The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Saturday, July 27, 2013

UP Bookstores!

Safe Harbor Books, Cedarville, MI

While on my adventures and book tour, I seek out and visit (& shop) indie bookstores along the way.

Books and ice cream? Yes, please!!

Safe Harbor Books in Cedarville also sells ice cream. GREAT idea!

Island Books & Crafts in Sault Ste. Marie  features arts and crafts from regional artists. 

Island Books & Crafts, Sault Ste. Marie, MI

Les Townsend, owner of Island Books & Crafts

Thanks to these bookstores for stocking my books! Remember to support indie bookstores in your community and on your travels.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Importance of Libraries

While touring the Pottawatomie Lighthouse on Rock Island, WI, 
I saw this wonderful piece of history:

The transportable library that the lighthouse service used

These lovely wooden boxes were jammed with books and were fully transportable. 
They could be swapped between lighthouses bringing new worlds to the keepers of the lake lights and their families.

Volunteer keeper shows me the inside of the library

 Imagine the excitement when a fresh library arrived in these remote outposts along the lakeshore!

While on Power Island in Grand Traverse Bay, I saw this festive little house:

Turns out it's an updated version of the little library.

Visitors to the island can borrow a book 
or add a book to the collection.

I think this is the only place where you find the author Jane Austen
shelved right next to Dorothy Allison.
Yes, Pride and Prejudice with Bastard out of Carolina.

I loved it!

I read two chapters of Bastard out of Carolina before kayaking back to Bowers Harbor!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cana Island Kayaking

My newest adventure will include more than just hiking through the land.
Since I'm exploring the islands of the Great Lakes, I will explore some of these gems of the lakes from the lakes by using a kayak.

Cana Island Lighthouse

Cana Island on the lake side of the Door Peninsula was the first island I explored this way. 

[My kayak is from ADVANCED ELEMENTS and it is an inflatable, high-tech kayak. I love it!]

Check out the video:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


When I began planning my new adventure

1000-Mile Great Lakes ISLAND Adventure

I decided I would kayak part of the journey to see some of these islands from the vantage on top of the water.

I've done a bit of kayaking over the years, but didn't currently own one. Since my journeys take me far from my home base, I wasn't looking forward to having to hoist a kayak on my car and drive with it tied down up there.

SO, I researched the newest, high-tech inflatable kayaks.

After reading the reviews, I approached 
about partnering with me on this adventure by supplying one of their kayaks. It arrived in this canvas duffle:

Here are the specs:

LENGTH 10’5"  WIDTH 32"    



And here is a video showing the easy transformation from duffle to kayak:

Promotional Consideration Given

Monday, July 15, 2013

Rock Island, Wisconsin

 Rock Island, Wisconsin, is just north of Washington Island.
It is a state park and is geologically part of the Niagara Escarpement.

I hiked around Rock Island in June...

Boat house on Rock Island

Interior of boathouse

A large portion of the island was once owned by a wealthy inventor, Chester Thordarson, who made his fortune in the early 1900s creating generators and other things to handle and transmit electricity. He had this lovely boathouse built from limestone on the island.

Limestone on the island

Thousands of forget-me-nots bloom on the island

Pottawatomie Lighthouse

Columbine in bloom

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Washington Island, Wisconsin

Ironwork on the door

While on Washington Island, I toured the Stavkirke chapel.

Unique Stavkirke chapel

It was constructed in the 1990s following plans from Norwegian chapels built in Medieval times. 

There be Dragons adorning the chapel

I LOVED my time on Washington Island at the tip of the Door Peninsula in Wisconsin.

This is a special place, and the Stavkirke is a unique chapel on Washington Island.


It is a monument to the Scandinavian heritage of a large number of the inhabitants of Washington Island.

Model of Mackinaw schooner floats overhead

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Jackson Harbor Inn

 As always, I will share with you some of my favorite places to stay along my journey. Washington Island at the tip of the Door Peninsula in Wisconsin is a special place.

This island community has around 600 permanent residents and is a friendly place. Many of the inhabitants are descended from Nordic and Icelandic peoples. Sturdy folk used to the ice and cold and not shy about the hard work it took to tame this island...

In June, the most wild thing about this island were the out-of-control lilacs blooming everywhere!

As I rode my bike around the island, the smell of lilacs surrounded me all the way to Jackson Harbor Inn at the NE corner of the island.
 This fantastic inn has a water view and comfortable, spacious rooms.
And when was the last time you fell asleep on sheets dried on the line...smelling of fresh lake air, lilacs, and summer?

Sheets drying in the Lake Michigan air!

Spacious, comfortable rooms with fridge and microwave!

View from my room: Jackson Harbor and Rock Island!

 Comfortable outdoor areas to enjoy.

From the inn, it's a short walk to catch the Karfi ferry to Rock Island State Park (which I'll blog about soon!).

Promotional consideration given.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Fellow Adventurer!

Many people have contacted me about my 
1000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures 
and they've told me about what 
challenge they are going to undertake. 
Many have sought me out to ask questions about the logistics of hiking a thousand miles...twice!

Recently, a good friend of my son, Ben, contacted me for advice.

Josh DeLacy is a thoughtful young man 
and he is on a unique journey. 

Josh DeLacy

From his blog:

The Mission

I am hitchhiking across America in search of stories, and I have some guidelines for my trip:
  • No money: no cash, no checks, no cards.
  • No interstates: stick to small towns and back highways.

Really? No money? No credit cards?

If you've followed my adventures, you know that if it's going to be a cold night and there's a B&B nearby, I stay at the B&B. 
They are delightful! They even cook you breakfast!

Josh is undertaking an adventure mixed with a social experiment:
Who will pick him up and give him a ride?
Will he be met with kindness along the way, or with anger?
How is America doing along the byways and almost forgotten places?

It's a brave and bold experiment and 
I've enjoyed following his journey so far...from Seattle all the way to Michigan...

Cabin built in 1880 in Eastern Washington 

Colville, WA

Highway 2 in Montana

Josh in Minnesota with some of the people who have been kind to him along the way

That's right. Josh is "Traveling On Trust" in search of the heart of America. You can find out more of the "whys" of his undertaking and follow his adventure here:

And while you're there, check out 
"The Inspirations" tab on the blog to find out who has inspired this young man...