August 8th, 2008 - That's 080808 You Know


Wowser. Kind of fell off the edge of the round Earth there for a spell, so much for the regular postings. It all started around the middle of July when I went up to Ely and the Boundary Waters for a weeklong workshop, then came back to sub for some folks at Springbrook, shoot the Friends of the Mississippi River Canoe & Bike Event, act as interpretive canoe naturalist on Hamline College's teacher's workshop back on the Mississippi at the beginning of the week, then road trip with Sharon up to the hinterlands of Ashland, WI. to celebrate my Mom's birthday last weekend. In all, I've popped off several thousand frames on the Nikon and spent most of this week getting things cropped, edited and posted to SmugMug.
Ashland has always got such nice sunsets, that's one thing I miss about living on the "Big Lake". Our horizon here in Minneapolis is usually cluttered or reduced by something.
Of course Lake Superior isn't always warm cookies and milk, (annual storms on Lake Superior regularly record wave heights of over 20 feet and waves well over 30 feet have been recorded) but when it's good, it's good. Superior you might say. Or, you might not. Actually "le lac supérieur" means "The Upper Lake", as it lies north of Lake Huron, so no pun for you.
Ashland only views a bay of the "Gichigami" (meaning Big Water in Ojibwe) or "Gitchee Gummi", as Longfellow hacked it over in print. Wad. You're such a tool. Anyway, it's the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area and is the world's third-largest freshwater lake by volume altho it's pretty low right now. Ashland borders "Chequamegon Bay" (pronounced, "sha-wahma-gann", as the chief said when he dipped his toe into it in the summer) on its south side, the name comes from the Ojibwe name "Zhaagawaamikong", "sand bar place".

The sand bars make for good swimming if you enjoy 40 degree water. At least there are very few rocks, leeches and no salt. Actually, if the winds and current are in your favor the shallows over the sand bars can heat up to bathwater warm. More the exception than the rule tho. When your lips are purple, it's time to go to Dairy Queen.