Monday, May 21, 2012

Loreen Niewenhuis also loves Lake Michigan!

Today I got to meet up with Loreen Niewenhuis in St. Joe, Michigan. I was first introduced to Loreen via her book, A 1000-Mile Walk on the Beach. My mom gave me this book after realizing that I was actually serious about taking this trip – she thought I at least better have an idea of what I was getting myself into I guess. This book is about the trek that Loreen took along the shoreline of Lake Michigan in 2009. Her journey around the world’s fifth largest lake was an exciting and eye-opening experience for both her and now all of her readers. She chronicled her day to day travels past beautiful untouched shores, nuclear power plants, and everything in between. She saw the natural beauty and man-made destruction of our lake first hand. This made Loreen a great resource for finding out about the geography, history, and ecology of various portions of Lake Michigan’s shoreline.

She advised me to check with all of the power plants around the lake to make sure they are aware we will be passing by and see if we will have a safe place to land if need be.  She said some of them have very scary signs such as the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant that has warning signs reading “Personnel are authorized to use DEADLY FORCE.” Seems a little blunt. We will be sure to call them. Especially them. Hopefully our passage on water is calmer than Loreen’s passage on land. Loreen also told me about areas where bluffs, steep dunes, rocky shallow passages, and tall invasive phragmites may pose a problem for landing and camping. It’s good that we are learning about all of these areas now so that we will be well prepared to avoid and/or tackle them!

We talked about how Lake Michigan is obviously the best Great Lake. I guess we all probably love the lake we are most familiar with, and for Loreen, Mary, and I that lake happens to be Lake Michigan. Loreen is currently in the middle of her next big adventure – she is off on another 1000 mile trek that will be comprised of stretches of shore along each of the 5 Great Lakes. She just finished up a 300 mile segment that allowed her to have some time off this month for family obligations, rest, and thankfully a meeting with me. Check out Loreen’s blog at The next segment of her trip will start at the beginning of June on Lake Huron in Bay City, Michigan. Her trip will conclude in October when she walks right up to Niagara Falls – what a great visual ending! Maybe we’ll be able to meet up after we are all finished and swap adventure stories. Who knows, perhaps after this trek she’ll change her mind about her favorite Great Lake. But I doubt she will. :)  

1 comment:

  1. Hey Amy! This is Kelly, your big :) My dad works at Zion, one of the nuclear power plants along Lake Michigan (in northern Illinois). If you guys need help to get in contact with someone from there, let me know!