I live near a great lake, and it doesn't do much for me. As far as I'm concerned, it's just a lot of cold, placid water, sitting in one place. I don't find it particularly dramatic or calming to watch; it doesn't soothe or inspire me to be near it. I mean, I don't pitch a fit if someone wants to go stroll along the beach; it's a perfectly nice way to pass the time. But I like strolling in other locations, too. Flat, calm water doesn't speak to my soul like a view of the Catalinas, the craggy, ragged mountains sheltering Tucson to the north, on a crystalline blue day as the shadows shift over the peaks and rocks.
But there's one part of the great lakes system I totally dig, and that's the part where Lake Erie drains into Lake Ontario, or in other words, Niagara Falls.