Friday, October 23, 2009

Thoreau, Walden Pond, Lake Minnetonka and things I learned by accident

Kettle Lake - kettles are depressions created by partially-buried glacial ice blocks as they melted. The depressions that filled with water became kettle lakes.

summer evening
A summer sunset on Lake Minnetonka; a "Kettle Lake" Depth 135 ft.

Walden Pond - A Kettle Lake - depth of 102 ft. In Thoreau's time many thought it was bottomless. HDT plumbed the waters and established the depth of Walden Pond.

Henry David Thoreau, naturalist, philosopher and abolitinist, made one excursion from Concord MA in his lifetime. In1861 he traveled with a friend to Minnesota on the advice of his doctor. At that time many thought the waters here held healing qualities. The country was in the grips of civil war, Minnesota was a fledgeling state, and Thoreau (1817 - 1862) was in poor health. The trip took its toll on Thoreau.
Thoreau was drawn, as a naturalist, to see the western frontier, prairie wildlife and Minnesota lakes. He is timelessly linked to Walden Pond, a lake formed by the same geological events that created most Minnesota lakes. While in Minnesota he explored as best he could, Lake Calhoun, MInnehaha Creek, and even ventured down the Minnesota River. I do not know if he visited Lake Minnetonka, I like to think he did.


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