The Great Lake

Beltane                                                  Waxing Last Frost Moon

Have you ever had a love affair that ebbed and flowed like embers in a fire wavering between bursting into flame and dying out?  I have.  Today I visited that other lover in my life, Lake Superior.  A bookshelf full of books rest in a room not ten feet from here, each one of them related to Lake Superior in some way.  An entire file drawer of a vertical file drawer contains carefully organized files, each an eco-region in the area around Lake Superior and its watershed.  In another spot sit the maps, some USGS, some others representing the land around the Lake.  There are, too, files of notes from two circle route trips I took, each time stopping in various county historical societies:  Ontanogon, Marquette, Thunder Bay to pursue research about this phenomenon less than 2 and half  hours from my front door.

My brother Mark and I drove up there.  He wandered Park Point and hiked all the way up Lake Street to the top, turning then for a magnificent view of the lake.  While he discovered Duluth, I attended a conference on Sulfide Mining on the Mesabi Range.  This was a large group, 70 plus folks, gathered to hear experts discuss various aspects of sulfide mining’s impact on the waters of three watersheds and the communities of people, trees and wildlife that would share the land with this toxic producing form of mining.

It was one of those clear northern spring days.  The sun flashed off the lake, bouncing off the crests of waves made by lakers going in and out of the Duluth Harbor.  The temperature was cool by the lake, warmer up the slope of the hillside where St. Scholastica sits; it’s fortress like main building dominating the surrounding the area.

The drive was long and the stay short, a combination I try to avoid, though this is my second time recently.  The drive out to Lincoln, Nebraska to get the dogs was also a long drive, short stay, quick turn around.

Not sure where Lake Superior and I stand.  The old spark was there as we crested the hill and looked out over the St. Louis River toward Superior, Wisconsin and the lake spread out below us.  My research, though, sits unused, as it has for several years.  What’s the status of this relationship?  Not sure.

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