America and Canada Share a Natural Wonder

Crossing the Mackinac Bridge to the Upper Peninsula

I’m a nature nut, a freaking tree hugger, an off-the-grid fantasizer. This morning, I got lost while reading about the marvels of a natural wonder that I believe most Americans completely take for granted — Lake Superior.

By a sheer fluke, a random luck of the draw, I was born in one of two countries that can lay claims to this fucking magnificent natural resource where 10% of the ENTIRE world’s fresh water resides.

I own land within easy driving distance of all of this water. In a world where water is a commodity on the stock exchange and is quickly becoming the NEW gold, I’m amazed at my accidental proximity.

This year I plan to get to know Lake Superior, even if it’s just a little bit.

Here’s a list of facts about this amazing body of water … Read it with wonder!

  • Lake Superior, by surface area, is the largest lake in the world.
  • Lake Superior contains 10% of the ENTIRE world’s freshwater. (I repeated this one in an effort to make this fact stick in my reader’s brains. The Great Lakes combined contain 20% of the ENTIRE world’s fresh water.)
  • Over 300 streams and rivers empty into Lake Superior and it boasts over 400 islands.
  • The trip by car around Lake Superior is 1300 miles.
  • The average underwater visibility is 27 feet, making Lake Superior the cleanest and clearest lake in the Great Lakes system.

This is just a tiny list of amazing facts about Lake Superior. What blows my mind is how little I knew about Lake Superior. I’m assuming that most people have little to no knowledge about this lake as well.

I do know that it’s been a constant battle to keep humans from polluting the Great Lakes.

The depth and cold temperatures of Lake Superior have helped to maintain its purity, but unfortunately, in its deep, cold waters algae is starting to make an appearance. Ugh!

Begging the question, once again …

Why must we lose something before we appreciate it. Why? Why? Why?

A couple of years before the COVID pandemic, I began to research the new prime properties of the future. I was looking for the best places to live as climate change continues to ravage one region after another. That’s when I stumbled across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as a possible future haven on a relative scale.

When COVID broke out on a worldwide level, I recognized it as not only a pandemic but a precursor for what’s to come.

In other words, it seemed like a segue into the next phase of climate change effects, redefining what’s normal. Catastrophic and unprecedented have become two words that describe one event after another these days. I can barely keep up with the tragedies that occur on a regular basis.

So, I traveled to a region that kept coming up in my research over and over again, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

This is a region surrounded by fresh water, Lake Superior being the largest lake, but Lakes Huron and Michigan also snugly border the area. That’s right! The Upper Peninsula is surrounded by three of the five Great Lakes including Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Lake Superior is located to the north of the Upper Peninsula while Lakes Michigan and Huron are to the south with the Mackinac Bridge separating the two.

I ended up buying property, largely for my granddaughter. It’s my way of giving her a little extra protection in the future.

I’m old. I’ll be gone most likely before things get too grim, but by the time she’s my age, a piece of raw land covered with trees and surrounded by priceless fresh water in a region above the 45th parallel could be the best gift she’ll ever receive in her entire life.

Lake Superior is a national treasure shared with Canada.

We should be in awe of its bounty. Fresh water is the obvious, but fish, plant and bird life thrive there as well. If you don’t think that the world has its eye on this amazing resource, you’re asleep. We may live with it in our backyards and take it for granted on a regular basis, but those who lack such a resource would love to dip their fingers in its waters.

Trust me, water really is the new gold.

I’m pretty tired of people. The past two years of living in forced isolation because of COVID has reinforced my natural tendencies as an introvert. So, I think I’ll get lost this year in the unpopulated areas of the Upper Peninsula and explore Lake Superior. Nothing fancy. No booze needed. No people close at hand. Just me and water against the shoreline, the sounds of birds, sunsets and cool breezes. Hey, I was lucky. I didn’t get to choose where I’d be born.

And, although I don’t hold with the greatest country in the world propaganda, I have no problem whatsoever claiming that I live near the greatest lake in the world, so great, in fact, that it’s called Lake Superior and rightfully so.

Teresa Roberts is a retired educator, author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. You can find her books on Amazon.

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