Archive for August, 2010

Whitehall Windbound

Author: Stephen
I'm wind-bound, two and a half miles north of the entrance to White Lake,
and the town of Whitehall. From the water's edge, across the 30-foot-wide beach,
across 70 feet of dune grass, a bluff rises. I set camp on a trail maintained
by the four-leggeds, about 40 feet up. Another 100 feet or so above my perch,
at the top of the bluff, is a golf course, maintained by the four-wheelers.
My leafy refuge is beautiful. I should take a photo. But the contrast,
between the rippling hot silver surf out there, and the cool green canopy I'm under,
is too great for even digital media, so I leave it for the mind's eye to remember.
It will also want to remember the eagle that drifted by, at eye level, this morning.
I was looking out at the lake through the boughs of the little pine at the edge
of the ledge, when it soundlessly passed, just on the other side of the tree,
within 15 feet of the teacup in my hand. 

I just went down to the lake to get some water. The waves are about 4 to 5 feet high,
and I had to go out a bit to get some that wasn't sandy. The water is warm,
maybe 70F or so, but much cooler than the air, which must be pushing 90F.
It's starting to feel like fall, though, and it's a cold front that's making these waves.
Another sign is the mosquitoes, and the black flies, have retreated.
I'm sitting here in the sun-dappled woods in shorts, with shirt and shoes and hat off.
Will probably have poison ivy rash in a day or two, but I'm here for today.

Sometimes it was like this...

...and sometimes it was more like this. So Stephen got to spend some time, while waiting for safe paddling conditions, on a couple of the islands in the mouth of Green Bay.

He explored St. Martin Island and found interesting reminders of former residents.

RIP Jeep

St. Martin Island Lighthouse

"Gone but not Forgotten"

Dawn on the Garden Peninsula

Michigan’s Garden Peninsula extends south and does not quite meet the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin. The two peninsulas, in company with eight islands, create Green Bay to the west. These features are formed by the old (430 million years) Niagaran escarpment, like the hard rim of a giant shallow bowl that contains Lakes Erie, Ontario, Michigan as well as the state of Michigan. There is a map of the Niagaran Escarpment on one of the older posts from the Lake Huron voyage.

Fossils formed when the Niagaran escarpment was the Niagaran Reef, corals in a shallow tropical ocean.

Island hopping across the mouth of Green Bay, collecting solar power along the way.

Peaceful takeout on the Garden Peninsula

Sweet home Chicago

Author: Ruth


Last night, ’round midnight, Stephen paddled onto a beach in Evanston, north of Chicago. Our good friend Timmo Skallerup, of Timmo Yoga, and his wife Barbara greeted him there and took him into their home which is located, conveniently, across the street from the beach.

Yesterday was Stephen’s longest day of paddling yet, 33.5 miles, according to measurements made with tools available on Google Earth. He is going to take a vacation week here for restocking, resting the body-machine, and socializing…with our good friends here, his sister and brother-in-law in Madison, Wisconsin, and me. I’m going to meet him tomorrow, can’t wait!

He is past the halfway point of the circumnavigation of Lake Michigan, that point was approximately a day or two south of Milwaukee. As of today, the total distance paddled is 468 miles, (not counting the distance paddled up and down on days of wind and big swells.)

Canoe Tent

Our intrepid and creative paddler left Milwaukee today, after a much appreciated

break from paddling while he enjoyed the hospitality of his friends, Tom and Cindy.

He managed to escape being squashed by the Muskegon to Milwaukee high speed

ferry, and tonight is trying out his newest camping enhancement courtesy of a

shopping expedition at Laack & Joys, Milwaukee’s oldest camping goods store.

Yes, he does sleep in the canoe, now perhaps in mosquito free comfort.

Along the coast there is evidence of the record breaking July rains, such as bluffs

that slid down to the beach with trees still attached and abundant trash that washed

off the land into the lake.

Chicago, ho!


This was recorded on the Door Peninsula last week while Stephen

took “shelter from the storm” in his bug and water proof hammock. He is

recording notes of his experiences every day on his i Phone. I haven’t

tried attaching one of these memos before, so here’s hoping it can

be opened.

He’ll be in Milwaukee today or tomorrow where an old school friend

has offered to pick him up and house him for a day or so to enjoy some

of the best things in life.

Hot water. Electricity. Friendship. Not neccesarily in that order.