News and views, and history and humor, about the lake I love.

"I can hear my granddad's stories of the storms out on Lake Erie, where vessels and cargos and fortunes, and sailors' lives were lost." ~ James Taylor, Millworker

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I can see for miles...

Davis-Besse nuclear power plant from 10 miles away. (Rich Norgard photo)
I've written before on this site about the ever changing nature of Lake Erie. It's a fact that the lake never looks the same on any two given days -- each one has its own special beauty. Well this past Tuesday was truly one of a kind because the visibility out over the water was as remarkable as I can recall seeing. I don't know if it had anything to do with those several days of continuous wind and rain perhaps clearing the air, but it was truly a sight to behold.

The Davis-Besse nuclear power plant, roughly ten miles distant, looked much closer, as the photo I snapped above will attest. My first realization, though, that this was a special day was when I looked out over the lake and saw that West Sister Island was not only visible but was clear as bell. Now on most days you can't see the island at all. The island is about 18 miles as the crow flies across the water. Even on fairly clear days it's just not there. More astounding still, just to the left of West Sister I could see quite clearly the huge smoke stacks at Monroe, Michigan, and adjoining structures. (See photo below) Now often times you can see the tops of the stacks but almost never the buildings themselves. I'd always attributed the inability to see more as due to the curvature of the earth. But on Tuesday some phenomena was at work that flattened the earth, metaphorically, allowing objects normally over the horizon to be visible. If you are a tekkie and happen to know what this is, please let me know and I'll share it.

The smoke stacks on the left, located in Monroe, Michigan, visible to the naked eye from 36 miles away. West Sister Island, on the right, at a distance of 18 miles. (Rich Norgard photo) 
As sunset neared, the sun itself had a brilliance to it seldom seen. I was driving into Port Clinton with a friend along the Sand Road and we both remarked how bright and white the sun appeared to be.

Lake Erie reveals many wonders, but Tuesday was a very special day indeed.


  1. I've always loved places where you can see distant objects on the horizon. Don't know if anyone's still monitoring this blog, but this post made me feel awesome! Lake Erie rules.

  2. Thanks for the nice comment, Peter! Although I have not kept this blog active, I still monitor posts. Thanks for writing.