The Sixth?

The Upper Midwest. The Great Lakes Region.

The area of the United States where I grew up goes by more than one name. And yes, the regional geography is dominated by five, large, freshwater lakes.

Burlington – Lake Champlain from shore

This is not a photo of any of the five Great Lakes. Rather it is Lake Champlain, sometimes referred to as the Sixth Great Lake.

Large enough to form a good share of the border between New York and Vermont, this is a contender. Actually, I prefer to think of it as separate and standing on its own for beauty and history. Besides, it’s rumored to have a monster — none of the five make the claim.

No sea monsters on the immigrant’s voyage. But they certainly saw their share of both salt and fresh water before they reached the interior of the United States. For a sweet romance featuring this journey, check out New Dreams.

Sailing ship. Riverboat. Smaller riverboat. The journey from the German States to fictional Elm Ridge, Illinois, demanded courage — and time.

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