I know havent’ seen Superiour either. Torontonians think “Northern Ontario” is Algonquin Park and Huntsville.

    If you ever want to take a long drive in that Buick of yours, though, I’d highly recommend the trip.

  9. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Friar, now you’re thinking! We all win, we get a shorter drive and they can make their desert green!

    Together we are working for a better tomorrow.

  10. Brett Legree Says:

    I think we’ll get there eventually. Probably just do it in two slices, that would make it reasonable. Then again the kids are pretty good so if we left early morning, it would be okay.

    Hey, if we drain it, I’m sure there’d be lots of space in there for Toronto’s garbage! Maybe enough room for 6 to 7 years, anyway…

  11. XUP Says:

    Ah Friar, you’re such a salty old sea dog. The main reason I moved to Halifax years ago was so that I could experience the ocean every day. Something about living with that capricious force of nature every day is very exhilarating.

  12. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy
    You know, they’re already halfway there with Lake Ontario. It’s so polluted you could drive your car on top of the garbage and sewage, from Toronto to Rochester.

    @Brett
    Maybe the can take Toronto’s garbage, and ship it to another small town up north. You know…a town who’s main industry is being threatened and could use the additional jobs.

    @XUP
    I like the ocean, but the wild, undevelopped coastlines. Not the wall-to-wall cottages and houses you might see in New England. Thankfully there are parts of the Canadian Maritimes that are still like that.

    I especially like the big-ass waves. I could watch them for hours.

  13. Brett Legree Says:

    Heh heh, welcome to the Factory, here’s your shovel.


  14. Ooh these are gorgeous! Amazing what a great “therapist” a body of water can be. These are captivating photos.. and your water is very animated…really fine..says something about your affinity for your subject… I can see why Lake Superior is one of your ‘Laughing Places” 😉

  15. steph Says:

    Dear Nature Boy,

    Wow. Totally wow. I love your description of the lake and what she does for you, and I think it’s awesome how you interjected both photos and your beautiful paintings. Something about your paintings reminds me of the Group of Seven. It’s not the style as much as the subject and the way you paint the outdoors…

    I really love how connected you are to nature.

  16. Friar Says:

    @Brett
    Bet you the Factory will take the shovel, and figure a way to screw THAT one up, too! 😉

    @Janice
    I like that term “laughing places”. (Friar’s Mom has a similar term…she refers to her “Happy Compartment”.

    Laughing Places are special, but hard to find. So when you do find them, latch onto them for dear life and dont’ let go.

    @steph
    Thanks!

    I especially like the Group of Seven’s paintings of the Algoma/Lake Superior area…so obviously there’s been some influence. I can relate to why they wanted to paint these landscapes.

    I really love how I’m connected nature too…! Sometimes it’s the only way I manage to keep my sanity! 🙂

  17. Karen Swim Says:

    Friar, I was lost in the sheer beauty of the scene you painted. I love those remote places that remain untainted by urban sprawl. Sadly, we are destroying much of our planet. It’s horrifying to think of how we are developing so much that we are losing what makes life so beautiful. We’re losing local farms, and hence local food to development. Man was not meant to be surrounded by tall glass buildings but nature. When I need to clear my head, water does the trick for me. On the west, I’d head up the coast to my favorite remote part of the beach and just sit and listen to the ocean. Awwwww…

  18. Eyeteaguy Says:

    I’m gonna barf if this blog gets any more syrupy.

    Draw some Vikings and save us from diabetes.

    Let’s change to subject and talk about the fish in the lakes, especially the ones with 3 eyes, those ones are cool!

    And you can thank Brett for those, keep dumping that nuclear waste buddy! We are killing species left right and centre so its time to INVENT some more!

    Eyeteaguy

  19. Friar Says:

    @Karen
    And man was not meant to work in cubicle farms, WITHIN the glass buildings, either.

    Funny, how we all like to flock to water, though. (Howcum we don’t like open grasslands instead?). Because then it would be South Dakota and Nebraska that would have the prime real estate.

    @Eyeteaguy

    Oh, settle down. I did some Viking cartoons a couple of weeks ago. Not every post has to be blood and guts and sarcasm.

  20. Eyeteaguy Says:

    If you want 100 comments it does.

    The Vikeng Elder is crying to be set free and say “d’oh” to all the pointless antics of his tribe.

    Maybe a Viking post about dead fish?

  21. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy

    That would be LAME-ASS dead fish, to be exact…


  22. Ahh the poetic side of life….maybe a ballet based on fish dancing in the lovely waters….a pastoral.. with Vikings singing… sigh….wind chimes and chiffon and sparkles….;)


  23. There is something about the lake, isn’t there? I go to clear my head there myself — though it is only a 10-minute drive for me. I go up to Hillcrest Park (Thunder Bay) and look out over the lake to the Sleeping Giant http://www.cbc.ca/sevenwonders/images/pic_wonder_sleeping_giant_lg.jpg (recognized as the top Seven Wonders in Canada by popular vote, but ignored by the judges… not that I’m bitter or anything).

    I’ve been to a lot of places in this world, but there is just something that draws me to here. And honestly, there is nothing like a Thunder Bay sunset. Drive into Thunder Bay from the North Shore at dusk, and it is incredible the way the light plays upon the rock cuts and the lake ripples and the tiny islands dotting the water.

    Thanks for reminding me what a special place it is! Sometimes it is hard to remember, ‘specially after a long, hard winter…

    ~Graham

  24. Friar Says:

    @Janice
    Vikings…chiffon, and sparkles, in the SAME SENTENCE?

    As the Berserker would say: “NYARRRRGHHHHH!”.

    @Graham
    I was in Sleeping Giant two summers ago, in September. It was mostly empty but I loved it.

    It’s a huge place…big enough to get lost in, but it’s still only a tiny corner of the whole lake. One of these days I want to climb to the top of the Giant’s head, but that’s a pretty serious hike (I think an over-nighter).


  25. “I want to climb to the top of the Giant’s head”

    hmm… that sounds more like an opera.. we’ll need to book an orchestra… Hmm…viking valkyres? …chiffon and metal for sure…spotlights…drums maybe…some baritones…for the oh oh oreo… 😉

  26. Patricia Says:

    I loved your paintings and descriptions. I so need water to find recovery.

    Thank you, this is one of my favorite posts to date.

  27. Eyeteaguy Says:

    *slashing my wrists*
    *splashing acid in my eyes*
    *impaling myself on a pike*

    Friar, if you want to get laid fine, but I’m beginning to think you are gay.

    Eyeteaguy

  28. Brett Legree Says:

    Gamla lombungr, sugandi toti tik madr.

  29. Brett Legree Says:

    Kringlaugd wierd, ein spadi for qvoki ne skeifr drpr munni ne svinhqfdi!


  30. ( Eyeteaguy, cracking me up again. ROFLOL I predict chest bumping, antler clashing noises soon….see there’s Brett already… HAH! )

  31. Friar Says:

    @Janice
    Even better than climbing the Giant’s Head, I want to KIWWW the Wabbit.

    Patricia
    Well, I hope you can find your own patch of water, somewhere nearby.

    @Eyeteaguy
    You forgot jamming sharpened pencils into your ears.

    But please…DO continue.

    @Brett

    gleidr bakraut!

  32. Friar Says:

    @Janice

    You way want to stand back now (or leave). It could start to get ugly here.

  33. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Pencils in my ears? Why would I want to do that?

    If I really wanted to kill myself, I’d just listen to Brett’s music for a while.

  34. Brett Legree Says:

    Just for you, Eyeteaguy.

  35. Eyeteaguy Says:

    @ Brett,

    I thought my speakers were broken until I realized you were trying to be funny.

    Oh, and you sent that one to me before.

    You don’t scare me, work on it.

  36. Brett Legree Says:

    I could probably scare you, but if I manage to scare you, I’ll probably drive everyone away from Friar’s blog for good, and then he won’t want to drink beer with me anymore… heh heh heh

  37. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy

    I agree…on the Brett F**ked up scale…that video is quite tame.

    At least it doesn’t show any dismemberment or human sacrifice.

  38. Mer Says:

    @ Friar

    Thanks for a great post! I love the idea of a sparsely populated place to live. Waves pounding just make my day, as do trees. Combining the three would be heaven. 🙂

    BTW, Nor Cal often battles So Cal over water. They keep trying to take ours. If they succeed, our rivers will be drained just like the Colorado River was so we have to keep on battling.

  39. Friar Says:

    @Mer

    I can relate.

    There’s talk about diverting the great lakes towards the thirsty south. Which would really suck. The Great Lakes are glacial remnants from 15000 years ago. Only a small fraction of the water is replenished every year from precipitation.

    The U.S. is more keen on this idea than Canada…Obviously.

    Annoys the hell out of me, when you see people who insist on golf courses and green lawns in the Arizona and California deserts.

    Not to mention dancing water fountains in Vegas! (Gimme a break!)

  40. Patricia Says:

    @ Friar
    I too get upset with all the water diversions and Arizona has more and more people moving there every year and doesn’t have enough water.

    I did learn that Vegas is one of the better city’s for water conservation and recycling of water…They are still the desert but what they do with water is impressive. Sometimes architectural workshops are very informative learning experiences.

  41. Friar Says:

    @Patricia

    I was in Tucson 8 years ago, and I read that the water table used to be onlyi 6 feet below ground, around 1900. Now it’s 200 feet below ground…it’s being sucked dry by the growing city.

    And that it’s a fossilized aquifer, tens of thousands of years old, that doesnt’ get replenished. Makes we wonder how long before the water runs out..and what they’re going to do when it does.

    Same thing for Vegas. If the reservoir in Lake Mead gets any lower, the intake pipe to the city wont’ be able to draw water. The reservoir lost most of that water in just the last few years.

    Maybe everyone will have to move to Canada, eh!? 😉

  42. Eyeteaguy Says:

    If I had a choice between Yankees moving to Canada and us shipping all our water down south? You can have the water. I love Americans….but only when they are in America.

    Besides, Death Valley and the Mohave desert used to be inland lakes. With our technology, they can be lakes again. Hell, we made the Salton Sea, how hard can it be to fill a valley?

  43. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy
    I like my American Friends…especially the ones near the border (UpState NY and Vermont). They’re more Canadian-like than many Quebeckers. I think the Adirondacks should be made an Honorary part of Ontario.

    The Salton Sea. Heh heh. Now..wasn’t that just WONDERFUL, how that ended up happening?

    But have you heard of the proposal to dam up James bay and make it a freshwater lake?


  44. Brett Legree Says:

    Don’t worry Eyeteaguy, we’d scare them away, what with our poutine and putting malt vinegar on our chips.

    (Not even going to mention the bush jackets and gum rubber boots.)

  45. Beth Partin Says:

    Friar, what a wonderful post. I loved some of your paintings, especially the one with the rock outcropping and trees on the left, and the later one with two trees.

  46. Mer Says:

    @ Brett

    OK, I’m going to ask the dreaded question: What is poutine? And how is it pronounced? With a long u? (I’ve got the ending, I think.)

    @ IT Guy

    LOL on liking Americans as long as we stay here. That’s sort of how I feel about them, too. 😀

    @ Friar

    Not the Great Lakes! That would be criminal! I think they better spend a little more time in the science lab working out how to de-salt the ocean. It is a resource that won’ run out, isn’t it? (Although they used to say the same thing about oil.. :()

    I really don’t get why anyone would want to live in the desert anyway. I spent a weekend in Palm Springs, which is surrounded by desert, and much preferred San Jacinto Mountain. We took a (scary) ride to the top of one on a tram-thingy and the temperature was so much cooler, but not so cold that you needed to bundle up in a serious way. And even though it was sometime in late spring or summer, there was still snow on the ground. Nice.

  47. Friar Says:

    @Brett
    You forgot to mention the “Double Doubles”.

    @Beth
    I like that rock outcropping painting too…it’s at Batchawana Bay, I believe. Just north of the Soo.

    One of the few places you can swim in the lake and enjoy it.

    @Mer

    It’s pronounced “POO-teen”.

    Basically french fries with cheese curds and hot gravy, all melted into a glorious cardiac-artery-clogging mess.

    It’s very Quebecois, but poutine’s been making its way into Ontario now..and the rest of the country.

    I was actually very close to the area you mentionned. I was on the other side of the San Bernandino valley, in Joshua Tree National Park,overlooking the big mountains. (Except on one of the days, I could barely see the mountains..due to the smog from LA…from 70 miles away…un-freaking believable.

    The desert in the summer is like Canada in the winter. It’s just too miserable to do anything outside. I can sort of tolerate 95F. But when it gets over 100F…that’s just “stupid hot”. Especially when it’s like that at midnight.


  48. Uh… guys you ARE Americans….North Americans… just saying…:-)


  49. @Friar – actually, hiking to the head is a day trip, but I know that there is camping in the park, so perhaps you can camp there. I’ve never climbed that way myself, though I hear it’s gruelling. Actually, we just did a bit of hiking near the “toes” of the Giant a few weeks ago with the kids — a nice, short, easy walk for the most part.

    ~Graham

  50. Patricia Says:

    @ Friar
    Canadians have enough problems with Americans they do not need any more!

    I can not tell you how many folks move to our area and then complain and complain about the rain…

    Let’s send them all to South America and keep our bliss to ourselves 😉

  51. Friar Says:

    @Janice
    Actually, you got a good point.

    …because that’s how Australians think of us. They dont’ really differentiate between the U.S. and Canada….I’ve been told “You North Americans are all alike!” 😉

    @Graham
    I car-camped at Sleeping Giant. And I remember thinking about doing the Giant’s head..but it looked like a considerable investment in time. Not something you could do in only 3-4 hours.

    One of these days…though.

    @Patricia
    You should see when people move here…and get their first dose of a real Canadian winter. Especially immigrants who come from semi-tropical climates.

    When it starts to cool off in October, they’re already uncomfortable. You should see their faces when you tell them it’ll go to minus 30 in a few months. Heh heh. 🙂


  52. Then why isn’t Canada the most populated nation in the world?! I mean WHO goes out in that minus 30. BRRRRRRRRR 😉

  53. Brett Legree Says:

    If poutine isn’t enough for you, some chip trucks make “Newfie fries” which are basically poutine, with the addition of turkey stuffing.

    The best trucks use homemade stuffing, rather than the boxed kind. There is a local fellow who does it, about 20 minutes from me – best quality stuffing you’d put in a turkey.

    Awesome.

    Takes about 3 years off your life, but worth it.

    Which means, of course, I should have died about 150 years ago… 🙂

  54. Friar Says:

    @Janice
    …because when it’s that cold…certain equipment, (er), “retreats” back into the body.

    @Brett
    ..I still havent’ managed to try that Newfie Poutine yet.

    It’s on my short list. I’m still recovering from my angioplasty, after the “piggie burger” last week.


  55. Well, no wonder y’all get grumpy…. ;-))))

    Sheesh and Brrrrrr…

  56. Eyeteaguy Says:

    y’all? Well we all are boiling our bottoms of right not in 30 degree weather…. that’s celcius ma’am.

    And we are not grumpy, just opinionated.

  57. Friar Says:

    @Janice
    I’m not grumpy….Eyeteaguy is, though. Despite what he says.

    @Eyeteaguy

    True….but how many times can you count where we actually hit 30C? Some summers, maybe 5.

    If it’s any consolation, in two months, the leaves will start to change color and the evenings will start to get cool again. Winter’s on its way.

  58. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Hahahahahaha sucker! You live in “Northern” Ontario. I live in “Southern” Ontario. I’ve had summer for almost three months already and I’ll have summer into October!

    Looooooooser Splat Creek resident!

    And my definition of summer is riding my bike without catching a cold or 15 plus degrees.

  59. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy
    Yes…you just enjoy your Southern Ontario. With the strip malls, bumper-to-bumper traffic, smog alerts and closed beaches.

    (And oh, is there a garbage strike happening where you are right now?)

  60. Brett Legree Says:

    Ontario sucks.

  61. Brett Legree Says:

    North, south, east or west.


  62. Well first of all, all that translating degrees is way too much work, but it is over 40C here.
    Boiling bottoms.. is that like hot cross buns?

  63. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Let me see, bumper to bumper? Nope. 15 minute clear drive, 1 stop sign, one light.
    Strip Malls? Nope, we have some nice high end malls.
    What’s a smog alert?
    And I don’t think they have ever closed our beach.

    I think you must have Southern Ontario confused with Toronto. Toronto sucks, too much like an American city.

    And why do American stick with an outmoded, outdated and frankly perplexing measurement system.

  64. Friar Says:

    @Brett
    Well, the part of Ontario with Lake Superior doesn’t suck (or I guess you missed the whole POINT of my post!)

    I would say the part of Ontario where my fishing lodge is also doesn’t suck.

    But yes…the rest of the province does.

    @Janice
    40C is quite obnoxious, by anyone’s standards!

    Now, can you convert $USD per gallon into $CDN per liter for gas?

    @Eyeteaguy
    As far as I’m concerned, anything south of Huntsville is Toronto (or a suburb thereof).

  65. Brett Legree Says:

    “And why do American stick with an outmoded, outdated and frankly perplexing measurement system.”

    For the same reason the whole planet sticks with an outmoded, outdated and frankly perplexing time measurement system?

    In the modern world, it is stupid to have “time zones”, in my opinion.

    I don’t give a crap what time it is when I get up – just numbers on the clock. I’ll either get up when the sun comes up, or to have enough time to get where I need to go.

    Index everything to UTC so if I have to have a conference call with someone on the other side of the planet, we know the time without thinking “what’s the time difference?”

    Oh, and let’s move to metric time.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_time

    Eyetea lives in a place just like he describes. I lived there for about a year, and it was pretty good.

  66. Brett Legree Says:

    No, I still think it all sucks.

    But only because you guys were doing a “North vs. South” and somebody had to be a Richard… 🙂

  67. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Friar, everyone misses the point of your posts. That is the point.

    Of course rule number six applies here, (since you asked for clarification)

    Eyeteaguy


  68. Rule number six? You’ve actually read Zander?!

  69. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Who the frak is Zander? I’m talk Eyeteaguy’s rules to life.

    Zander, sounds like a villan on Star Trek.

    Evasive manouvers Mr. Sulu. The Zanders are off our port bow.


  70. Nothing beats Thunder Bay June-early September. Beautiful weather, it only rains at night (mostly), and it cools right off so you can actually sleep.

    The rest of the months, *everything* beats Thunder Bay. But there you go, I suppose. Can’t have it all.

    @Janice – ugh, 40C is too hot. But then -40C is too cold, so what’cha going to do? The older I get, the more sense it makes to me to move to Florida for the winters and stay here just for the summers…

    As for North vs. South — if you look at a big map of Ontario, even Thunder Bay is south… It’s all relative I s’pose.

    ~Graham


  71. Math geeks.

    Honestly, nice little lake post, idyllic beauty… a little sensitivity, poetics and you all start measuring stuff…Where’s your serenity, where’s you’re inner frolicking child?

    And I saw that Eyetea….we have lots of different kinds of cities you know…. 😉

  72. Brett Legree Says:

    @Graham,

    Exactly. It reminds me of when we moved up here from the GTA. My boss was joking that we were going ‘up north’ and there’d be sled dogs and so on.

    I showed him on the big map behind him that we are actually *south* of Vancouver, and a good chunk of the USA…

    Eastern Ontario, I told him.

    Every place has moments, and it also depends on the individual obviously.

    I probably wouldn’t mind the -30 days so much if I didn’t have to go into the sh*thole we call “work”…

  73. Brett Legree Says:

    @Janice,

    Good point. I’ve not been to your city, but the places I’ve visited in the USA were all very nice, actually.

    I spent a lot of time in Minnesota and could see myself living there.

  74. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy

    Number six….Hmm. That’s about as close to something almost resembling compliment from you that I’ll ever get.

    So I’ll take it.

    I guess.

    @Janice

    If you’re missing the number six reference, go see Eyeteaguy’s blog.

    He’s actually taken the time to stop bitching about other people’s blogs, to write something on his OWN.

    Heaven forbid.

    @Brett
    Okay, I’m confused here. Ontario sucks. But you’d like to live in Minnesota…?.

    Well…Um…like..aren’t they almost the SAME? (Last time I checked, I’m pretty sure they both shared a common border). The only difference is Ontario’s less crowded.

    I wouldn’t mind the minus 30C…if I was allowed to work from home on those heinous mornings.

    Getting into a car and driving to work in the dark under those sub-arctic conditions just sucks the Life Force out of you.

    @Graham
    Northern Ontario. Some people get it. Some dont’.

    Oh well. Too bad for them. Let them enjoy their crowded Southern Ontario.

    Personally, I prefer to live where you dont’ have to PAY to go hiking in only tiny patch of forest within 30 miles.

    @Janice
    Never been to New Orleans. But the one thing that would bug me is that it’s below sea level.

    Would make me nervous, living next to dikes holding back the ocean that’s over your head.

    But at least you got MAAAAG-Nolias.

    @Brett
    Okay..one place that was NOT nice was Buffalo, NY.

    My ex girlfriend worked there. They had a full time security guard watching the cars in the parking lot, to make sure they didn’t get fire-bombed.

  75. Brett Legree Says:

    Heh heh, oh, I know, I just had to be a dick.

    And Buffalo’s not *all bad* – after all, Cannibal Corpse is from Buffalo… 🙂

  76. Friar Says:

    @Brett
    Cannibal Corpse…Oh no. Is that another one of your Skull ***** videos?

    (Please, no You-tube clips here…you’ll scare off the fairer ladies…give them a case of the vapors or something).

  77. Friar Says:

    @Army wife

    ..the lake, it is said, never gives up her dead, when the skies of November turn gloomy…

  78. Inese Holte Says:

    Keeping Lake Superior with it’s basically rugged looks north past Duluth has not been easy. People have fought to keep it that way and sometimes lost. It’s up to the lovers of the Lake to keep it wild. It won’t happen if people don’t work for it because those who want to develop ugly things are always waiting like vultures. We have to keep vigilant and never let our guard down.

  79. Friar Says:

    @Inese

    I was actually a bit disappointed when I drove the Superior Coast in Minnesota between the Canadian border and Grand Marais. Miles and miles of developed shoreline with waterfront houses and cottages right next to the highway.

    If it’s any consolation, Canada has recently created a National Marine Conservation Area on the North shore, design to preserve a significant chunk of the lake.

    http://www.pc.gc.ca/progs/amnc-nmca/proposals/ls_proposal_e.asp


  80. […] shores of Lake Superior are sacred in this way to me, as they are to others.  Immortalized in Longellow’s Song of Hiawatha, Gitchigumi (Big Water) was named by the […]


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