The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Ice and Snow

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile journeys exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures. 


To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to 

http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/







I took a snowshoe hike in Traverse City today. Recent freezing rain, snow, and plunging temperatures have settled winter deeply on the region. 

Ice has formed over most of the East and West Grand Traverse Bays.

Here are some photos from the trails behind The Village at Grand Traverse Commons.


















Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ice Formations along Grand Traverse Bay

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile journeys exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures. 


To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to 

http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/







Winter changes the Great Lakes.
Many people think that ice just forms on the top of the lakes, sealing the lower liquid for a time. It can do that, but it is also infinitely more creative. 

Water transforms, coats, blows, and freezes.

Below are a few photos taken on a single day along the shoreline of Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City.

Just look at what nature created:


Frozen spray locked these milkweed seeds in place


Ice balls form around grasses and reeds along the shoreline...


...then the weight of the ice snaps off the reed and the ice ball floats away


Buddy ice mounds hanging out along the bayshore


Ice volcano


Melded ice balls locked in sheet ice


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

New Audiobook Release

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile journeys exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures. 


To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to 

http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/








I'm thrilled to announce the release of my newest audiobook:





This collection of short stories was a finalist for the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction.

It is available through Audible.com 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Most Popular Post of 2018

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile journeys exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures. 


To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to 

http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/






The most popular blog post of 2018 was the post below about a wonderful book about 
Traverse City.


I moved to Traverse City two years ago. I made the move to be closer to "my lake," Lake Michigan.
So, when I got an advance copy of this book from author Kim Schneider, I was thrilled to learn more about my new hometown.



I found many great ideas to explore in the Food and Drink, Music and Entertainment, and Culture and History categories. 

What surprised me, though, was that I learned something new in the suggestions for 
hiking in the area

If you've read this blog or my books or have heard me speak, you know I'm a pretty serious hiker.
And, in the months I've lived in Traverse City, I've explored many of the trails in the area (Empire Bluffs, Alligator Hill, Pyramid Point -- to name just a few). 
But, I had missed Clay Cliffs Natural Area 
north of Leland. 

It's part of the land protected by the Leelanau Conservancy. I've been to several of these areas, but had not been to Clay Cliffs...
until this weekend. 





The hiking trail is clearly marked on M22 
north of Leland.


Sign for this hiking area


I enjoy a good hike, but a hike with a view of Lake Michigan is even better. This trail has a wonderful overlook.




Trail goes up this wooded dune


Manitou Island overlook



Video from the overlook

Ice along shoreline persists


 There is evidence of wind damage from the summer storm that hit the area in 2015. Many large trees were knocked down. Some were caught by other trees and are still suspended over the trail.


Tree uprooted by the storm

Toward the end of the hiking loop, there is a bench to take a break and enjoy the view of Lake Leelanau.


I look forward to recommending  

100 Things to do in Traverse City before you Die to friends and family. The book is available at  the excellent indie bookstores in Traverse City -- Brilliant Books and Horizon Books. And check out the listing for indie bookstores in the region.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Updates on my Adventures!

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    Wednesday, December 19, 2018

    Wood Grain Dunes


    Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

    She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile journeys exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures. 


    To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to 

    http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/




    I love hiking the dunes along 
    Lake Michigan in the winter.

    Wind and snow and ice conspire 
    to change the face of the dunes in ways you only see in this season. 
    Some sand may freeze, while the wind blows free sand around, sculpting the frozen sections.

    Recently, I came across part of a dune that resembled wood grain. 
    This was at The Dune Climb in
    Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

    Check out these photos 
    (click on photo to see expanded view):











    Sunday, December 16, 2018

    Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore


    Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

    She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures. 


    To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to 

    http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/



    It was a mild and sunny day today. Rare for mid-December, so I headed to some of my favorite places along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

    My first stop was the DH Day Farm to photograph the iconic barns there.



    DH Day Farm


    Then, I drove to Pyramid Point to hike the trail there: 

    There are people standing on that far-off dune








    On the way home, I stopped to photograph this wild turkey. She was unflappable.




    And a little video of the lake today:


    Sunday, December 9, 2018

    Wintery Empire Bluff


    Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

    She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures. 


    To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to 

    http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/




    I hiked one of my favorite trails today, the 
    The overlook from the top of the trail is iconic "Pure Michigan." Check it out:






    This dune is THE 'sleeping bear dune'


    The woodpeckers are feasting in these woods. 
    The pileated is especially good at gouging out the wood in search of a buggy meal.










    Thursday, December 6, 2018

    Rainy Day Hike


    Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

    She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures. 


    To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to 

    http://www.laketrek.com/great-lakes-speaker/





    I joined up with a hiking group (Northern Michigan Hiking, Backpacking, and Kayaking Meetup) for a post-Thanksgiving hike along Lake Michigan.


    Hiking along Lake Michigan


    We began at the Dune Climb and hiked two miles over tall dunes to the lake.

    Hiking the Dune Climb


    Dune Climb


    Along Lake Michigan


    Lake Michigan

    We then took a short drive over to Pyramid Point.


    Pyramid Point


    Misty day at Pyramid Point

    It was a drizzly, cool day.
    A perfect day to hike with new friends.

    Nice group!