Whether you are a local or hope to visit the mid-western or north eastern parts of the United States, then you’ll definitely want to check out one if not all five of the Great Lakes. I wasn’t aware until some recent research but more than 20% of the world’s surface fresh water is located in these lakes and their interconnected basin (as I said that’s only the surface fresh water, I couldn’t even begin to imagine the math involved for the presumably brilliant scientists who try and calculate all of the fresh water located beneath the Earth’s surface!). I also wasn’t aware that the five lakes (Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario) reach out across the borders of as many states in the country as they do (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania), as well as sharing some space with the Canadian border (which is pretty easy to assume when you consider one of the lakes is named Lake Ontario!)
Here’s just one of the many fun activities I’m looking forward to trying out one day: kayaking! With the enormous bodies of water in the five great lakes, I can imagine people spending hours upon hours on the water in one of those bad boys. One unbreakable rule of thumb I picked up from an avid kayaker friend of mine is to never kayak alone! © Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
I’ve tried scuba diving in a few oceans before but I’ve never tried it in fresh water (I’d have to check with my more knowledgeable scuba fanatic friends to see if that’s even a worthy prospect), but I’d definitely like to try it out in one of these lakes. The best part about that for a scaredy-cat like me who’s seen some scary sea monster movies too many times is that there aren’t any sharks in these landlocked lakes! I don’t think there’s too much of an annoying crowd of expensive tourist trap hotels and the like, so that’s another big place. I can assume the fishing industry in the buffer towns and cities around the lakes are pretty good, though admittedly I’m much better at writing than fishing (my fishing experience doesn’t extend beyond a few catch-and-release fishing trips when I was a kid!)
As you can imagine, the winters in these far northern lakes can get pretty chilly! I’m impressed though with modern naval engineering as you can see the reinforced hulls of some of the modern freighters on the water can cruise through an icy lake completely unhindered. © Anne Beaumont.
I’m not much more than an amateur photographer (I’ve never been paid for any of my photography, it’s just an occasional hobby) but the great lakes have a very apparent natural beauty to them that is undeniable. I can imagine even a professional could take months if not years circling each of the lakes during different times of the year trying to see some of the natural beauty during just the right weather and time of day, at just the right angle. That kind of idea is probably attractive to many tourists, myself included, at least when I’m not enjoying a nice refreshing swim (cameras don’t swim well!)
I think a picture like this makes the inner shutterbug in all of us want to see what they can catch in their viewfinder! © U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters.