The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Great Lakes Sand Pirate

I've met many fascinating people on my 
adventures exploring our Great Lakes: people living on the edge of these waters, fishermen working on the surface, scientists delving into the depths to learn about these vast inland seas, and many, many more.

Janet Moore Schrader and I bonded over our mutual connection to Lake Michigan. We both clam it as our "favorite place." 
I walked all the way around the lake in 2009, and Janet has been walking her portion of the shoreline in southwest Michigan virtually every day for over a decade. On those beach strolls, Janet has collected beach glass, crinoids (fossilized ancient sea creatures), Petoskey stones and chain corals (fossilized ancient corals), and other interesting beach finds.

Janet Moore Schrader with a string of crinoids she found in a single year

She also developed a love of sand sculpting and learned all she could about the art. And she began giving classes on sand sculpting as a 
self-proclaimed "Sand Pirate."


Janet has now opened a store to meet the growing demand for sand sculpting classes and beach-related crafts.


"Sand Pirate" store at 9792 Red Arrow Highway in Bridgman, Michigan

Janet is a master sand sculptor. She gives classes at her new store, or by appointment on the beach. She gave me a mini-class about sculpting sand:


video



The store's sandbox





Her sand creations on the beach go beyond the classic sand castles. She's sculpted dragons with smoking nostrils, mermaids, octopi, and other watery creatures. 

Her shop has room for large groups to do beach crafts under her direction


Sand and stone art projects

Sea glass art


Learn more about Janet and her new store HERE. 

Janet even coated her desk with SAND! 



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Tree's Life on Isle Royale

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and Great Lakes speaker. She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has written three books about the Great Lakes [A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach *a Heartland Indie Bestseller*A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk *winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award*, and A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure]. To learn more about her work, or to book her as a speaker, go to http://LakeTrek.com



Isle Royale is an island in wild Lake Superior. The terrain is rugged and rocky. 
The winters are brutal and snowy, icy and windy.

All of this makes for a harsh environment. There is evidence on the island of the struggle of trees.



Scrabble of roots inside a tree trunk


Me (left) and fellow Moosewatch hiker, Jenny (right) by fallen tree



Roots


And there are beavers to contend with...


Beavers decrease the tree population


And lightening takes a toll:



Tree struck by lightening


Close up of tree struck by lightening



Here are some other shots of trees on this wild island:














Sunday, July 2, 2017

North side of Superior

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and Great Lakes speaker. She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has written three books about the Great Lakes [A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach *a Heartland Indie Bestseller*A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk *winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award*, and A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure]. To learn more about her work, or to book her as a speaker, go to http://LakeTrek.com


This spring, I headed north to catch the ferry to Isle Royale out of Grand Portage, MN.
I headed over the Mighty Mackinac Bridge and into Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The Mighty Mac


Then, I headed over the St. Mary's River in Sault Saint Marie, MI...

The Sault Locks


...since I had decided to drive the route on the NORTH side of Lake Superior in Ontario.
I had not been on the north side of this largest Great Lake. The land was rugged and stony with wild rivers feeding into the vast lake.


The Pinguisibi River ("The River of Fine White Sand")

There were many places where the geology was exposed.

Sandstone layers near the NW side of Lake Superior


The views were often spectacular





Sunday, June 25, 2017

Icicles on Isle Royale

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and Great Lakes speaker. She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has written three books about the Great Lakes [A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach *a Heartland Indie Bestseller*A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk *winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award*, and A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure]. To learn more about her work, or to book her as a speaker, go to http://LakeTrek.com


This year I hiked my third Moosewatch Expedition on Isle Royale. 
All three took place in May. This year was early in the month and there was still snow and even icicles in secluded places on the island.

Here, a rock wall is decorated with delicate, melting icicles.







Thursday, June 22, 2017

Islands around an island

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and Great Lakes speaker. She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has written three books about the Great Lakes [A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach *a Heartland Indie Bestseller*A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk *winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award*, and A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure]. To learn more about her work, or to book her as a speaker, go to http://LakeTrek.com


This year I hiked my third Moosewatch Expedition on Isle Royale. This island is actually an island surrounded by hundreds of tiny islands.
The central island is about 45 miles long and 9 miles at the widest point.
Smaller islands hug the coast of Isle Royale or float a little ways offshore.
Here's a glimpse of a few of the islands in this archipelago:













Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pictographs from the Past

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and Great Lakes speaker. She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has written three books about the Great Lakes [A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach *a Heartland Indie Bestseller*A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk *winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award*, and A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure]. To learn more about her work, or to book her as a speaker, go to http://LakeTrek.com


I drove the northern edge of Lake Superior on my way to catch the ferry to Isle Royale this May. 
Ontario's side of Lake Superior is rocky and wild.
I took some short hikes to explore.

Lake Superior Provincial Park protects almost 600 square miles on the eastern edge of the lake.


Rock wall rises

This park has some art from the Ojibwe people on a rock wall [Agawa Rock] along the lake edge.

Pictographs from the past


Some faded pictographs

video

Some video from this site (above).

Interpretive sign showing all pictographs


Sunday, June 11, 2017

BIG Moose

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and Great Lakes speaker. She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has written three books about the Great Lakes [A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach *a Heartland Indie Bestseller*A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk *winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award*, and A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure]. To learn more about her work, or to book her as a speaker, go to http://LakeTrek.com


My Moosewatch Team found lots of moose bones this May. Our best find, though, was the submerged, antlered skull located by teammate Hal.


The skull is there...do you see it?



The liberated skull


Mark studies skull


Vertebrae from this bull moose


Hal holds the gorgeous antlered skull at Malone Bay


Our victorious team


Jenny gets cheeky with moose skull


All the bones from this find


video
Working to free the skull