I love lakes.

Torch LakeFrom the brilliant ribbon of blue than would slash through the pine trees when in childhood we drove to Lake Tahoe, I would have stirrings of anticipation. Later discovering the northern lakes of Michigan I remember, the transparent aqua blue green water of Torch Lake in Michigan, and my mouth unconsciously forms the word, “VACATION.”

Lakes for the most part are calm and let you ride in style as you scoop a bit of water with a paddle while kayaking, being careful to put it back. Or they thrill you with their amusement park ride as you cross against a wake with a high speed boat, and hold on so you won’t go flying. Lakes don’t care which ride you choose, they are there to serve their users.

But stay away when a lake becomes angry. Upsetting weather will make that placid swim you had in early morning a torturous and dangerous prospect when the late afternoon thunder and lightning decide to descend up on its surface. Hell hath no fury like boating Lake Michigan while in a small vessel.
The shallowness of some lakes makes it appear friendly, showing off the bottom as if to say, “it’s okay, I will only take you down so far. But watch out for the murky bottomed lakes that seem to have no end in sight. Who knows what leaky bottomed canoe lies at their depth or what treasure has fallen down to the ages.
Rivers are brisk and businesslike, taking their visitors from one place to another. But a lake…now that’s an invitation to stay and explore.

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