The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Next Adventure!

Check out the new image at the top of this blog!

This is the route I will be following on my next adventure, a journey of over 1000-miles that will allow me to touch all five great lakes.

#1: I hike a portion of Ohio's northern edge beginning at Port Clinton, then will continue to do most of the edge of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. This will allow me to touch three Great Lakes: Erie, Huron and Michigan.

#2: I will do two sections of shoreline on Lake Superior including all of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (the longer highlighted part – which is part of the North Country Trail) and Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary (the shorter highlighted part – which protects some of the last old-growth trees in Michigan, some as old as 600 years).

#3: Takes me along Canada’s shoreline on Lake Ontario. I will begin in Toronto and hike east to Sandbanks Park near where Lake Ontario egresses into the Saint Lawrence River.

#4: This is the two-day finale hiking from the shores of Lake Ontario to Niagara Falls along the Niagara River Recreational Trail. This will take place on a Friday-Saturday in October (dates being nailed down) and I’ll invite people to come and hike these last two days with me and to celebrate the end of my second 1000-mile adventure! I’m working on a deal for lodging and celebratory dinner, so watch for details! Also note that this will take place on the Canadian side of the river, so you will need a passport or enhanced driver’s license in order to cross the border into Canada.

If you haven’t already, please go ahead and “LIKE” my fan page to stay current on my writing and hiking and activism on behalf of our Great Lakes. And, if you'd like updates mailed to you, please shoot me an e-mail at with the subject line: Updates!

Life should be an adventure!

Press Release link:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Invasion of the Great Lakes: Quagga mussels least known, most dangerous invader

The invasive quagga mussel has colonized all of the Great Lakes, tossing a wrench into the precarious balance of their ecosystems. This mussel is native to the Ukraine and was given a free ride to our vast Inland Seas in the ballast water of a ship bringing goods from far off ports.

Read the most recent update HERE.
This final photo shows a mass of quagga mussels colonizing whatever they can find in the lakes. After a storm this fall, the beach along Lake Michigan was littered with these long strands of grasses and mussels. My boot is included in the shot to give scale to the cluster of mussels.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Keystone XL Pipeline Rejected

President Obama rejected the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline this week. This pipeline was to stretch from Alberta, Canada, 1,700 miles across America's heartland to refineries in Texas.

You may wonder why I'm blogging about this issue when it doesn't seem to relate to the Great Lakes or Michigan. Well, check out these photos:

These are photos of the oil spill in West Michigan that happened less than two years ago. There is an oil pipeline running through Michigan that ruptured and spilled approximately one MILLION gallons of heavy, crude oil into the Kalamazoo River. Enbridge, the company that owns and maintains the pipeline, has spent over a year cleaning up the river and there is still residual damage to the ecosystem.

Some of the homes near the source of the spill were so contaminated that Enbridge bought out the owners and condemned the houses.

The Keystone XL Pipeline's proposed route passes through many environmentally sensitive areas, not to mention America's breadbasket where much of our grain is grown.

Yes, job creation is important, but it is about time that government had a vision for the future. And that vision should be looking for cleaner sources of energy. Refining oil from Alberta's oil sands is a much more toxic process than refining heavy or light crude. And the byproducts are not only more toxic, but in greater quantity.

I applaud President Obama's decision. No doubt this issue will be pressed again in the future, and I hope his resolve and vision are not shaken.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lake Michigan Water Trail

Last year, I met two men on involved in the creation of the Lake Michigan Water Trail. Kenneth had kayaker's hands, big, strong and weathered. Dave was shorter and introduced himself as a professor of geography at Western Michigan University.

They had come to hear me read from my book at Kazoo Books in Kalamazoo while I was on my book tour, and they told me about efforts underway to create a path around the lake for hikers, bikers and kayakers.

Both Indiana and Wisconsin have embraced this grand vision and are doing their part to add places to launch kayaks and places to camp along the lakeshore. The state of Michigan is lagging behind in embracing and funding the wate
r trail. This is odd since Michigan probably has the most to gain from it. Lake Michigan could (and should) become a destination for paddlers from all over the nation and even the world.

Read more about the trail at the link above and check out this article on
Lake Michigan sunset