The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Asian Carp within 6 Miles of Lake Michigan

A 20 pound, 34 inch Asian carp has been found PAST the electric barriers, just 6 miles from Lake Michigan.

The Honorable Senator Stabenow's call for action is below. In a letter she sent, she says:

"The Permanent Prevention of Asian Carp Act requires the Army Corps of Engineers to follow the recommendations of top experts in the field and expedite their study detailing the engineering options to permanently separate the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wildflowers I met on my Lake Trek

I took thousands of photos on my 1,000 Mile Walk on the Beach. Sure, most of them were of Lake Michigan, but I often took shots of people, animals, insects and plants along the way.

Since I began my Lake Trek in the last days of winter -- there were still chunks of ice in the lake -- hiked through spring and summer and into the early days of fall, I saw the lakeshore come alive. As I hiked, the trees leafed out, plants poked out of the ground turning the shoreline from grey to green, and flowers budded and bloomed.

I was delighted to see the endangered Pitcher's Thistle in the dunes of the Upper Peninsula.

And the Lady's Slipper, a temperate orchid, growing on the side of a dirt road near the lake.

And I saw this unusual yellow flower in the Upper Peninsula. Does anyone know what it is?

Here's a video of all the wildflowers I met while on my Lake Trek.

Walk with me...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Silver Beach Reborn

When I was last out to the lakeshore, I stopped at St. Joseph's Silver Beach. This is the beach that is closest to my home, and I have watched the sun extinguish in Lake Michigan from this stretch of white sand many times.

When I was on the Lake Trek, I stopped in at Forever Books in St. Joseph and picked up Daryl T. Schiender's Silver Sands and Golden Memories. This book traces the history of Silver Beach from the early 1900s to the late 1970s. In it, Schiender explores Silver Beach's amusement park that drew crowds from hundreds of miles away. Silver Beach was a destination for many years, the Cedar Point of the early 19th century.

The amusement park and bandstand were all scrapped in the late 1900s, but the beach has been preserved. Recently, a pavilion was added near the river, along with a sculpture.

When I visited this month, I was delighted to find the new carousel was open, and a fountain had been installed by the Whirlpool corporation.

When I drove through St. Joe's sister city on the other side of the St. Joe river -- Benton Harbor -- there were signs of life returning to that downtown. There was a working artists' center and a new coffee shop. Benton Harbor is also spiffing up their beaches with more parking and picnic shelters.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Photo shoot for Grand Rapids Magazine

I got out to the lake yesterday to meet up with
Johnny Quirin, photographer for Grand Rapids Magazine. We met at Kirk Park just north of Holland, and the weather cooperated to allow the photo shoot.

Mr. Quirin favored the backdrop of these ancient dock supports, now transformed to weathered, wooden sculptures reaching out into the waves.

The article about my Lake Trek will appear in the August issue of the magazine, so look for it then. It is sold in the greater Grand Rapids metro area.