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Diving in Minnesota Lakes--Gary Thompson

As told by Gary Thompson
Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

Story Narrative:

This story was collected as part of a collaborative effort to record the state of American lakes, rivers, and waterways as well an attempt to uncover what water means to Americans. Listen to other stories recorded for the Be Here: Main Street project, a collaboration with the MuseWeb Foundation to record stories from rural America. 

“Hello, my name is Gary Thompson, owner of Tri-State Diving in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. I have been diving since 1967, with over 4,000 career dives. I also tech scuba. We have, the dive shop here, does full service, which we do sales, service, rental. And we do charters, for people that wanna get out and enjoy our freshwater lakes in Minnesota.

Our Detroit Lakes area has some of the best freshwater diving in the world, with the amount of lakes, the clear lakes that we have. So, it makes it an enjoyable time for people to get out, and enjoy a lot of what we have. A lot of fish, different kind of varieties of fish, to look at in the lakes. We have a lot of artifacts that we find, over the years, everything from old motors, to tackle, to bones from animals, that are prehistoric even. So it's, we have very good diving for in this area of the United States, for people to see stuff under the water.

People find it weird, as I look out and see the wind blowing 30 miles an hour, and it's, temperatures are 30 below, that we would partake in ice diving in the winter time. But our hard water diving, as we call it, diving under the ice, is actually better than the summertime in some ways. We don't have to worry about boat traffic. We don't have to worry about some other things in the summertime. And, visibility, in the summertime, at a given lake, might be 30 feet, or 20 feet. And in the winter time, with the algae died off, and no wave action, we can have visibility up to a hundred or 200 feet.

So, it's kinda like diving on the Caribbean, at that point, other than that you have to have a lot more equipment, and tents, in order to be able to enjoy winter diving.”

Asset ID #3896

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