Friday, August 8, 2014

Lake Superior

This morning I was telling Jasper Fforde about Lake Superior. 

Oh, why yes, I write ol' Jasper Fforde all the time these days. 

This would be very impressive if he wrote back, but we are more in the communication category of, say, a small child saying prayers to god. I write him on faith. I like to pretend he is enjoying the letters. I haven't lost my mind or anything. He asked on his website for Wild Library Tales, so most days I send him some past blog post with an elaborate introduction. He did write back once that he is busy with a writing deadline and said that vaguely good things are probably coming my way. It was short, but nice. But I think I already told you about most of this and it is not our point here.

Our point is that I was talking about Lake Superior, on whose shores I will soon be staying, to a person from another land. And when you explain things to strangers, sometimes you see them in a new light.

Lake Superior.

My god, what a smug name! That's got to be some kind of lake to go around with a name like that. Superior. Imagine a mountain called "Better Than All the Other Mountains" Mountain. I'd think one would approach such a mountain with a critical eye. A mountain like that had better well have its majesty act together, it better be big, interesting, and picturesque. 

Yes, I am going to Lake Superior. Have you been there? This is a lake that has thrown down the gauntlet!

Lake Baikal, Lake Titicaca, Lake Victoria, Lake Michigan, The Caspian Sea, Lake Aralb, Great Bear Lake, Lake Tanganyika, Lake Malawi, Great Slave Lake, Great Salt Lake, Lake Ladoga.

And then there is the Superior Lake. One lake to rule them all.

Lake Superior.

Well, you will hear no dissent from me. I could, for vacation with my wife, with enough effort and sacrifice, probably manage to go about anywhere. And yet we will go just a few hundred miles north. We will go just to sit and look at a lake.

And count ourselves lucky.

31,700 square miles. 1,330 feet deep. Three quadrillion gallons of water (ten percent of earth's fresh surface water, enough to cover North and South America a foot deep in water). Two point seven billion year old rocks on it's shore. The most oligotrophic lake in the world.

Lake Superior. 

Yes, it means better.


  1. This lake contains almost 3,000 cubic miles of water, an amount that could fill all the other Great Lakes plus three additional Lake Eries. I came to know about this while I travelled there one month before my chinese bus tours. It also has the largest surface area of any freshwater lake in the world. There are numerous views with scenic gatherings along the way where one can soak in the beauty and capture it with a camera

    1. Yes, this all is very true thank you. I'm not sure what we would do with three more Lake Eries though. I think the people in Cleveland would resent it. "No, no, we are located on the old Lake Erie, not on one of those stupid new ones made from that extra Lake Superior water."

      Also, I can't recommend capturing the beauty of Lake Superior in a camera. Let it roam free. If it comes back to you it's yours.


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