The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Independent Bookstores on the North Side of Chicago

I was in Chicago this past weekend and took the opportunity to visit three indie bookstores which I hadn't visited on the last day of my Lake Trek. These stores are located on the north side of Chicago. Women & Children First and The Bookworks are located on North Clark Street, and Unabridged Bookstore is on North Broadway. Check out the links to these stores' websites in the sidebar.

I picked up The Plan of Chicago by Carl Smith at Unabridged Bookstore. This book (subtitled Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City) chronicles how Burnham's brilliant plan for the city of Chicago came about. Last year was the 100 year anniversary of the Plan. Burnham certainly had a vision for Chicago and the first key recommendation
for Chicago was:
"The Improvement of the Lakefront, notably the building of a shoreline parkway and the development of Grant Park..."

Smith notes in the book that "...the Plan evokes a sense of wonder when it speaks of the importance of the lake as Chicago's leading natural asset and the need for the city to take far greater advantage of its splendid presence."

Modern Chicago has a wonderful relationship with Lake Michigan.

Thank you Daniel Burnham.

While walking between these three indie bookstores, I came across a delightful indie CUPCAKE STORE, Phoebe's Cupcakes on Broadway. I had heard about this store from my brother who went to school with the owner. The salted caramel cupcake is in the photo below (and, yes, it's missing a couple of bites--I couldn't wait). Probably the best cupcake I've ever had and a delightful snack on a cold day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Asian Carp Saga Continues

I watched the live video feed from the public meeting in Ypsilanti, today to discuss plans and get recommendations on Asian carp control efforts.

Who was there: Senior representatives from
International Joint Commission;
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;
U.S. Coast Guard;
Great Lakes states, provinces, municipalities and tribes
White House Council on Environmental Quality; and
Scientific experts

It seems that everyone (regardless of their personal interests) want to keep the invasive carp from establishing themselves in Lake Michigan. That was encouraging. What's disheartening is that there is little concensus on how that can be definitively accomplished.

Senator Debbie Stabenow made a personal appearance at the meeting and addressed the panel with not only a passionate defense of the lake, but with the offer of funds needed to solve this problem, to ensure that the carp never establish themselves in the lake. As I've mentioned here before, she has introduced legislation to keep the carp out of the lakes.

Well done, Senator Stabenow.

Today's meeting will be posted soon on this site:
and the February 12 meeting in Chicago is already archived there.

One very good idea that got around the 'close the locks/don't close the locks' polarizing argument was to back the carp up by eradicating them further back in the canals and to putting more barriers (either sonic or electric) further away from the lakeshore.

Almost $80 million has been allocated to keeping these invasive fish out of the Great Lakes.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"TravelTalks" about Michigan in 1949

My cousin, Joe, mentioned this 9 minute short tourism documentary about Northern Michigan to me. It was filmed in 1949 as part of James A. Fitzpatrick's "TravelTalks" series produced by MGM. Includes footage of Spikehorn Meyer, Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, Mackinac Island, Traverse City, and the UP. See the Straits of Mackinac before the Mighty Mac bridge connected Michigan's peninsulas.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Revisiting the Lake Trek: Segment 6

This segment spanned the 147 miles between Suttons Bay and Mackinaw City, Michigan. It included both the Grand Traverse and Little Traverse Bays, and Fisherman's Island State Park and Wilderness State Park.

I reached the half way point of the trek on this segment, reaching 500 miles within sight of the Mighty Mac Bridge.

Some of the most interesting geology was on this segment in Antrim County where there is an enormous deposit of shale. I was joined along part of this county by Gerry and her two fun dogs, Miss Sadie and the Cowboy.

Then, my college friend, Rick, joined me for a few hours along Little Traverse Bay.

Near Cross Village, I saw the biggest collection of zebra mussel shells tossed up on the beach and bleached almost completely white by the sun.

Note: You may want to press the 'play' button, then pause it and let it completely load before resuming play. This will allow it to play smoothly.

You can find all videos from the Lake Trek on YouTube at:

Walk with me: