The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Friday, March 25, 2011

Take 5 with Me!

I was on Take 5 this morning, a Grand Rapids morning show. Big thanks to Catherine for the lovely interview.

If you live Grand Rapids and make it to the Cottage & Lakefront Living Show this weekend, be sure to drop by my booth (#2615) to say hello.

You can also enter to win a $250 certificate for the Inn at Black Star Farm at my booth.

AND, I have samples from Grocer's Daughter Chocolates who are located in Empire, Michigan.

And, of course, I'll have copies of my book!

If you miss me at the show, drop in at Schuler's Books or Literary Life & More in Grand Rapids. They are great indie bookstores and they have


Monday, March 21, 2011

Tales from the BOOK TOUR...part 2

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Speaking about my ADVENTURE...

I will be a featured speaker at this show next weekend
at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids!

The hours of the show are:

Friday, March 253pm - 9pm
Saturday, March 2610am - 9pm
Sunday, March 2711am - 5pm

Check out all the details HERE.

I hope to see you there!

I'm at BOOTH # 2615!

Friday, March 18, 2011

World Water Day

The U.N. designates March 22 as the day of the year when we spotlight the global safe water and sanitation issue and the collective efforts underway to get solutions to those struggling and in need.

The Great Lakes contain 20% of the fresh surface water

in the WORLD.

The Great Lakes contain 90% of the fresh surface water

in the U.S.

We are blessed with this natural source of fresh water in the Midwest and over 40 million people get their drinking water from the Great Lakes. There are many areas on the planet, though, where people struggle to find clean drinking water and where proper sanitation is non-existent.

What can we do?

...from the "About Water Day" website:

"Scale up the solutions that are already working. US support for water and sanitation has produced demonstrable results in thousands of communities around the world. Solutions include digging wells and boreholes, harvesting rainwater, protecting springs, water filtering and purification, and building safe and affordable latrines. Sustainability is key: programs must be implemented in a fashion that is sustainable on a local level, in technical, financial, social, and environmental terms. Integrating simple and cost-effective water and sanitation solutions into child survival, health, and nutrition programs can dramatically decrease both child mortality and long-term developmental problems caused by the most common child killers - diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition.

Encourage decision makers to target US funding to the countries and communities most in need of first-time access. The US government must ensure the funding it provides for international water and sanitation programs benefits the people who need it most. Most of those living without safe drinking water and improved sanitation are poor people in impoverished countries. Helping to provide first-time access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation in those communities will also ensure progress toward other related goals: improved health, poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, and increased educational opportunities."

I live in Michigan.

We are a peninsular people, surrounded by water.

We take fresh water for granted, but there are so many in our world who do not have fresh drinking water.

Fresh water is essential for life.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Unexpected Gifts of the BOOK TOUR

There are so many things to occupy everyone's time and energies these days, so seeing people file in to a bookstore or science museum, take a seat, and look up at ME waiting to hear about my adventure and my book...well, I consider that a gift.

And people have been exceedingly generous in their attendance and attentions at the beginning of my book tour these last few weeks. Most of my events have been packed and if anyone straggles in a little late, they've had to stand along the back wall. I am humbled and grateful for this response to my work.

Another thing that people have gifted to me has been THEIR stories of Lake Michigan. Sometimes they even bring a map and photos from their hikes and strolls along the shoreline (like in these two photos).

I met up with a couple in Suttons Bay who even brought along a photo collage of their walks to give to me. Jan and Bill Heston have walked many miles of my favorite stretch of shore from Frankfort north past their home in Glen Arbor.

The Hestons are a lively couple and they came to both of my events in Suttons Bay. A double gift of their presence and questions and smiles.

I had a meeting with Coryn Briggs who is the Director of Marketing for Black Star Farms. She brought her daughter to our breakfast meeting and the little girl quietly colored a picture of a birthday cake while her mother and I chatted.

When the meeting was over, the little girl solemnly gave me the picture of the cake! Since my kids are now 18 and 21, there is plenty of room on my fridge for this festive drawing!

At my first appearance for my book, Jessilyn (owner of Petoskey's wonderful McLean & Eakin Booksellers), was so intrigued with the section in my book entitled "Fascination with roadkill" that she gave me a copy of Roger M. Knutson's Flattened Fauna.

Needless to say, I was charmed by Mr. Knutson's cheeky treatment of roadkill. So charmed that I sent him a copy of MY book and he sent me a card which proves I am now a LIFELONG member of the society that counts and classifies roadkill.


One of the people who attended my reading at McLean & Eakin brought me a pair of mittens that she had made. To keep your hands warm while you hike she said>>>
I was touched.

After discussing our mutual love of Bill Bryson's work, Lynn (owner of Great Lakes Book & Supply in Big Rapids) gave me a copy of In a Sunburned Country which I had not yet read.

I think it is a rare and special thing to return from a book tour so enriched by all these gifts.

Thank you all, and I look forward to meeting many more fans of Lake Michigan and good books (like Mr. Bryson's and Mr. Knutson's) along the way.

My sister Leslie joined me on the first leg of my book tour. This is a photo of us on the shores of Little Traverse Bay near Petoskey>>>

Keep checking my author appearances in the sidebar here or on my website:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Budget Cuts Effect the GLRI

I've blogged several times about the
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

This is the ten-year, $5 billion program to improve the health of the Great Lakes. With Congress cutting away at the budget, the GLRI is on the chopping block.

These are tough economic times, but the GLRI is an investment not only into the lakes but into the economy they support.

It is estimated that 15% of the jobs in Michigan
are related to the Great Lakes.

Jim Diana, Director of the Michigan Sea Grant, points out research done by The Brookings Institute:

"The Brookings Institute estimated that $18 billion to $31 billion in economic benefits would result from Great Lakes restoration, at a ratio of about 2 to1, benefit to cost. The investment for restoration is a one-time cost, while the benefits increase with time."

How many other budget line items promise
to give BACK to the country?

Let your representatives know that you support the GLRI and that it is a good investment in the economy of the Great Lakes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Perils of the self-portrait

While hiking 1000 miles around Lake Michigan, I got pretty good at taking the 'arms-length-headshot' photo.

Taking the 'set-up-the-camera-and-run-into-the-shot' photo still remained tricky...

Sometimes a wave would come in...

and soak my feet.

the lake has a sense of humor.

Sometimes the camera wouldn't wait for me to get into position.

Try, try again.

I ended up taking around 100 photos on every day of the Lake Trek. I will be giving a lecture with the best of these photos at many places while on my book tour.

Check out the Author Appearances page on my website to catch a lecture or reading near you.
I hope to see you along the way.