The North Coast

Last week one of the administrators of the school where I’m working made me laugh by referring to this part of the country as the North Coast. “If there’s the East Coast, and the West Coast, then the Great Lakes are the North Coast!” It reminded me of an argument I got into in Georgia when someone referred to Ohio, my home state, as being land-locked. Land-locked? Land-locked?! Have you heard of something called Lake Erie? Try convincing anyone from a Great Lakes state that they’re land-locked.

One of my coworkers is from California and had never seen any of the Great Lakes prior to this past weekend. He confirmed my feelings by immediately declaring, “That’s not a lake, that’s an ocean. Whoever named it must not have realized how big it was.” Yes, any body of water big enough to have its own shipwrecks, its own lighthouses, its own history of naval battles (every Ohio schoolchild learns about Commodore Perry) is more than just an ordinary lake.

And Superior is, well, superior.

After nine months of the murky coastal marshes of Georgia, Lake Superior, cold and crystal clear and, on Friday, smooth as glass, was like something out of a dream.

I dabbled my feet in the water and watched my coworkers skip rocks halfway to Canada. What an incredible place.

7 replies on “The North Coast”

I love living by one of the Great Lakes, too. When I was a teenager, I took a friend who had moved here from England to see Sandbanks Provincial Park on Lake Ontario. I remember him being blown away at how it looked just like the ocean. I think that made me appreciate it more. But I have agree, Superior is superior!

I remember my NY / NJ cousins asking what we did all summer in (boring) Ohio. When I mentioned going to the beach (we were 20 minutes from the “North Coast”), one of them said, “Beach? What, are there oceans in Ohio?”

That’s when I realized big-city kids didn’t know it all.

(PS I had to giggle when I heard the Jacksonville-area tv stations refer to the area as “The First Coast.” Wouldn’t the Vikings be surprised…)

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