Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Here In Michigan

When I was younger there was a spring just down the road from us. It was in a farmer's field and was clearly visible from the road. When the ground was soaked the water almost shot out looking like the "bubblin' crude" that Jed Clampett had coming out of the ground in the old Beverly Hillbillies TV show. Other times it was just a slow seep. A few times I stopped my bike and just watched it for a few minutes.

There were a few other springs nearby, including a beauty of a spring that was on the property my parents originally bought with their house when I was 10 but later sold to a neighbor.

Then when I was about 14 I saw a REAL BIG spring.

Kitch Iti Kipi (all i's are short) in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I was originally under the impression that it was the world's largest freshwater spring, though that turned out to be either an outright mistake or a misunderstanding of something that was said while I was there. It's not even the biggest in America as there are a couple of larger ones.

However, it is the largest spring in the Great Lakes Basin and a spring pours out 10,000 gallons of water every minute is not a small spring by any measure. It's water basin is over 200 feet across and over 40 feet deep and when I was there, the water was so crystal clear that you could see clear to the bottom all the way across the spring. The water was full of good sized fish but the park rangers/tour guides said you couldn't eat them because the water was so rich in minerals that it would make them unpalatable. (As a matter of fact there was something of an "aroma" coming the water, but it was a natural smell and not overwhelming.)

What gives you a real indication of how much water is coming out of that thing is when you see the size of the river, not creek or brook, but a full river, that flows from it.

It's also astonishing to realize, that in spite of the scope and magnitude of Kitch Iti Kipi, that there are even larger springs in this country.

Here are some links describing it. I tried to find a good picture of it, but while there plenty of boats and picnic areas, there were none that gave any clue to the size and beauty of the giant spring.

Link 1

Link 2



Blogger benning said...

I googled Kitch Iti Kipi and found some very nice images, ES. Pretty pond, spring. Crystal clear.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Looks like a very nice place!


6:05 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Great minds think alike! I googled it too. Beautiful clear water. I didn't know springs could get that large!

6:51 PM  

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