Where Do You Fetch Your Water From?

     The old story goes, "Jack and Jill went up a hill to fetch a pail of water."  I hadn’t ever wondered why they were going up the hill for water when water normally flows down a hillside until today.  Could it be Jack and Jill lived on the Gunflint Trail near the Laurentian Divide?

     The Gunflint Trail is lucky to have the Laurentian Divide run right through it.  Just what is the Laurentian Divide?  That’s a good question and you can learn more about the scientific explanation for divides at this website I found.  In Simple Sue Speak I will tell you this, water to the south of the divide flows south and water to the north of the divide runs North.  This tends to confuse people who are paddling the Granite River in the BWCA or Falls Chain of the Quetico Park because they think the water should be flowing south and not north to Hudson Bay.  It could even be dangerous since folks may be expecting to paddle up to the bottom of a waterfall when in fact they would be paddling right to the top of the falls.

     There is much to learn about the flow of water and the role divides play in watersheds.  We hear the question, "Where do you get your water from"? from our guests.  I usually just answer them by saying, "The River." since we draw our water from the Seagull River and then it passes through our filtration and chlorination system.   I doubt they are looking for the full answer to the question but thanks to my friend Upton Rehnberg we could tell them this.

Drainage paths are often long and circuitous.  Should you ever bushwhack your way in to the BWCAW and find yourself camping on the shore of Sora Lake (N: 48/01/20, W: 90/50/50 – 9 miles “as the crow flies” from the outlet of Sea Gull Lake into Sea Gull River) (no access portage marked on current maps), you should know that should you dump something into the lake it might someday pass through Sea Gull Lake on its way to Hudson’s Bay.  Path: Sora Lake=> Din Lake=> Mars Lake=> Frost Lake=> Frost River-Upper=> Octopus Lake=> Frost River-Middle=> Chase Lake=> Pencil Lake=> Frost River-Lower=> Afton Lake=> Fente Lake=> Whipped Lake=> Mora Lake=> Little Saganaga Lake=> Rattle Lake=> Gabimichigami Lake=> Agamok Lake=> Mueller Lake=> (no name lake)=> Ogishkemuncie Lake=> Kingfisher Lake=> Jasper Lake=> Alpine Lake=> SEA GULL LAKE=> Sea Gull River.

Upton has the time and brain power required to research just where our water comes from and I’m so happy he is in my watershed so what he finds out pertains to me too.  You can read more fascinating information about our water source and path at his Reindeer Mountain Blog Site.   If you do read it then you may even find the answer to the question, "Why did Jack and Jill go up the hill to fetch a pail of water?"