Blocks of ice for feet and my trunk shivering long since I'd left the polar and ice-locked blue horizon of Lake Michigan, I found it hard to believe that there are countless miles of lake shore further north. Yet they are there, stretching behind me in a great arc to Superior, the grandest in patchwork of puddles that fill the muddy dents left upon our continent by the last glacial maximum.
Long ago when the Pleistocene winter raged, these shores were ground and carved and crushed by the seething mountains of ice. Ice sheets to make Greenlands enormous, Earth-deforming bulk pale in comparison lay over these plains when the world was nearly a snowball.
It took me an age to warm up, and I think living for three years in California is to blame. Shivering in the Intelligentsia on Broadway afterward, waiting for a cup of my favorite brew, I wondered how damned cold the Pleistocene must have been. I'm weak.