There is something mystical about this country. I looked for and found a copy of "The Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow" in a used books store in Thunder Bay. The book was a bit dog-eared and musty smelling but it felt perfect to read from it at the many stops along the way.
"The Song of Hiawatha"
"By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
"Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis,"
"Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine trees,"
"Rose the firs with cones upon them,
Bright before it beat the water,"
"Beat the clear and sunny water,
Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water."
I remembered the lyrical poem from high school and had even memorized some of the passages but it did not move me so much as when I read it on the shores of 'Gitche Gumee'.
The water is so clean and clear.
And it surprised me that it had a different taste and smell from the ocean.
"I believe in going back to the magic of the earth and the lake, the sky and the universe. That kind of magic. I believe in that kind of religion. A religion of the rocks, the lake, the water, the sky. Yes, that's what I believe in."
--George Morrison, Grand Portage Ojibwe