The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Epic Road Trip!

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 month I will hike Isle Royale once again as part of a Moosewatch Expedition. And I was able to book speaking engagements before and after my time on Isle Royale.

The first leg of my tour took me to three states in four days:



Sun Ray Library in 
St. Paul, MN



L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
Eau Claire, WI

And 
Dickinson County Library
Iron Mountain, MI

Thanks to everyone who came out to hear my presentation about the wonderful and diverse islands of our Great Lakes.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Post Viewed Most in 2009

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


Thank you all for reading my blog! It has now surpassed 158,000 page views.

Our fascination with the black sand found along the shores of our Great Lakes made this the 
post with the most views in 2009:



Black Sand


The wide stretches of beach on Lake Michigan usually appear tan or even whitish in color, but if you pick up a handful of sand and look closely, there is a mixture of colors. Silica and quartz give the sand its light color, but there are specks of black from the mineral magnetite. This mineral is heavier than the other grains, so it often gathers in bands or patches on the shoreline, sorted by wind and waves.








































Right at the waterline, magnetite often looks like a smeary, oily stain. On the face of dunes the patterns can approach art. And when blown around an obstruction, the black lines lend definition and depth to the shore.

The glaciers ground rock to these tiny grains. The wind has lifted these grains into lofting dunes. And the water continues to sort and smooth the shoreline.

The next segment of the journey will be some of the rockiest I will encounter in my adventure. The geology of the lake is interesting to study, but even more fascinating to walk step-by-step.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

National Indie Bookstore Day

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




Show your support for your local indie bookstore this Saturday (and throughout the year)!

Indie bookstores are vital to our communities and to keeping literature alive. 
 An essay I wrote on this topic can be found HERE.

This Saturday I will be at Brilliant Books to my sign books for you -- or recommend another great read -- to show my support for the great indie bookstores that have shown such great support for my Great Lakes Adventure Trilogy.

#indiebound

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Speaking Tour 2016 Begins


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 month I headed out on my speaking tour once again. My first engagements were in SE Michigan.

Fraser Public Library












Librarian Lawrence Marble introduces me to the audience at Clarkston Public Library


I also spoke to a nice group at the Woods Branch of Grosse Pointe's Library system.

I now have presentations for each of my adventures:

Lake Michigan Walk
Great Lakes Walk
Great Lakes Islands

The presentations correlate to my three books:


Go here for a list of my upcoming author events.
This fall I will add a fourth lecture about
ISLE ROYALE.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Mylar Balloons

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've blogged about the persistence of mylar balloons in the environment. In fact, the most-viewed post on my blog in 2011 was about mylar balloons I found while hiking around Lake Michigan.

This winter I had the pleasure of taking some long hikes along the Atlantic coast on North Carolina's gorgeous beaches. 

Caswell Beach, NC


Mylar balloons also accumulate here. The photo below shows 4 balloons I picked up along 
Caswell Beach.





Four weathered mylar balloons


Mylar balloons are even more harmful when in the ocean because they resemble jelly fish. Many creatures who feed on the jellies will ingest the balloons and other plastic items because they resemble the jellies. The final photo shows some of the other plastic items I found on this stretch of beach.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach

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



Today is the seventh anniversary of my hike around Lake Michigan. 

I began that journey on Chicago's Navy Pier on a cool March day. 





1,019 miles later, I walked back into Chicago completing my loop around my favorite place.




I have completed a trio of Great Lakes Adventures now. I learned so much on these journeys. Our Great Lakes are vast inland seas that we all should cherish and protect.

Books about my three adventures are available wherever books are sold. The first two adventures are now available as audiobooks.
Our Great Lakes are waters vital to us all.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Post Viewed Most in 2011

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 blog has now surpassed 150,000 page views. Here is the post with the most views in 2011:

The Case Against Mylar Balloons

I have spent the month of October on the shores of Lake Michigan near the lovely town of South Haven, Michigan. It has been a wonderful time to reconnect with my favorite place while preparing for my next 1000-mile hike.

Every day, I have hiked a couple of miles in one direction, then returned to my cottage retracing my steps. And every day as I returned, I picked up trash along the shoreline.

Day after day I have picked up plastic bottles, aluminum cans and collapsed juice pouches.


The big surprise in lakeshore trash is the number of mylar balloons I have found. These festive inflatables take FOREVER to degrade. Some, like the one to the left, has all of the color worn off by wind and waves, but it is still intact. These three (below) were tied together and washed up together.












This photo is ONE DAY'S gathering of trash.



Sure, there is the expected plastic and aluminum...














and there were FIVE mylar balloons just this one day.

Oh no...








Et tu, SpongeBob?










Et tu?

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Post Most Viewed in 2010

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


Thank you all for reading my blog. It has now surpassed 150,000 page views!

Here is the most viewed post from 2010:

Lake Michigan Rocks!

I've always been a rock hound, and my Lake Trek gave me a golden opportunity to collect rocks from the entire shoreline of Lake Michigan.

The series of four 'waves' of glaciers that formed our Great Lakes dragged rocks from as far away as within the Arctic Circle and deposited them in our lake. You won't find this wide a variety of color and mineral composition anywhere else in the world.

In the video below, I've placed my collection of Lake Michigan rocks on a map of the lake.




Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Post Viewed Most in 2012


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


Thank you all for reading my blog. It has now surpassed 150,000 page views!

Our fascination with Great Lakes shipwrecks made this the 
post with the most views in 2012:


Shipwrecked!

Along the Great Lakes shoreline there is evidence of how dangerous these vast inland seas could become in a storm.



Shipwreck on North Manitou Island

Even with the guiding lights along the shoreline, many ships were lost. The Manitou Passage between the Manitou Islands and the shoreline of Michigan's Lower Peninsula was especially treacherous.








Portion of shipwreck in water near North Manitou Island


One clue that a ship (specifically, a steamer that burned coal) has gone down is the presence of coal washing up on land. Along the NW corner of North Manitou Island, I came across handfuls of coal mixed with zebra mussel shells.

This wreck was recently exposed near Sleeping Bear Dune