Who's Farthest from "big water"?

Among the trivia about where people choose to live, I have heard that a large majority (in the 80-90% range) of Canadians live within 100 miles from the USA border. Also that a large majority of USA people live near one of the coasts (Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf).

So this poll is to try to locate the SDMB person who lives farthest from a “big body of water.” I’ll leave it up to each of you to decide what qualifies as “a big body of water” if you’ll accept that a river counts as such a thing. If you can estimate how far your living quarters are from such a body of water, please respond.

My guess is that we live roughly 6 miles from the manmade Percy Priest Lake, which is the reservoir formed from the damming of the Stones River. Other water near us would include the Cumberland River, with its own “lakes” of Old Hickory and Cheatham. Since Tennessee is “landlocked” with reference to ocean-sized bodies of water, we have to make do with rivers and lakes. But the state has a large number of such things.

How about you?

About five miles from the Atlantic Ocean. I’m not gonna win this one.

20 miles from Lake Michigan (and I am probably overestimating).

No winner here…

( would think that “big water” would at least have to be a river of some magnitude, no?)

The only big body of water I live near is the Pacific Ocean.

I’m right out. I can hit big water with a golf ball, no problem.


Count me out, too…thirty yards from a small river, two hundred from a large one, and 8 miles from the North Sea

I’d say 20 miles is in the running for being farthest. It has been a prejudice of mine that the places in the US most likely to have that distinction would be in the desert regions of the Southwest or maybe places like the Dakotas. I would expect 50 mile or better separations from things wide and deep enough to float a boat or not be able to throw a rock across.

Any chance your distance from other “big water” could be closer? You pretty sure of the 20 miles from Lake Michigan?

(I used the Yahoo! Maps software to gauge my distance from the lake near here.)

I’m about 0.5 miles from Lake Erie, so I’m out of the running.

I’m further than that in kilometers though: :smiley:

Being in Southern Germany, I’m a few hundred kilometres away from the next sea (which, a question I’ve been pondering for a while without ever getting the courage to consult a map to dertemine it, might be either the North Sea, the Baltic Sea or the Mediterranean). At home, I’m only something like four kilometres from the river Danube, and in the city where I’m studying, there’s just a ridiculously small rivulet eleven months a year (which, however, increases its size every year several times over when the snowmelt in the mountains comes). So I would describe myself as rather landlocked.

I’d go with the Danube as being your closest “big water,” wouldn’t you? So the 4 K would lose to the 20 we have going for eleanorigby.

elanorigby’s closer to the Chicago River than to Lake Michigan. Although, while the Chicago River is “big,” it may not qualify as “water”. :smiley: But there’s also the Des Plaines River and the Cal-Sag, which I think are closer yet, but I’m really bad at geography.

I know it’s not me. I’m about three blocks west of Lake Michigan.

Good clarification. Thanks. I’m sure the Chicago River is not alone in its questionable status vis-a-vis “water.” Maybe there’s some cutoff as to how much of a body of liquid may be deemed “water” (in terms of H2O content) by some standards. As I recall, having heard it recently on A Prairie Home Companion there is/was a “river” near Cleveland or Akron that caught fire. Probably been cleaned up since then, but the point is: was that mostly “water”?

About 3 miles from the Chesapeake Bay proper, and 1 mile from a ‘river’ that is really an inlet from the bay.

To the west is the James River, at roughly 10 miles, and the Atlantic is across the bay and and the VA Eastern Shore, 10 miles to the east.

I am so out of the running.

When I lived in Indianapolis, I was equidistant from the Ohio River and Lake Michigan, both being about 100 miles away. The White River and the little lakes in the area don’t count as big water.

I’m only half a block from the Pacific now, but when I was living in Western PA, I was at least 30 miles from Lake Erie, which was the only significant body of water around. There were various lakes and streams closer, but they were small.

I can stand on my front porch and toss a stone into the Arkansas River, so I lose.

I’d suggest that a river is too small - most people are close to a source of water. Are there any Dopers in central Asia? Or the the central US? They’re probably the furthest from a sea.

Being about 25 miles north of Little Rock, Ar, I am more than 350 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico. I am more than 500 miles south of Lake Michigan
I am only counting seas, oceans, and the great lakes as “Big Water”…the lakes around here really aren’t that big.

I tend to agree that rivers may be borderline “big water” with those the size of the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Ohio, the Tennessee and such being definitely “big” but others that can easily be waded or that are narrow enough that one could toss a stone across them being “not so big.” But lakes, whether natural or manmade, would have the “big water” characteristic if they cover more than a few acres. As I said in the OP I would defer to an individual’s own definition of “big water” if such were a reasonable estimate.

I contend that there are certainly towns and small cities that may not have a large water supply source, with aquifers, reservoirs and similar sources being all they have to consider. Some of those would not support “water sports” such as boating or water skiing, and would thus not qualify as “big water.”

My main issue in the OP is to try to locate those Dopers whose nearness to “big water” requires them to make significant travel to get to such a place.

Is that any clearer?

I live 218 miles from both Elephant Butte Lake and the Rio Grande, 675 miles from both the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Havasu, and about 850 miles from both the Pacific Ocean and Lake Mead.

Does Lake Maumelle support “water sports” beyond fishing? It looks like a good sized lake on the map.