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听美文故事记6级单词06-09

9.The Great Lakes

   The Great Lakes are the greatest wonder of America. It is the

  largest group of lakes in the world and the biggest body of fresh water.

  It is hard to grasp that a land should contain several freshwater seas

  so big that a ship can steam out of sight of the shore for a day or more

  or even founder in giant waves, as happens from time to time.

  

   Let us approach the lakes the best way: We should get on board a ship

  and start from the Lake Ontario. It is the smallest of the Great Lakes,

  but compared with the other lakes, Ontario is more illusive. This Niagara

  Falls with its sheer thunderous drop has been an illusive barrier between

  this and other lakes, and the St. Lawrence sluicing out its eastern end

  draws Ontario's attention seaward.

   The Welland Canal, 27 miles long, with eight locks to lift the ship over

  the Niagara Falls Escarpment to Lake Erie, has beautiful scenery on both

  sides. The ship drifts between backyards, orchards, and the back porch

  of a small farmhouse. Then, the ship breaks through the last lock and goes

  into Lake Erie.

   Erie has a reputation for treacherous flash storms. The shallowest of

  the lakes, it can be pale as glass, and as smooth. Then a few hours later

  it can be insensately churning under a fugitive sky. Its shores are low-lying,

  its beaches are narrow, but it is succulently pastoral.

   After a day's sailing, the ship passes the Detroit lighthouse at dusk.

  Detroit lies beside us now, an immense suffusion of light, sound of machine

  and people.

 The next day the ship enters Lake Huron, the second largest of the lakes. You can smell north here; the wind has the resinous taste of pine, and stings having blown a long way across cold water.

  The ship enters St Mary's River at the upper end of Huron at twilight. The river is wide and still. On either side of the river the forest comes down to the water. The country behind rises to low hunched mountains. The overwhelming impression is its absolute silence. Not even Huron itself seemed so wide, so empty, so soundless as these woods. In this silence, a gull rises beside the rail and then wheels and soars high, floats for a moment and then vanishes.

  Our destination now is Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world, also the deepest of the Lakes. There is a graceful stillness on Lake Superior. The rounded humped mountains along the shores look like burial mounds of the gods.

  The ship slowly steams up to Fort William. The town wears the look of

any city, but what strikes one most is the gleaming tracks and lines of cars. Forty-eight hours later we enter Lake Michigan. It is the only one of the lakes that built Chicago. It is the main route of the Oceangoing ships. Its shores are green and tangled in the north and white with dunes to the east.

  Now the whole lake is glassy, and the sky is black. There are distant rumbles, and suddenly the storm comes. In no time the ship begins to lift and roll. The curtains swing. Lightning illuminates the whole ship. From that windless dusk to this black age, tomorrow the ship is to reach Chicago. Chicago? Shouldn't it be a port it England or France? Well, it is better to lie and listen to the water.
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