The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Handfuls of Lake Huron

Here is a glimpse at Lake Huron
by the handful.

Stones from the Presque Isle area

A mix of stones and shells on Lake Huron's shoreline

And then there's the PUDDINGSTONE.

This is the common name given to this distinctive conglomerate stone (Jasper Conglomerate) comprised of a mix of colorful pebbles embedded in a finer-grained matrix.

Early British settlers to the Great Lakes region were reminded of their Christmas pudding when they saw these rocks, 
hence the name.

Drummond Island puddingstone

The Drummond Puddingstone is especially colorful.
While formed mainly in the northern regions of Lake Huron, ice sheets have moved these distinctive rocks as far south as Ohio and Kentucky.

Puddingstone flipside

There was a band of quartz in this specimen.

And, of course, the zebra mussel has populated Lake Huron and shells can be found along the shoreline.

Lake Superior is the only lake to not be 
overwhelmed by these invasive mussels. 

There is less dissolved calcium in Lake Superior available to these mussels, and they need calcium in order to create their shells. 

Zebra Mussel shells

Monday, February 11, 2013

Mighty Mac

I was looking through my photos from my 
1000-Mile Great Lakes Walk
and came across these summertime shots of
the Mighty Mac Bridge.

This bridge stitches together the two peninsulas
of the state of Michigan.

It spans the gap, leaping over the 
Straits of Mackinac.

It lofts steel and stone over water,
...the towers hike up the road in the middle to allow lake freighters to slip underneath.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Handfuls of Lake Superior

Rough sand along Agate Beach in Grand Marais

The geology of Lake Superior fascinates me. This lake was formed by forces beginning long before the ice sheets scraped away at the Great Lakes Basin.  

Mix of colorful stones on Agate Beach

Hundreds of millions of years ago, a continental rift opened where the middle of Lake Superior is today. Lava (lava!) spewed from this rift for eons, and the weight of that lava depressed the crust of the earth into a deep bowl that existed before the last ice age. 

It is due to this ancient lava flow that you will find (if you are observant and lucky) agates along the shoreline of Lake Superior. 

Powder-fine sand along river in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Mix of stones in river in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

I enjoyed researching the geology of the Great Lakes for my upcoming book, A 1000-MILE GREAT LAKES WALK. I learned so much about these vast inland seas and I put the best, most interesting things into the book.

Clay mixed with sand at the Log Slide in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

{*That's the trick about writing: put in the good stuff and leave the boring stuff out.*}

Rust-colored stones near Copper Harbor

The same stones as above after Lake Superior tosses them around for a few decades.

My new book, A 1000-MILE GREAT LAKES WALK, will have an early Pre-Release to select indie bookstores in April. This is my way of thanking them for what they give to their communities and for being so supportive of my first book.

The book will have wide release and will be available wherever books are sold in June.

Keep an eye out for the new book, or "LIKE" my Facebook Fan Page for updates.