Posted July 12, 2017
Beaches seem to get all the glory during the summer. Consider how often you see depictions of a sunbaked shoreline, a crowded beach, people in sunglasses and bathing suits swatting volleyballs, tossing Frisbees and otherwise frolicking in or near water. Sounds great, yet the 61 percent of Americans who don’t live in counties directly on the shoreline are more likely to enjoy summertime sun, sand and water at a lake.
Nobody does lakes quite like Minnesota – you know, the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” (actually 11,842, but that’s not as snappy on a license plate). While Alaska has more lakes, Minnesota really is synonymous with the summer lake life: relaxing weekends, hopping on a jet ski and zooming off with friends or pulling out the kayaks and navigating the back channels. Energy makes these happen and makes them more enjoyable – as it does so many of the hobbies, activities and travels of summer.
Manufacturers like Polaris and Arctic Cat, both headquartered in Minnesota, juice up their jet skis with impressive engines and sleek bodies that cut through the water while the needle climbs on the speedometer. These high-end personal water craft are a complete-package energy product. Their bodies typically are shaped from fiberglass, an amalgamation of glass fibers that usually is formed using natural gas. And don’t forget to fill up that gas tank and check your engine’s oil before you head out for a long day on the water!
So Much Room for (Water) Activities
With all those beautiful lakes, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more popular slate of summertime activities in this Midwestern state than water-driven ones. There are many ways to enjoy Minnesota’s abundance of lake fronts. Resorts, houseboat rentals and B&Bs line the coasts, offering a plethora of summertime recreation and amusement. Towns like Duluth on Lake Superior and Warroad on Lake of the Woods offer hundreds of thousands of acres of waters to explore.
Interested in taking in the nature around you? Slide into that kayak and paddle around the lagoons. The ecosystem all around is a fascinating separation from the busy world back home. Petroleum and natural gas-based plastic provides you with this simple, yet effective, form of transportation to meander from place to place.
Maybe you want to double-down on your outdoorsy side. Throw in a fishing rod as you head out and get ready to take a shot at reeling in a Minnesota Walleye. Molecules separated from natural gas and petroleum are bonded together to produce a strong line, helping you bring that catch up and onto your kayak.
And one crucial thing to remember before pushing off the dock is a lifejacket. Struggling to get back into your kayak can be difficult when you’re in the middle of a lake. Lifejackets produced with nylon, a petroleum based polymer, give you the buoyancy to stay afloat in case you find yourself unexpectedly transformed from paddler into swimmer.
Wind Down on the Water
After a long day on the water, it’s time to grab a drink and slow down, maybe lounging in the shallows in an inflatable tube. Polyvinyl Chloride, a petroleum infused thermoplastic, provides the buoyant and durable material to give you some R&R with minimal effort on your end.
When night arrives, gather the crew for a water-front bonfire. A lighter and lighter fluid based from butane, a petrochemical feedstock, can get those logs crackling, and the dancing flames set against the night sky provide a soothing backdrop to end the day.
Lake living is grand. It’s a trip where you can reconnect with family and friends to enjoy quality summer fun, making memories along the way. Oh, yes, it is a perfect getaway from the hectic city, a getaway made possible by natural gas and petroleum.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.