Author & Adventurer Completes 1000-Mile Odyssey Exploring Islands of the Great Lakes
Loreen Niewenhuis has completed a trio of 1000-mile adventures exploring America's Great Lakes. This October, she had the Grand Finale of her third -- and final -- odyssey exploring the islands of the Great Lakes by kayak, hiking, biking and boating. On October 26, she and her fans and followers gathered at the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island for the final miles of this adventure.
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- Nov. 3, 2014 -- PRZen -- Best selling author and Great Lakes expert Loreen Niewenhuis completed the third adventure in her Great Lakes Adventure trilogy. For this final journey, she explored some of the islands in each of the five Great Lakes. The book about this exploration will be called A 1,000-MILE GREAT LAKES ISLAND ADVENTURE and will be released in 2015 by Crickhollow Books of Milwaukee.
For her first adventure, Niewenhuis walked the perimeter of Lake Michigan in 2009. Then, she wrote the best-selling book, A 1000-MILE WALK ON THE BEACH. This book won the "Best Non-Fiction Beach Read Award." This book has also been released as an audiobook.
In 2012, she undertook another 1000-mile hike -- this time touching all five Great Lakes -- and her second book, A 1000-MILE GREAT LAKES WALK, was released first to select indie bookstores in April 2013, then nationwide in June. Both books were published by Crickhollow Books of Milwaukee. Her second book was awarded the Great Lakes Great Reads designation by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association.
"This island adventure has been more challenging than the first two," Niewenhuis said. "It wasn't just hiking this time. I biked and kayaked large portions of this adventure." Niewenhuis points out that there are over 30,000 islands in the Great Lakes basin and she has explored islands in all five Great Lakes. As part of her time among the Lake Erie islands, she took part in the Reenactment of the Battle of Lake Erie. "It was perfect timing to have the Bicentennial of this naval battle happen when I was doing my Great Lakes Island Adventure," Niewenhuis said. "I got to explore some of the Lake Erie Islands and then boarded one of the tall ships for the reenactment of the historic battle that took place during the War of 1812."
Taking part in scientific research on the islands has also been a component of this journey. Niewenhuis was part of a Moosewatch Expedition on Isle Royale helping to gather moose bones for scientists to study. "It was thrilling to be able to contribute to this important and long running study," Niewenhuis said. "And the terrain of Isle Royale was the most rugged I've ever hiked." Her team found the largest moose skull ever recovered on Isle Royale.
As part of her time on Lake Michigan islands, Niewenhuis helped monitor the piping plovers on North and South Manitou Islands. "This was some of the most meticulous work I've ever done," Niewenhuis said. "And when you're watching these little, darting birds, one has to walk slowly, and that's difficult for a long distance hiker like me."
In August, Niewenhuis explored the largest island in the Great Lakes, Manitoulin Island in northern Lake Huron. This island forms the boundary between the lake and the protected waters of the North Channel. Manitoulin Island is part of Ontario and the North Channel is a boater's paradise due to the many islands to explore and the calm waters there. "Many of the islands in Lakes Huron and Michigan exist because the Niagara escarpment forms an arc through these lakes. This escarpment is a hardened layer of limestone called dolostone that is highly resistant to erosion. This rock was also able to withstand the scraping force of the glaciers that scoured out the basins for our Great Lakes over 10,000 years ago."
In September, Niewenhuis explored some of the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River just east of where Lake Ontario flows into the river. She kayaked among and hiked some of these islands. Then, she explored the city of Montreal on Montreal Island. This is the most populated island on fresh water in the world. "European explorers accessed the Great Lakes basin by traveling up the St. Lawrence River," Niewenhuis said. "I wanted to explore some of this history by hiking Montreal and also biking along the La Chine Canal there."
"There is also a small group of islands near Toronto that I explored," Niewenhuis said. "Otherwise there are very few islands in Lake Ontario. The other Great Lakes have many islands to choose from." Niewenhuis also noted that these sandy islands are the youngest islands in the Great Lakes, forming long after the glaciers retreated.
The finale of her Great Lakes Island Adventure took place on October 26 on Mackinac Island. Niewenhuis and many of her friends and followers stayed at the historic Grand Hotel and hiked the perimeter of the island to complete her 1000 miles. The book about this journey, A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure, will be released in 2015 by Crickhollow Books of Milwaukee.
"I have learned so much about our Great Lakes while on these three journeys," Niewenhuis said. "It has been a joy to be able to explore these vast waters and to share my experiences with my readers. Many people -- even people living near these waters -- know little about how the lakes were formed, how they flow, or how vital they are to North America. These five lakes (Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie and Ontario) collectively contain 84% of the fresh surface water in North America. They are so vast that they are actually classified as inland seas, not lakes." Niewenhuis gives dynamic presentations for each of her three journeys featuring photos and videos from her exploration of the Great Lakes.
Select indie bookstores will have access to the book in May and it will go into full distribution in June of 2015. Some of the indie bookstores participating in the early release of the book are: Brilliant Books (Traverse City, MI), Literati Bookstore (Ann Arbor, MI), Black River Books (South Haven, MI), McLean & Eakin Booksellers (Petoskey, MI), Reader's World (Holland, MI), Forever Books (St. Joseph, MI).
About the author: Loreen Niewenhuis has a bachelor of science from Calvin College, a master of science from Wayne State University and a master of fine arts from Spalding University. She currently lives in Battle Creek, Michigan. She is the author of A 1000-Mile Great Lakes Walk (the account of her hike touching all five Great Lakes) winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads award, A 1000-Mile Walk on the Beach (the account of her hike around Lake Michigan) winner of "Best Non-Fiction Beach Read" in 2012, the novella ATLANTA, and many literary short stories. She was a finalist for the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction in 2009 for her collection of short stories titled Scar Tissue. Niewenhuis gives lectures about the Great Lakes and readings from her work. To contact her for interviews, appearances or to book her for a speaking engagement, e-mail her at LakeTrek@gmail.com To learn more about Niewenhuis, her writing, and her adventures at her website http://LakeTrek.com or her blog http://LakeTrek.blogspot.com