Monday, March 29, 2010

LIVING NEAR THE BIG WATER

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LAKE HURON'S ENTRANCE TO THE GODERICH HARBOR

Took most of the day but we are finally in sunshine with record breaking warm temps predicted for the end of the week.  Yes, we are Canadian, & yes, we do talk about the weather a lot up here:))

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STORMS CAN WHIP THIS LAKE INTO A FRENZY AT A MOMENT'S NOTICE

I have blogged about our two different lifestyles before & I was reminded of that again this morning as I stood atop a small cliff face in Goderich, Ontario Canada looking out over the vast expanse of blue/green water known as LAKE HURON.   It's the third largest fresh water lake in the world with the 4th being the Caspian Sea.  23,010 square miles of water with an encompassing 3,825 shoreline to boot.  This lake's maximum depth in spots is 750 feet with an average depth of 195 feet & to the unsuspecting eye it is akin to looking out over any of the world's large oceans.

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And, by the way.....I'm from the old school with a brain which still prefers to function in miles, feet, inches, acres, & Fahrenheit.  I understand all our Canadian centipeders, kilomaxinators, celciousologies, hectariouses but what the heck, I'm 65 & don't really care!!

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THE INNER GODERICH HARBOR WITH LARGE GRAIN SILOS ON THE LEFT & THE GODERICH SALT MINE AT FAR CENTER

For the past 5 months we had lived our daily lives in the desert regions of the American southwest where the largest body of water encountered each day was probably in the bottom of our toilet bowl & there certainly was no average depth of 195 feet there.  Here in our northern latitude summer home we live about a mile from a body of water that has a length of 206 miles & a breadth of 183 miles.  And no, we cannot see Michigan on the other side.

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THE SALT MINE'S TUNNELS STRETCH FOR MILES OUT UNDER THE LAKE

This morning's lake was smooth with calming colors of aqua blues & greens.  No signs of white cap waves & no signs of the fury these great Lakes can churn into chaos & peril for unsuspecting ships & lives upon the water.  Remember the Edmund Fitzgerald!!  There are no tides upon these lakes & no salt in their waters.  Mysterious sea creatures are not found along their shores & they do not stretch from polar ice cap to polar ice cap.  But, from nearly any point of any of the great Lakes shores you would swear you are looking out over the ocean.

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GODERICH SALT MINE AT BOTTOM RIGHT

Visitors & guests from other countries who visit DEERPARK LODGE where Kelly works have a natural tendency to call Lake Huron, the ocean.  People from England & surrounding countries find it hard to believe that our Lake Huron shores are not actually playing host to ocean waves.  So, for over half the year we live, play, & work, beside a body of water so huge that we occasionally see large ocean going vessels plying the waters up the coast for stops in the nearby town & port of Goderich Ontario & beyond.  And the other half of the year we have to content ourselves with floating the rubber duck you know where!!

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SUN SPLASHES ALITE ON LAKE HURON'S SURFACE

Quite conceivably from where we live here in the 5 Season's Estates we could hoist a canoe over our heads, walk out the driveway & make our way through the pine & maple woods to the Bayfield River about half a mile south of us.  We could then put the canoe in the river & drift the short mile long distance down to Lake Huron.  With a bit of paddling & a generous smack of good luck thrown in we could paddle to the south end of Lake Huron & enter the St. Claire river which in turn would take us to the small Lake St. Clair, & into the Detroit River.  From there it is into Lake Erie & with a turn to the northeast we head off to the other end of the shallowest great lake where we would by-pass Niagara Falls via the Welland Canal & paddle into Lake Ontario from the west end.  A bit more paddle work in the water would put us at the Lakes northeast point whereupon we would enter the St. Lawrence River & that would take us all the way up & out past the Provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, & Newfoundland into the very Atlantic ocean itself.  From there the rest of the world is our neighbor.  Reverse that journey & you can see how the ocean going vessels of the world can end up off our shores here along Lake Huron.  Always nice to occasionally see the big freighters far out on the lake making their way to or from various ports all around the great Lakes. 

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WITHOUT SUNLIGHT THE WATERS LOOSE THEIR VIBRANT COLORS

Equally as nice to watch are the tiny white fishing boats coming in with their early morning catches of the day.  Soon the weather will be warming up & that will bring the many sailboats out of the harbor & cast them like tiny bobbing & colorful butterflies upon the ever-changing moods & hues of the sparkling waters.  Blazing sunsets will sizzle into the lake leaving long shimmering sun trails in the water before disappearing into the orange & yellow horizon.  You can almost envision a great cloud of steam when that blazing orb touches the cooling water's surface.  Another beautiful sundown in Bayfield, Ontario.

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AN OLD SHIP'S ANCHOR KEEPS WATCH OVER THE HARBOR ENTRANCE

And so, it is quite a contrast we see, & live in, with our traveling lifestyles.  From fiery sunsets over looming jagged mountain ranges of the southwest to equally fiery sunsets over a vast body of ocean like water stretching from horizon to horizon, north & south here in Ontario.  Aw yes, what a life it is, what a life it is indeed:))

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LITTLE MOTORMOUSE INSISTED WE GET HER A BLANKET THAT MATCHED HER EYES

GROANER'S CORNER:))  Fred got home from his Sunday round of golf later than normal and very tired. "Bad day at the course?" his wife asked. "Everything was going fine," he said. "Then Harry had a heart attack and died on the 10th tee."
"Oh, that's awful!"
"You're not kidding. For the whole back nine it was hit the ball, drag Harry, hit the ball, drag Harry."

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The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.

8 comments:

Gypsy said...

What a beautiful life you have with two extremes of temperatures, water, terrain, and so on. You might just barely start to get bored with one when it's time to head for the other!

Rod and Loyce Ivers said...

Al, I just swiped your first picture and set it as my desktop background. You should enter that one in a contest somewhere, because it will take something awfully good to beat it.

Rod

Margie M. said...

Al, that was a wonderful post. I enjoyed the words you used to describe the colors of the water. Nice stuff! I remember the very first of the Great Lakes I saw. It was Lake Erie (the smallest) and it did look like an ocean. The 5 lakes are truly amazing and you have captured the wonder of them perfectly.

Dennis and Donna said...

We have been to the UP of Michigan and stood overlooking the crystal clear waters of Lake Superior and the many lighthouses...Loved the photos of Lake Huron...never been there...yet!

Jerry and Suzy said...

Al, we agree about your top picture, but then so many of your pictures should win an award. And your description of everything was colorful and vivid and interesting and compelling and ....

One question, though. Lake Huron has no salt water, so where does the salt mine get salt?

Rick and Paulette said...

Great post, Al. I was kind of thinking your canoe adventure was going to end in a blaze of glory at Niagara Falls. But then ytou chickened out and took the Welland Canal. Great pics!

Charlie and Peggy said...

Awsome Al!!! the pics are so great. I also swiped it for my desktop wallpaper!!!

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Beautiful shots there! Thanks for taking us around your home stomping grounds.

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