The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Monday, December 31, 2012

Horseshoe Harbor on the Keweenaw

Ben standing before a wall of 

conglomerate stone

While hiking the shores of Lake Superior on my 1000-mile Great Lakes Hike, I explored a bit of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Ben was along on this part of my adventure.

A solitary sandpiper works the marshy edges

I enjoyed learning about the geology of this unique landmass. The peninsula is actually a  syncline, the tilted edge of the earth's crust. Eons ago, this area bubbled with lava and the weight of that cooled magma depressed what would become the basin of the lake and the earth's crust tore and lifted at the edges.

I hike along a trail at the tip of the Keweenaw 

Ben scurries down a rocky hillside

Ben stands on the tilted edge of a slate layer 

I explore the geology of Lake Superior and its edges in my upcoming book:

The book will be released in 2013. Please "like" my Facebook Author Page in order to keep current on the release of the book and my speaking engagements.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Walking, Walking...and more Walking

I've been working on the manuscript for my book as the year comes to a close. 

And I've been reliving my time walking the edges of our Great Lakes.

Taking a break!

I covered 1,004 miles total in 76 days!

Wow...I wore that gray shirt a LOT...

Through all sorts of terrain, 
and in all sorts of weather.

This was a little tough on the ankles!

Walking in the rain

Sunrise on Lake Huron

The book about my adventure 
will be released in 2013, 
so watch for
at your favorite bookstore soon!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

"I Will Defend"

The seal of Michigan (above) has the state motto in Latin that translates:

"If you seek a pleasant peninsula, 
look about you."

The word "Tuebor" translates:

  "I will defend."

I walked 1000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline this year. There are many areas that remain wild and protected, but there are stretches that need to be defended, cleaned up, and restored.

Water from the upper Great Lakes flows through the St. Clair River, into Lake St. Clair (upper right of photo), through the Detroit River (narrow waterway) to merge with Lake Erie (at bottom of photo).

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has resulted in measurable improvement in the health of our Great Lakes. 

From an article on Model D (a web-mag about Detroit):

The Brookings Institution has estimated that every $1 invested in Great Lakes restoration results in $1.50 to $2.50 in short-term economic benefits. In the long term, the economic benefits of Great Lakes restoration efforts will almost double the initial investment. Benefits include increased property values, improvements to quality of life, and lower municipal water treatment costs. In this era in which metropolitan areas are feeling the effects of climate change more acutely and unsustainable development is occurring in water-poor areas like Phoenix and Atlanta, now is the time for Metro Detroit to protect its freshwater assets to ensure future economic growth and ecological health.

Read the entire article.

And in the New Year ahead, let us all seek ways to better defend these most vital fresh waters.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

MIchigan Radio's Morning Edition

It's always fun for me to be interviewed.  Sometimes it's for a magazine article like in Natural Awakenings (page 46-47).

Often it's a quick chat with various radio stations all over the nation. I've been on the radio from coast-to-coast as people want to hear about my adventures and learn more about our Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes contain 84% of the fresh, 

surface water in North America

Recently, I was honored to be included in Michigan Radio's series of interviews called 
"Seeking Change."

Listen HERE for the interview with Christina Shockley.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Great Lakes Science Center

This week I traveled to Ann Arbor to visit one of the labs doing research on the Great Lakes. I met up with Dr. Madenjian first and we talked about alewives and the salmon fishery. 

Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Dr. David "Bo" Bunnell with some of the fish collected from Lake Michigan  

Then, Dr. Bunnell (in photo above) gave me a tour of the facility and we had a long talk about his work to understand the food web in the lakes. 

The Great Lakes Science Center has been doing an annual bottom trawl survey on Lake Michigan since 1973. They have seen tremendous change in the lake over the decades. 

The most dramatic change is the colonization of the lake by invasive mussels. While zebra mussels are known to beach walkers, the quagga mussel has taken over the deeper parts of the lake and has blanketed the floor of Lake Michigan. 

The video below is from a recent survey of 
Lake Michigan.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Enbridge Oil Pipeline Rupture, 2 1/2 years after the incident

In July of 2010, an oil pipeline ruptured in Michigan spilling 1.1 million gallons of heavy crude into the Kalamazoo River.

Over two years and hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent cleaning up the river.

This was the nation's 
costliest oil pipeline accident.

Consider this:  Enbridge has a pipeline that rests at the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac. What if the rupture had taken place there instead of inland and contained in a river?  Would the shores of Mackinac Island still be coated in thick oil? How much of that spill would now be working its way down past Port Huron, Detroit, and into Lake Erie? 

Do you think it can't happen? Enbridge pipelines have had a dozen leaks in the state of Michigan alone since 2003. 

I walked along the river earlier this month:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Perry Victory and International Peace Memorial

During my 1000-mile hike this year, I passed many battle sites from the War of 1812.

While this conflict with the British is rather glossed over when we study American History, it was actually a pivotal moment where our young nation struggled for survival.

One of the most decisive battles took place on Lake Erie. It was the first time the British Navy was soundly beaten and all British ships engaged in the battle were seized by the Americans.

When Commodore Oliver Perry reported the win to his superiors, he wrote:

 "We have met the enemy and they are ours"

This week I visited the monument to this naval victory and the lasting peace between the US and Canada.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Last 2 Miles of a 20-Mile Day

While on my book tour, I've met many people who marvel 
at the idea of hiking 1000 miles. 

Sometimes, they ask me if it was difficult and a chuckle usually escapes from me before I can suppress it. 

You see, I'm not one of those ultra-marathoners or lifelong hikers or crazy people who have to cover 20 miles a day to feel alive. 
I feel quite alive reading a book or sitting in my 
office all day writing.

So, yes, it was difficult. Some days were downright painful. But the lakes call to me and I am happiest when walking near them.

Here's a little video shot on one of the more difficult days -- 
windy, cold, walking on the side of a road, 
18 miles down and 2 miles to go. 

And it shows how I motivated myself to hike the last 2 miles of a 20-mile day.

Yes, it was difficult. 

And, YES, it was worth every step. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Perched Dunes

The hike is complete and I am hard at work on the manuscript for the book about my adventure.

I will be posting some of the videos that I shot while on the hike over the coming weeks. 

This one gives a good look at an exposed, perched dune. 

Take a look...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Adventure Concludes!

The final 15 miles of my 
took place in Niagara Falls, Ontario, along the Niagara River Recreational Trail. 

On October 19-20, I hiked with a fantastic group of people 
who came to the falls 
to join me for the final miles of my adventure.

We had lovely weather the first day, hiking among the bright colors of fall.  Our break the first day was at a winery along the way. We stopped for wine and cheese. 

That's classy hiking!

My sister (Leslie), Me, and my cousin (Milene)

Hiking amidst the fall leaves

Niagara River merging with Lake Ontario

Hikers Day 1 at Brock's Monument

Hikers Day 2

Overlooking the Niagara River

Hikers celebrate the end of the hike

The Falls

I'd like to thank everyone who came to Niagara to celebrate the finale of my hike, people who have followed my adventure, and to all of you who care about our Great Lakes.

I will continue to blog about issues effecting our Great Lakes.

The book about this hike, 
will be released in early 2013.
Please watch for it at your favorite independent bookstore, and watch the sidebar here for my upcoming book tour and speaking engagements. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Finale in Niagara.

(check out the details by clicking link above)
I'll hike the final 15 miles this Friday and Saturday (October 19 & 20) along the Niagara River Recreational Trail from 
Niagara Falls!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Salmon Run Early

Everything is a little early this year. We had a mild spring and a hot, hot summer. 
The salmon are even heading upstream to spawn a couple of weeks ahead of schedule.

Salmon swimming up the Crystal River

This fisherman landed a 14#er, then headed out to catch another

As always, this migration is met with enthusiasm from fisherpeople. 

The fish station in Frankfort

Fishing for salmon in Frankfort, MI

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Shoreline Birds

Sanderlings scurry along...

...then take flight

Many winged creatures make their home at the edge of the lake.

Here are some photos I took along the way.

Turkey vulture on the shoreline

Merganser ducks take to the water...

...then discuss which way to go

A hairy woodpecker works away at a fallen branch

Solitary sandpiper, a master of rocks and waves

Same solitary sandpiper, still quite alone

Canadian geese along Lake Michigan

Two bald eagles meet in mid-air...

...and engage

A cormorant tucks in