Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Monday, 23 June 2008

On the Shore of Gitche Gumee

The Apostle Islands National Seashore
Ashland, Wisconsin

By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
-Wordsworth

They used to make you memorize the poem about the noble Hiawatha and Nokomis back in the 4th grade. I wonder if they still do that? We’re camped in our metal wigwam on the shore of Lake Superior. By surface area, it is the largest lake in the world, although two Russian lakes are deeper and contain more water.

The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.
- Gordon Lightfoot

The SS Edmund Fitzgerald went down in 1975. The notion that the lake never gives up it’s dead probably derives from the fact that the average water temperature is 36 defrees F., cold enough to inhibit the bacterial growth that makes bodies float..

We drove up to the Lake of the Woods area in Ontario yesterday. We saw a number of beaver lodges on the drive. I had to lock up the brakes on the Toyota to avoid a doe and her fawn.


We ate lunch in Green’s Roadhouse near Nestor Falls. We had pickerel for an appetizer. Pickerel are a little (3-5 pound) pike. They are hard to clean. You have to cut them into small strips to avoid the bones. They are not considered very good to eat, but these chunks were breaded, fried and not bad.


The roadhouse was constructed of logs. The door jams were about 5 feet, 6 inches so we think it’s been around awhile. We had pierogi for a main course. These were pastries stuffed with cheese and potatoes and covered with bacon and sautéed onions.

Pierogi (also perogi, perogy, pirohi, piroghi, pirogi, pirogen, piroshke or pyrohy), is the name most commonly used in English speaking areas to refer to a variety of Slavic semicircular stuffed dumplings of unleavened dough and varying ingredients.


I bought an Ontario fishing license that’s good for a year. Going though immigration and customs is always a hoot these days. We'll make our way along the south shore of Superior and across Ontario and Quebec from here.

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