Here in the Upper Midwest, and especially in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, we are lucky to live close to one of the greatest bodies of water in the world. Lake Superior. It truly is “our ocean”, and it’s not a poor substitute for the Atlantic or the Pacific. In fact, if you exclude Alaska from miles of shoreline, the Pacific totals 2,043 miles; the Atlantic covers 2,069 miles; and Lake Superior all around totals 2,726 miles.
I try to visit the lake every year, but I especially try to vacation on it every other year, and always in summer. Fall brings the great transition from warmth to coolness, and one can really sense the wild nature of Superior when the wind whips the shore and the leaves are scattered to the ground. Winter brings the ice flows, the peaceful quiet and the beauty of bright sunshine on the great expanse. Spring signals the southern birds arrival, the ice breakup, and the slow transition from wetness to green ground cover.
For myself, summer on Superior is the easiest and most satisfying way to enjoy it’s great beauty. I prefer the south shore of the great lake for it’s boating opportunities, swimming in its warmer waters, and the magnificent islands and sea caves. My general hideaway is along Wisconsin’s Chequamegon Bay, which is protected from the northwest winds by the iconic Apostle Islands and forms the southernmost part of Superior.
Not being a sailor, I prefer kayaking to enjoy the warmer waters and the varied coastline. Many kayakers have found the Apostle Islands, with their lovely campsites and assorted sea caves, to be almost heaven on a calm Superior day. However, there are many summer days in the Apostle’s that don’t spawn calm waters and the kayaking can be arduous. I enjoy the southern shoreline for it’s rocky beauty, the cool coves and inlets to explore, and the sounds of the crashing and undulating waves as they hit and reverberate from the sandstone cliffs.
As you might expect, I’m experiencing the wild nature of the magnificent lake as I write this blog, and enjoying the calm waters this week to the fullest.