Kellie Poulin: October 2011 Writing Challenge Winner

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You know it is way past time to refresh … Let go and allow yourself to fall into the arms of nurture … the perfect place to set your watch on the shelf and disconnect for a few days awaits you…

Nestled at the juncture of three major Great Lakes lies Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada – a population of 70,000 friendly people. Rural feel with all the ‘big city’ amenities, you can shop, golf, walk, enjoy the authentic multicultural cuisine at excellent restaurants, and explore the gifts this remote town has to offer … but its greatest treasure lies in having gateway access to an unparalleled experience of peace and tranquility. Leave the demands of your everyday life behind and spend time replenishing your spirit as you travel to the surrounding lush forested land, myriad of sparkling inland lakes, and the crown jewel – Lake Superior.

Everyone who has lived in the shadow of Lake Superior knows and respects its power and majesty: the largest freshwater body in the world; 32,000 square miles of crystal­clear fresh water, its glacial beginnings, its ancient native spirituality – Gitchigumi … its power lies not in its fame but in its heart…

On the shores of Lake Superior, you can warm your toes in the white sand beaches, collect souvenirs of stones from its rocky outcroppings, kayak or canoe to explore the Native pictographs etched for history on its many shoreline stone canvases, and absorb the healing aura of its magnificent presence…

Let the gifts of this inland ocean waft over you – the hypnotic rhythm of the waves washing onto the rocky shore, the sound of the wind through the nearby pine trees, and the earthy scent of blueberries and wild vegetation warmed by the afternoon sun … breathe in the blessed, sacred stillness of its nature.

You might even choose to camp along the shore with family or friends at the Provincial Park. Spend the twilight hours lazily roasting marshmallows on an open fire and warming to the hushed conversation with fellow campers in the presence of the magic that is Gitchigumi’s spell.

In the early dawn, you can take a scenic drive along some of the most breathtaking views of Lake Superior’s rugged beauty, and in a short two hours, be in another remote northern town, Wawa. Here, you are offered a unique adventure – a fly‐in wilderness experience that transports you via floatplane to a remote inland lake where you can fully disconnect from the incessant noise of life. Plug into an intimate pipeline of deep peace and let your senses commune with trees and birds as you relax on the porch of a log cabin. Grab your fishing pole and hop in the boat for a little ‘grocery shopping’ on the lake, and then fry up your catch on the beach for supper … it just doesn’t get any better than this.

When it’s time to pick up your watch again, the presence of Lake Superior and its sister wilderness stays with you. It alters your perspective and gives you a little bit of the serenity to tuck into your soul … it is the gift that continues to deliver … all you need do is remember what you discovered on the shores of Lake Superior in the North.

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