The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Sunday, October 4, 2015

4 Events in 2 Days!

September was a busy book tour month.
And it ended with a blitz of 4 events in 2 days!

Plainfield Senior Center

I was pleased to return to two senior groups in the Grand Rapids area. I had given my 
Great Lakes Walk presentation previously, but they asked me to return to give my 
Great Lakes Islands talk!

Over a 100 seniors gathered to hear me in Plainfield

Christine Friedt introduces me

I then spoke to a self-described 
"social group with a camping problem," 
*School for Outdoor Leadership, Adventure, and Recreation*
in Livonia. 

And the capping event was at Troy Public Library.

Troy Public Library

Thanks to these venues for hosting my presentation, and to all the people who came out to hear me speak!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Oil and Water

There are underground and underwater pipelines carrying oil throughout the Great Lakes Basin. 

Map of pipelines

Five years ago, this reality became shockingly apparent in southwest Michigan when one of Enbridge Energy Company's pipelines ruptured near Marshall, Michigan spilling nearly a million gallons of heavy crude oil into a creek that fed into the Kalamazoo River. 

The Kalamazoo River flows through Battle Creek where I currently live. It has taken years and hundreds of millions of dollars to clean it up.

Enbridge owns and maintains many of the pipelines in the basin, including the one submerged in the water at the Straits of Mackinac (the 5-mile wide waterway separating Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas). This pipeline is 61 years old. 

"I can't even imagine if we had some kind of spill that sent oil into the Great Lakes," said US Senator Stabenow. "We remember what happened in the Kalamazoo (River)."

"After experiencing one of the largest inland oil spills in U.S. history, Michiganders know all too well that a pipeline break can have devastating consequences for our environment and our economy,” said US Senator Peters. "One can imagine what a disaster it would be for a similar oil spill to occur in the Great Lakes."

A study done at the University of Michigan found that a rupture in this pipeline would devastate the Great Lakes. Read about that study HERE

Michigan's U.S. Senators Stabenow and Peters have teamed up to propose legislation to protect our Great Lakes from oil spills. Even if you're not a Michigander (or even living in the Great Lakes Basin), this is sound legislation to protect these inland seas containing 84% of the fresh, surface water in North America. 

Read more about the legislation HERE.

And contact your representatives in Congress if you support its passage.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Tales from the Book Tour

I was delighted to return to the senior center in Georgetown, Michigan (near Grand Rapids). 
They had me speak to their group in the spring about my Great Lakes Walk and they booked me again to give my Great Lakes Islands presentation.

The room fills up!

The group is engrossed with a video taken on Manitoulin Island

Many venues that have booked me in the past are booking me for return engagements.

I now have three presentations 
correlating with my books:
The first is about my hike all the way around 
Lake Michigan.
The second is about my hike touching 
all five Great Lakes.
And the third is about my adventure exploring
the islands of the Great Lakes.

I am now booking events for 2016.
Contact me at:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Book Club visit

I recently had a lovely time speaking to the 
Book Club at the library 
in Schoolcraft, Michigan.

The room was packed!

Marilyn Jones reads a poem she wrote just for me

Poem by Marilyn Jones

Here's the last part of the poem 
"Our Unique Peninsula":

I couldn't wait to read her next book
of other Great Lakes I haven't seen,
It feels like she's an old friend now
that's the sign of a good author, Loreen!

Thanks to this special group, the librarians who coordinated my visit, and to Marilyn for the gift of her poem.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Keynote Speaker

I was asked to be the keynote speaker at the annual meeting for the Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire, Michigan.

This conservation area protects almost 1,500 acres along the beautiful Grass River, the waterway connecting Clam Lake to Lake Bellaire 
(see the previous blog post for a look at this important preserve).
The meeting was held at Shanty Creek. 

Shanty Creek overlooking Lake Bellaire

Executive Director, Haley Breniser, introduces me

Over 100 people attended this dinner meeting

I enjoy speaking to crowds of any size to share my love of our Great Lakes. I have travelled to eight states for speaking engagements and am currently booking events for 2016.

[contact me at to inquire about your events]

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Grass River Natural Area

While up north last week, I toured the 
Grass River Natural Area 
near Bellaire, Michigan.

Grass River connects Clam Lake to Lake Bellaire in the chain of lakes that also includes Torch  and Elk Lakes. 

This conservation area has a nature center with many exhibits about the area:

Display of bird nests

Display of SKULLS!

Microscopes to examine specimens up close

 Grass River Natural Area protects almost 1,500 acres. 80% of that is wetland habitat (mostly cedar swamp). 250 acres are upland forest with pine, maple, elm, spruce and fir.
I hiked the boardwalk and trails there with Haley Breniser, the Executive Director of the center.

Haley Breniser, executive director, on the boardwalk

We walked half of the 7 miles of trails through the preserve.

Wood frog on the boardwalk


A family enjoys the area by racing leaves on the river


 Grass River Natural Area protects a vital part of the Great Lakes watershed. These wetlands are vital to cleansing water as it moves through the chain of lakes. 
The center here offers events, classes, and even summer camp opportunities. 
Learn more HERE.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Van Buren Reads!

A county in Michigan has chosen my first book, 
A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach
as their "One County, One Book" selection!

I'm honored! 
This is the second time a county has chosen one of my books to read together.

To cap off this community read, I will give my Lake Michigan presentation at the Lawrence Conference Center [located at 490 South Paw Paw Street in Lawrence, Michigan] at 7pm on Tuesday, October 6.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Tales from the Book Tour

August has been a fun month on my book tour.
I met with a book club in Dowagiac, Michigan at this historic church:

Sacred Heart of Mary historical church

Then I gave my Great Lakes Walk presentation at the library in Fowlerville, Michigan.

The library had a "LittleFreeLibrary" outside!

The "turn off your cell phone" moment

I am now booking speaking engagements for 
I give dynamic presentations of each of my three Great Lakes Adventures
[Lake Michigan, all five Great Lakes, and the Islands of the Great Lakes].
Many venues have booked me for return engagements to give another talk.

Email me at to inquire about me speaking to your group or in your community.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Book Tour UP NORTH

One of my favorite corners of Michigan is the area around Traverse City. You'll find the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore nearby along with picturesque lake towns like Northport, Glen Arbor, Empire, Leland, and Petoskey.

Petoskey (home of McLean & Eakin Booksellers)

How lovely, then, to combine and family reunion with my book tour here in late July.

My niece and nephew (Alison and Julian) on the Empire Bluff Trail

Speaking engagement in Alden

Book signing at Horizon Books in Traverse City

Some serious gaming at the lake house

Great indie bookstore in Northport