I was born on the tip of Lake Superior, in a little town called…you guessed it, Superior in Wisconsin. While my family moved to Casper, Wyoming when I was three years old, we have been back to Superior many times, and I still consider Superior, Wisconsin my hometown. It’s like the lake and that whole area is a part of my DNA. I love our visits back there, and so many of my cousins still live there, so there will always be ties to the area. I’ve read books about the many ships that have been victim to the storms and the rocky shores in some areas, and I love to look at pictures that some awesome people post on Facebook. I know about the name that was given by the Native Americans…Gitche Gumee, which means “Big Sea” or “Huge Water” just about always refers to Lake Superior. I know about the November Gales that hit Lake Superior every November, that can easily take down an unsuspecting ship that ventured out too late in the year.
Some say Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes. Some say it is actually an inland sea. It is the world’s largest freshwater lake. In fact, Lake Superior is in a class by itself…and that makes it a national treasure. Its character is very unique. It looks and feels like an ocean. If you have ever seen it, your first thought is that you can’t see to the other side…like an ocean. The Lake accommodates the big ships…big ore ships, big grain haulers, the really huge ships. When you watch them come into the port, you find yourself amazed that you could be standing there beside them. Their very entrance into the port is a daily tourist attraction…and the locals love it too. Some people say that “A day on Lake Superior leaves you exhilarated, connected, restored. The Lake’s energy courses through your bones right to your soul. What a gift.” Yes, Lake Superior is most definitely a gift to be sure.
Some scientists say that Lake Superior is truly an inland sea…even if it is fresh water and not salt water. The maritime agencies take weather, navigation and buoyage very seriously, and they monitor them carefully. People are not encouraged to venture out on Lake Superior until they have met the bottom-line amount of knowledge necessary to initiate a healthy relationship with the lake. That bottom-line amount of knowledge includes paying attention to equipment, your level of training, and definitely the surrounding environment. These are all important things that are recommended before a person ventures out onto any ocean or sea, which sort of classifies Lake Superior as an inland sea too. I suppose each person will have their own opinion on this, but since I have spent some time there, I tend to think that while it will always be Lake Superior to me, it will also be what I must agree, an inland sea.