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Lake Superior Posts

Lake Superior Wants to Kill You

Pardon the alarmist headline. Lake Superior doesn’t really want to kill you, but you should know all bodies of water are oblivious to your tiny existence and will absolutely steal you away any time you make the slightest error in judgement. So I’m not apprehensive about issuing stern warnings as if I’m your mom.

I know how seductive that big lake can be. And I know how much fun it is to dive off various bridges, rocks, swinging ropes or whatever it is you can propel yourself from into whichever refreshing river or stream awaits. I’ve done it, and I’ve lived through it. I’ve also seen it go wrong over and over and over again.

I’ll be the first to say when it goes right it’s a thing of beauty. You can’t let danger keep you off the water; we all know water absolutely gives so much more life than it takes. Just sitting on the shore looking at it, whether it’s perfectly calm or violently raging, is the easiest way to put yourself into your place on this planet. But it’s natural to want more than that. You have to at least put your toes in. And that puts you on the path to all manner of thrill seeking. Your ability to pick which point along the way to show some self control will determine whether you have the maximum good time or utterly wreck yourself.

Three Videos: Raging Spring, Exploding Waves, Oscillating Ice

Video #1: “A Raging Spring in Duluth, MN” by Abby Smith

Instagrammed: Gales of April 2018

A post shared by Tyler Godes (@godes_tyler) on

Video Archive: Surfers Before the Blizzard, 2008

High-definition videos of people surfing Lake Superior have become a fairly regular thing on Perfect Duluth Day in recent years. The short and fuzzy one above lacks the quality we’re used to these days, but is featured today because it’s ten years old and might be the first Lake Superior surf video published on PDD — or maybe anywhere else. (Prove that assertion wrong and find an older one.)

Barrett Chase posted this clip on April 10, 2008. He noted winds were at 40 m.p.h.

“Check out this short video snippet of some crazies surfing on Lake Insanity near Lester River today just before the onset of the blizzard,” he wrote.

An Icy Sunset on Lake Superior

Video by Boston-based marketing firm Swiftkurrent.

Fat-tire Bike Iceberg Jumping

Video by Richard Hoeg of 365 Days of Birds.

Lake Superior Sea Smoke Ice Fishing

Video by Tim Mlodozyniec.

Lake Superior Ice Stacking 2018

It’s almost an annual tradition. When the conditions are just right, small waves push sheets of Lake Superior surface ice to the shore, causing them to break into plates that stack and crackle in a way that’s both visually and aurally fascinating. Dawn LaPointe and Gary Fiedler of Radiant Spirit Gallery recently captured the phenomena in this video.

Isle Royale Shipwreck Dive

In June 2017 Duluthian Edward Simon dove to explore shipwrecks off of Isle Royale, and he recently posted his edited adventures. Shot by Michael Granke, edited by Edward Simon.

You may know Edward from such films as “Feeding the fish with Santa.”

Lake Superior Aquaman’s Duluth

Explore this interactive map for the bounty of our Northlandic Atlantis. Containing hundreds of photos, video and links, this is a virtual tour of the area with a focus on water, wildlife, history, and recreation.

Low Verses the Volcano

It started as a Twitter feud between Mt. St. Helens and Lake Superior, then Duluth band Low got involved. Soon Glacier Peak, Mt. Baker, Cahaba River and the Grand Canyon were in on the action.

PDD Video Lab: Ghost Ship Emerges

Dawn LaPointe and Gary Fiedler of Radiant Spirit Gallery captured the Joseph L. Block emerging through the sea smoke like a ghost. The morning temperature was -20°F with a -40°F windchill. The video was processed at an 8x speed.

As is usually the case with the PDD Video Lab, we’ve supplied a soundtrack to the silent video. Press play on the audio file below, then press play on the video file and enjoy the marriage. The track is “Cold” by Duluth band Woodblind.

Sea Smoke Sunrise over Lake Superior

Dawn LaPointe and Gary Fiedler of Radiant Spirit Gallery captured the Dec. 26 Duluth “sea smoke” sunrise in this video.

Mystery Photo #58: Steamer Perry G. Walker

Although the date Dec. 11 is recorded on this image, it’s not clear what year it was when the steamer Perry G. Walker arrived in Duluth covered in ice. It’s also not clear if this is a photo or an illustration … or an illustrated photo.

A Walk to Lake Superior

Had a Perfect Duluth Day walking down to Lake Superior a few days ago. Here’s a video of the trip … algorithm used for filming and editing explained in the end credits. Love the fall light!